Friday, May 22, 2015

Zappos use of "Holocracy" (self-managed teams) seems confusing, as reported in the media


Zappos (an online shoe vendor) has attracted attention for removing bosses and job-titles for “self-managed teams”, as in this story on Dice, story link here. Other companies that have done this include Valve (a games vendor) and Gore-Tex (a fabric manufacturer).
  
Other say that this device provides a hidden layer of management that encourages bullying.
But back in the 1990s this idea was promoted in “Team Handbook” as “Total Quality Management”. The idea was presented where I worked at USLICO while it went through being acquired by NWNL-ReliaStar.
  
But even Bradford National in the 1970s used the term “Member of Technical Staff” for all persons on its Medicaid MMIS project, when I worked there.
  
But Rachel Emma Silverman has a story in the Wall Street Journal this week indicating that, at Zappos at least, 200 associated decided that "Holocracy"  wasn’t for them and quit, link here
  
Contradicting the idea was the story of one Zappos associate “promoted” to “customer service manager”.

  
One time, in 1988, I was actually given a “direct report” without my knowledge.  That event can cause potential legal problems and conflicts of interest, and employers should not give people titles they did not ask for.

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