By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies
“Chief executive officers represent a single point of failure,” says Brian Robertson, a self-described “recovering CEO.”
“Gary Hamel famously said that if you ‘give someone monarchlike authority… sooner or later there will be a royal screwup,’” he shares.
Robertson is founder of HolacracyOne, whose Holacracy framework decentralizes leadership to bring more consciousness to business. “The most effective way to achieve conscious leadership is to get everyone in the whole system thinking like a CEO.”
At first blush, Holacracy often freaks people out because it lends itself to two common misconceptions. First, many assume it means no structure, and second, they assume that all decisions are made by consensus.
“People either worry it requires everyone to lead everything, or that no one leads anything, but the key is to get everyone taking full leadership of the particular area that is their purview,” Robertson said. “It doesn’t mean everyone manages everything,” he said. “That doesn’t scale and it doesn’t work.”
Robertson once heard a Starbucks executive note that the person responsible for cleaning the floors should be able to choose his or her mop—which is exactly what Holacracy promotes.