Holacracy and other forms of self-organization have been getting a lot of press. Proponents hail them as “flat” environments that foster flexibility, engagement, productivity, and efficiency. Critics say they’re naïve, unrealistic experiments. Neither view is quite right. Although the new forms can help organizations become more adaptable and nimble, most companies shouldn't adopt their principles wholesale. A piecemeal approach usually makes sense. Organizations can use elements of self-management in areas where the need for adaptability is high, and traditional models where reliability is paramount.
"Beyond the Holacracy Hype" is from the July-August 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review.