80% of its 1,500 employees at Zappos are now working under Holacracy

When Zappos announced late last year that it would eliminate titles and traditional managers from its company, some were skeptical about whether the online shoe retailer could pull it off.

But the company tells Business Insider that 80% of its 1,500 employees are now working under Holacracy, a relatively new organizational philosophy meant to offer workers more flexibility by replacing traditional job titles with a fluctuating number of roles that each employee is assigned.

Rather than being accountable to a single boss in a traditional hierarchy, each employee reports to the other people in their “circles.” Each circle has an organizational goal to achieve, and each role that people fill within the circle is a task necessary for accomplishing that goal.

Of course Holacracy has not made Zappos a company entirely without hierarchy. The creation of new roles in a circle is left to a singular person known as the “lead link,” and many circles contain subcircles that they oversee.

For instance, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is the lead link on the company’s broadest circle, the 10-member internal board, which is tasked with fulfilling the company’s overall purpose.

John Bunch, the Zappos employee tasked with running the company’s transition to Holacracy, tells Business Insider that Hsieh’s power is different under Holacracy.

However, Bunch declines to say whether Hsieh’s sway has increased or decreased at the company he joined as CEO in 2000 and sold to Amazon 9 years later for $1.2 billion.

Hsieh holds “many, many, many roles” across the company, Bunch says, including being the “department expert” in a circle devoted to teaching other businesses about Zappos’ famously quirky corporate culture.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/majority-of-zappos-employees-dont-have-a-manager-2014-11#ixzz3ICUOVP8q

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