Posted by & filed under Open Letters.

I’m currently encouraging individuals, rather than organisations, to get involved. Later I’ll be inviting organisations. Although it’s too soon to invite I’d like you all to know where FASST is headed. This is partly because FASST has a long term vision to work with organisations like the Dadamac changemakers group. Equally importantly, much of the  vision and impetus for FASST has emerged through my learning-by-doing experiences with you all through Dadamac’s events and other initiatives, so I want you all to know what is happening.

Introducing holacracy

FASST brings together two threads – one is an experiment with holacracy and the other is the inspiration of the Dadamac Changemakers’ Group.

Some of you already know about holacracy, and have been on training days,  For those who haven’t come across holacracy I’ll simply say that it is one way to run an organisation. A holacracy is very different to a traditional top-down hierarchical organisation.

Holacracy is designed to enable organisations to have flat organisational structures, with efficient information flows, effective decision making and clear accountabilities. It has clear structures and procedures. However moving an organisation over from its “usual way of working” to becoming a holacracy can be a daunting challenge.

Regarding organisational size, it seems there is never a good time to make the move to become a holacracy. For a large organisation, with an established, top-down, hierarchical way for doing things, becoming a holacracy means a big organisational shift. For a small organisation the challenges are different. When only a handful of people are involved, when everyone knows everyone else and it is possible to operate in informal ways. then adding the rules and procedures of holacracy is an additional burden. There are more urgent things to be done.

The FASST approach

FASST is taking a different approach to being a holacracy. Instead of starting with an organisation, and then “adding the organisational structures of holacracy”, FASST is taking the organisational structures of holacracy and then “adding the organisation”.

The launch group for FASST will be made up of people who are actively interested in systemic change and/or aspects of teal organisations, holacracy and/or U theory. We will all be committed to working as a holacracy from the start. From initial exploratory conversations it seems that, between us, there will be enough innovative ideas and projects to provide us with starting points for our teal and holacracy experiment. As we connect within FASST and explore our shared interests there, we will discover what kind of organisational purpose FASST will serve.

Once we have established trust and ways of working together we will be able to invite other people to join us. These will be people who want to do something new and purposeful. They will be willing to “energise roles” in FASST and ready to pick up “our ways of doing things”.  As we grow this group of people we can anticipate developing spare capacity, i.e we will have filled all the necessary roles within FASST and still have additional time to offer to energise new roles.

When we have this spare capacity we will be able to invite individuals and organisations, with appropriate additional initiatives, to join us. We will help them to express their need for additional help in terms of tensions and roles that need to be energised. Like our earlier cohort of joiners these individuals and organisations won’t need to think over much about holacracy and its rules, they will simply pick up holacracy as “the way things are done around here”.

FASST and the Dadamac changemakers

My hope is that the model of development I’ve explained above will mean that when FASST is established it will be comparatively simple for FASST and the Dadamac changemakers group to collaborate on appropriate new initiatives.

I hope that by the time is expanding rapidly, and needing to adopt more formal organisational structures, FASST will be have grown too. I hope that FASST will be sufficiently robust to offer the option of considering holacracy for its next stage of growth and for sampling it easily through a small “taster” project. This should be possible with minimum disruption to the normal way of doing things. If the taster project works well, then other new projects can start as holacracies too. If dadamac people get comfortable with the processes of working in a holacracy, and want to adopt it fully then it would be possible for the whole organisation to transition and become a holacracy. If holacracy doesn’t prove popular then nothing disruptive will have happened through the taster project learning-experience.

I have no timescale for this. FASST is currently at an early stage. We have yet to firm up who will be involved in the core group during the launch. This open letter is written to offer this vision to you all as one possible future.

You can read more about how I see FASST developing here – FASST in two worlds – working freely and paying the bills