Holacracy, a management concept that dispenses with job titles and managers, has been adopted by Zappos, an online shoe retailer. The system, which aims to distribute authority, has been met with scepticism. Critics argue that it is a complicated system that requires employees to learn a new language, and that it could lead to anarchy.

Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, made it mandatory for employees to embrace holacracy or accept a pay-off. This resulted in 14% of the staff leaving the company. Despite this, Hsieh remains committed to the system, believing it will make the company more responsive and creative.

Holacracy’s creator, Brian Robertson, has said that the system is not about getting rid of bosses, but about spreading leadership throughout an organisation. Yet, some argue that it simply replaces one hierarchy with another, as circles within the company have lead links who have the final say on decisions.

While holacracy may work for certain types of companies, it may not be suitable for all. It is a radical approach that requires a significant shift in mindset from traditional management structures.

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