Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
For an introduction to this expanding meta-thread see Integral Anti-Capitalism pt I. We continue here because we have, hilariously, exceeded this website's capacity...
I agree that holacracy should be singled out for special investigation. The provocative notion that we are dramatically over-emphasizing the need for "conscious leadership" pertains very pertinently to this discussion. Robertson, like ourselves, is pointing to the fact that business (organizations) which integrally improve the interiors and cultural
spirit of their participants are still predisposed to certain outcomes as a result of their actual structural habits of communication and their specific decision-making protocols.
His notion of a constantly self-correcting dynamic organization drawing upon the capacity of individuals to act as tension-sensors relative to the "evolutionary purpose" of the organization is compelling and admirable.
More important is simply that he is making a stand and making an attempt to construct a protocol (constitution). I am not fully versed in the 4.0 version of the holacracy constitution but we should get deeper into some of these proposals.
Given the level of your current knowledge of their protocols, what would you want to change or add in order to ethically and functionally empower this approach even more?
I’m not yet familiar enough with holacracy to know it might need. So for now I’ll ask questions. From p. 8 there was a blog post on ownership and the model might (but not necessarily) include outside capital investors. I asked:
“One question immediately pops up on outside investors. Are there limits on the amount of outside capital investment? What if their investment is such that without it the company could not financially survive? And/or depends on it for start-up? Then such investment would control the company, like it or not. If you don't do what I say I'm taking my ball and going home. No ball, no ballgame. Not the same as a mortgage or loan company.”
Granted why such investors are included on the Board there are other stake-holders to balance their input. But are there rules about which outside individuals or companies can invest? Do they have to have similar values like triple bottom lines instead of just profit for their investors? Can a Goldman Sachs provide start-up capital? Or Romeny’s ex-firm, Bain? Just wondering, so perhaps it’s time for those out there more familiar with the system to engage us?
I appreciate your inquiry about the potential influence of outside investors in holacratic systems. Perhaps they have a good protocol for that. Or perhaps not. In general, all "smart groups" need to comprehend and anticipate the distortion influence that donors and enablers wield. The psychology of human nature shows that we may believe ourselves to be quite sturdy and impartial while we are really bending in the breeze.
One of the concerns I had while perusing the holacracy constitution was about the voting procedure for filling roles. There are many parts of their approach which impress. In particular I would like to make not of the necessity to place constraints upon discussion. When the mention of a concern is met with the mention of counter-concerns then the intelligence and practical efficacy of discussions drops dramatically. A highly suspicious mind might even supposed that the human hive is encouraged to engage in the constant casual usage of dysfunctional conversation. So their use of controlled phases in both operational and hiring decisions is admirable. However, their actual voting protocol seems (to my naive glance) to be based on a model of transparent majority. A sophisticated "show of hands".
So this may be an area in which holacratic principles can be expanded to include a more thorough use of "secret ballot" and "averaged ranking".
The former often seems like a show of bad faith and an invitation to covert dangers... but these are considerably outweighed by the liberation of individual intelligence from any conscious or unconscious concerns about the social consequences of their input.
The latter evades a primitive "first past the post" approach in which our intelligence is functionally limited to a yes/no determination about each candidate relative to other candidates.
Another thing I admire about holacracy is that it represents a functional procedure and culture in which participants would appear to become better participants by participating. Their capacity and ethical commitment to the good of the organization through its evolving protocols should be an increasing trend. Any smart group needs to be arranged so that even people who try to distort the results will find their capacity and will to do this reducing over time. Replaced by the inspirational efficacy of the group.
This brings me to another issue relative to voting, both in political and economic groups. That is the relative absence of specific instructions about how to translated ones feelings into a vote-mark. This is almost completely unaddressed in terms of popular elections. To discuss it even seems insidious to some people who fear coercion (and/or wish to maintain the current material power structures).
Protocols should have at least a clear suggestion about how to locate both "gut" and "intellectual" data within ourselves and convert that into a numerical value which can be contributed to a group decision. A lack of clarification at this critical junction may act as an invisible source of drag upon an otherwise very functional group organism.
It might even be possible to define an "integral-level organizational set up" for business or politics by simply compiling a list of areas in which intelligence and capacity are distorted. We might recall that most of Wilber's philosophy has emerged in levels correlated to his discovery of "fallacies" or "basic errors". Integral proposals about business and society could be all over the map unless there is a reasonable set of constraints that make sure they fall in the most lucrative zone.
So other than the potential influence of outside "helpers" and "donors" what other sources of distortion or inhibition do you see going mostly unaddressed in otherwise progressive groups?
My next question of holacracy is who came up with it? It seems to be the pet project of Brian Robertson, his own brainchild. I'm wondering if that is so of if it was a community or P2P project? I mean, the structure of holacracy itself calls for distributed decision-making but was the creation of holacracy itself derived from this process or mostly dictated by Robertson? I've yet to find an answer at the site so I posed this question to them via contact info. I'll provide the response if/when received. I think the answer is pivotal in determining if this thing called holacracy arose from its own medicine.
I look forward that answer if it is forthcoming. The notion of self-arising systems is something which haunts the periphery of these discussions. My fantasy is that we can devise a group protocol which so reliably and simply exceeds the cognitive capacity of the individual participants that it would be foolish to predetermine the purpose and nature of the group. Collectively we could a better job of determining what kind of a collective we should be. "Smartgroups" of this kind could then spread through the world in a very radical social uprising. How possible that is remains uncertain...
As I understand holacracy, the different companies making use of it are assumed to engage in their own mutational modifications of the "constitution". So even if Brian wrote the whole thing out in his bathtub it still retains an open source quality. The answer to whether its current forms are or are not the result of distributed decision-making is almost certainly: sort of.
One of the reasons the holacracy approach is so amenable to business organization is that it seems to depend upon the functional axis of a specified purpose. The aim is somewhat pregiven -- our job is to sell widgets or maximize share-holder profit, etc. His use of the metaphor of the sensors on an airplane derives from a mechanism that is assumed to be designed for a well-known purpose.
My question would be whether or not this "aim" is a necessarily functional element in generating enhanced organizational capacity? Or whether it is simply an artifact of the need to make these systems serve a relatively conventional marketplace task?
Your suggestion of a smart group that arises creatively from a continually evolving set of parameters seems to be the intent and practice of holacracy. As to the organizational purpose of Holacracy One, it seems to have multiple bottom lines including but not limited to profit. For example, see this post in the comments where I noted that the top to bottom pay ratio is 3 to 1, and quoted some of those multiple purposes:
"With Holacracy at play, the game is entirely different: with the decentralization of authority, the separation of people and role, and the dynamic evolution of those roles, we end up with a situation that looks more like free agents going about their work with no central planning. There might not even be a single person who knows about everything you do."
This sounds much more like the sort of emerging P2P organizational structure discussed throughout this thread. And also of significance in the post following this article where The Integral Center of Boulder has "voluntarily relinquished their rights to control their company as owners. Instead, they have ceded authority to a purpose-centered governance process called Holacracy, a model that distributes authority across the organization and gives primary power to the organization itself."
These are indeed advances over the kind of conscious capitalism promoted and AQALly packaged for sale at I-I.
This is an interesting moment. Apparently Amazon.com is experimenting with a version of holacracy as well. It clearly represents a theoretical advance over the typical kind of conscious capitalism which combines advanced sentiments with a potentially dangerous and uninspected ideological allegiance to more primitive routines of social organization and wealth production. Yet we cannot know the results of the experiment in advance.
I have tremendous optimism about emergent p2p organizational structures. Experimentation is utterly necessary and should be strongly encouraged. I am also very hopeful that advances can be made in terms of quantification. This is very central in my thinking lately.
It seems that experimental protocols for advances social organization systems suffer from the lack of a quantifiable evaluation of their respective degrees of "collective intelligence". Most people are drawn to such possibilities by ethical and aesthetic criteria which do no necessarily persuade the world. So I would love to see experimentation supplemented by the attempt to devise a metric for estimating the intelligence of a social organization protocol.
Along similar lines, my "tetrabucks" type notions represent the possibility/necessity to structure our currency at a level that correlates to advanced P2P organizational structures and post-pluralistic consciousness.
The potential of an evil holacracy has hardly been broached. If it works -- it works. Other than simply the tendency of less complex people not to use more complex systems, and the tendency of more complex systems to complexify their participants, there needs to be some inter-organizational structures which incline all organizations int he direction of broad human well-being. It is my assertion that as long as primary areas of value remain outside monetization the actions of groups trying to utilize official social credits will constantly become unstable.
So I am imagining a line leading from pathological capitalism to standard capitalism to conscious capitalism to trans-capitalist network organizations to such organizations bound together by a integrated set of metrics for determining the intelligence of groups and splicing together (at least) four broad domains of human value.
Along these lines -- how will we decide whether holacratic integral business is working better?
As to how we determine whether alternative economic paradigms are 'working,' I'd suggest that even by the standards of typical business democratic workplaces like co-ops are successful. If by that we mean the organization runs smoothly, has low employee turnover, high employee satisfaction, makes a profit or surplus over operating costs, and other such typical measures. Plus they fulfill their stated purposes as expressed in theRochdale principles, like community education, cooperation, democratic control, etc.
I'd say the same applies to holacracy. They also have to accomplish the usual business parameters like above but also meet stated principles like in their constitution. Given Robertson's business acumen I'm sure at the site he has precise and measurable indices to track such progress, though I didn't try to find them as yet.
Triple Crown Winner! He's a nice guy , too, who is fond of euphemism! Slim! Why don't we call it like it is: completely unjustifiable!
But let me say, honestly, I personally, don't have any problem with the rich, per se. But i do have a huge problem with how they view others not in their social clique. Anyway, the future is also in their hands and choices, too. They can either choose chaos and destruction or aim for a juster, fairer, society. But, they must also come to terms with the finite resources on the planet if they do choose any form of co-operation with 6 billion others.
I know for a fact that this situation is even worse in India (wealth inequality) probably due to terrible interpretations of reincarnation and karma.
If the amoral worshippers of the God Ka$h and its Messiah have another planet that they can live on then they probably don't need to consider the earth or others less fortunate. This must be the secret esoteric knowledge that they have, because they sure act like this earth doesn't matter and that most of humanity is disposable. But we'll see, they may see the genocide of billions as being a piece of cake , but i can't see them coming out of it unscathed. For the first time in their history they have a problem, they could all die, too! This truth could be enough to tip the balance towards negotiations of some kind of peaceful coexistence. We can hope that their sociopathy and psychopathy is not too far gone.
At around 10:00 in the Picketty interview he responded to a question about the economics profession. He said part of their problem is the ideology, in that in order to be taken seriously they focused on mathematical formulas. Thing was, the formulas were isolated from data and facts in some abstract Platonic and/or Aristotelian ideology (my translation). So it was quite a shock to the economics world when Picketty and his team of international economists actually complied the data on income inequality over several countries and centuries. That it contradicts the ideology is evidence that the latter needs to get up to speed to match the facts. Naturally progressives welcome this task and regressives are still in denial.
Btw, his book is now number 1 on Amazon. Think people are interested in the facts? Not good for the regressives in the upcoming elections. But good for humanity.
Dean Baker reviews Picketty and offers solutions based therefrom, including the following: reduce financial institution insurance subsidies and add a financial transaction tax; do not privatize Fanny and Freddie; eliminate pharmaceutical monopoly subsidies, as well as such subsidies to telecom, airlines and airports, broadcasters; add a carbon tax. Picketty did a good diagnosis but was short on treatment, so these progressive solutions pragmatically ameliorate the disease. We're going to need a different Congress though to enact this, so let's get busy on this year's critical election.
Robert Reich reports on an interesting proposal. California, as usual, is on the forefront with a new Bill, SB 1372. It bases corporate tax rates on the ratio of CEO to average worker pay. The higher the ratio the higher the tax and vice versa. This ratio used to be 30:1 but is now 280:1 and 354:1 in big corps. As Picketty astutely noted, this is not at all tied to CEO performance but on how they rig compensation committees in circle jerks. Remember when these masters of the universe crashed the economy? Their compensation did not fall one bit but rather was increased for failure.
Opponents claim it kills jobs and imposes undue procedural burdens, both of which are not based on any evidence. To the contrary, addressing this inequality motivates higher worker pay who in turn spend more money, thereby spurring further job growth. The only jobs CEOs create is said stacking of compensation committees with other over-paid execs. Plus the Dodd-Frank Act already requires corps to publish such pay ratios so no extra work is involved.
Two links of relevance :
and i always new Edward was the problem! lol
On your last post: Switzerland recently rejected such an idea which was quite depressing, but that does come with thanatism.
Someone please correct me if i am wrong but i remember reading somewhere ten years ago that neoliberalism was implemented as a third way economic politic. Loosely based on Wilber's ideas. Is this correct? I had thought it Chicago school of Economics theory with a heavy does of Randism. On what planet are the integral monied republicans going to live on? BTW., the perception of the average person of people like Gore and Kerry is that the only thing they have really done on C02 pollution is to capitalize on it; like making all this Ka$h is going to somehow help them. So, these guys have also helped to create massive cognitive dissonance within the population.
Here's the wiki on neoliberalism:
Ah, yes, i see Gore and Clinton in there. Perhaps influenced by Wilber?
I like this from Corbett's latest: "A more viable alternative prescription wouldn't involve less polarization, but far more, by a far more radicalized left based in class analysis."
As for thanaticism, recall this post and the one following. I applied Faber in the first post to kennilingus in the second:
Now many folks have discussed how kennilngus, with its ideology of false unifications, often ends up supporting "rigid conservatism" politically. But I like this other image, that of "fantasies of necrophilia," as applicable to the dogmatic TOE agenda. I may have to change my neologisim to Necrolingam, with necrolingus the act of so doing. This removes Kenni from the equation altogether so as to not make it so "personal," whereby he becomes just one of of a long line of metaphysical unifiers that like to have intercourse with the dead Absolute and thereby control the relative living through hegemony and ivory (white folk). (Sung to the tune of Ebony & Ivory, all the more ironic since there ain't no "black" or marginal people or ideas in this here unification.)
Hey, mm , i want to address your comment on C02 pollution here. Like you, over the last 30 years, i've questioned the legitimacy of the issue especially given the hypocrisy of the likes of Gore and Kerry. When i was a kid at 20, before i'd heard of the issue i had to leave Toronto because of the carbon pollution. Choking on fumes, one way i adjusted was to become nocturnal. I did find relief on the west coast of Canada but the car has become the king of all things here, too. We are at 400ppm now and the issue is real no matter how much people just want to make money from it. The equatorial ecosystems and the people living there will start to suffer the most because those systems are more sensitive to change. I do, agree, though, that Co2 pollution is not the only cause of rising temps and climate change, but it's 100% wrong to say it is not a major contributor. But we should look at the globe holistically, and see ALL the terrible things that humans do. In that regard, i tend to side with you on popomo's dismissal of all things pre rational . Dismissing Co2 pollution is your weakest argument yet for the things you are saying; in fact, on that issue you are certainly wrong.
On nuclear: that industry continually shoots itself by its own stupidity. Building reactors on fault lines, flood plains, etc. Neoliberal economics also makes the choice of reactors ridiculous. The one place economics should never be is in something as potential damaging as nuclear. Nuclear would be a sane solution in a world of Buddha's and Jesus's but not with the Satan's running the show here.
For the record, I do not dismiss all things pre-rational. In fact I'm a big fan of pre-rational image schema. And pre-rational states of consciousness. Just not pre-rational interpretations of said phenomenon. My states-stages thread, as well as numerous other posts/threads, make this abundantly clear.