Zappos has recently been the news about its move to holacracy. I find it amusing that self proclaimed consulting gurus and more have been so apprehensive and negative in their predictions around how this will end. The way I see it, the transition to new forms of leading and organizing work will not happen overnight. We need leaders who are willing to have the courage to step outside their comfort zone to experiment and explore new ways of organizing work. In a world where many companies think flexible work is innovative, I have to applaud Zappos for their bold attempt.

When it comes to experimentation will the leaders always succeed? No. Must they always try? Absolutely yes.

Failing forward is an essential capability of leading in the times we live in. Leaders must have a bias for action and course correction. So I dedicate this deck to all the leaders who have the courage to lead like it is actually the 21st century. Maybe it will inspire the critics to stop leading from the sidelines and perhaps start talking of how we can help companies like Zappos be set up for success. For if the experiment goes south, they would have gone down fighting. Like they always say – better to have loved and lost than not have loved at all. When applied to leadership better to have led and lost than never have led at all ! I invite you to explore this deck and also subscribe to a conversation on what it means to lead like it is the 21st century in a podcast series coming this Fall.

About Tanvi Gautam

I help my clients move forward strategically on their agenda around innovation in talent management, diversity and inclusion,and employee engagement. I am honored to get the Game Changer 2014 award from Workforce magazine (USA) and the change leaders of tomorrow award (Asian thought leadership conference) this year. I am also very passionate about helping develop women leaders in organizations and creating gender balanced workplaces.


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