There has to be a better way to organize – the story of MeetBerlage adopting Holacracy


When you have an idea. How easy is it for you to go and take action on it in your organization?

When you are a solo entrepreneur or just with a few very like minded people this is probably a no brainer.

But once organizations grow it becomes more difficult. Even in organizations as small as with three people the time you spend on discussing ideas increases a lot. Sometimes this helps you improve your ideas. But in many occasions it would be just so much easier to just go and test it. As long as it is safe enough to just give it a try.

Else we start experiencing a lot of bureaucracy, difficult reorganizations, painful meetings, a lot of alignment requirements, difficulty to get your opinion voiced. Just to name a few things a lot of people experience while working in organizations. There are many statistics that sum up these experiences. Typically ~80% of people are not fully engaged at work, of which some part actively disengaged.

Why do we find it so difficult to organize in a natural way?

Holacracy is an alternative to the traditional management hierarchy. See it as an operating system for organizations. That fundamentally changes the power structure in an organization, changes the way we are used to make decisions and work together. That enables people to work with great autonomy and ownership, while at the same time creating alignment around the purpose of the organization.

You might have iOS on your phone as operating system. But an empty iphone with just iOS is boring. The apps you install on it, the way you use your phone are what make it work for you. In the same way Holacracy is just a new underlying operating system for organizations. But so much faster and effective for humans to work in. Which allow you to develop your organizations unique “apps” on top of it.

Adopting Holacracy is like learning to play a new game. And while playing a new game, learning the rules of the game. Imagine you would change from Soccer to American football. What do the rules of the game do to the speed of the game, the way players interact or the way points are made?

Whether you are a large organization like (who already runs on Holacracy with ~250 of its people). Or you are like S2M MeetBerlage a 5 person organization. Holacracy provides you with the organizational agility that helps you grow.

Seats2Meet location MeetBerlage adopted Holacracy in May 2015. In the words of founder Felix LePoutre: “Holacracy enabled us to translate our ideas on distributed ownership and entrepreneurship into the way we operated MeetBerlage. Within three months we created a noticeable difference in the way we worked together”

Seats2Meet is an organization founded on the principles of serendipity. How to organize serendipity? What would be roles in an organization that foster serendipity? How will it help to create autonomy for roles to just take action and experiment with new ideas in real life?

Read here on Felix his experience of the first week (link ).

In the months after MeetBerlage adopted Holacracy MeetBerlage explored these questions. They created roles that the team needed to operate the location in their way. With Holacracy you do this iteratively. Based on what you sense that is happening in reality. The agility of the governance system allowed MeetBerlage to evolve their roles one by one. Just when it was needed. The MeetBerlage team also used Holacracy to get quick alignment between roles. To make sure all work was taken up by the right roles at the right moment, with the right priority.

Want to know more? Join Koen Veltman from OrganizationBuilders for a Holacracy introduction at S2M Amsterdam Connected on June 23 at 11am (sign up here) or at S2M Utrecht on one of the next Monday lunch events. Or reach out to Koen directly, through, at or +316 20835076.