Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh talks holacracy, opening up its dynamic org chart to public

Tony Hsieh

By Larry Dignan

Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos, said the company could ultimately open up its dynamic org chart to the public so business schools and external communities can offer suggestions and help it iterate. Hsieh added that such a move would enable outsiders to say “let’s peep into Zappos today.” The move would bolster Zappos radical transparency goal and potentially build a community that could provide insights and suggestions. For instance, a student at a fashion institute could provide merchandising tips. “We could build a community to move our core values forward,” said Hsieh.

Speaking at the Wharton People Analytics Conference in Philadelphia, Hsieh noted the idea of an open and transparent real-time org chart. Welcome to Zappos blend of “holacracy,” a management concept that rids companies of hierarchies in favor of self-organizing circles of skills. The holacracy concept is either brilliant, crazy, a route to disaster or some combination of all of the above. There’s a holacracy organization and Zappos has some external training for companies that are interested in adopting it. Press reports on Zappos management shift have focused on turnover, failure and some successes

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