Interview of the co-founder Tomy Lorsch, in San Francisco.
This germano-argentinian entrepreneur has deep believes, from his countries’ history and readings, and a strong vision for his company. He is convinced that holacracy will suit his company and now is in the process of implementing it. As he explained when we met him in the Bay Area,” he would like his company to be a place where [if he wasn’t the CEO], he’d like to apply and be happy to go there every morning”.
In order to transform Findasense, Tomy assumes that transparency is a key. Hence, he went to every findasense’s office in the world and shared his story with his employees. He explained Why he decided to launch the company, How he did it, Why he thinks Holacracy will be of an added value for the firm, and other very personal things… Tomy is deeply convinced that a manager should be a model and lead by example. That is why he shared everything about him with all his collaborators.
However, the transformation is not as easy as it may sounds. Indeed, Tomy Lorsch testifies:
“In management, there’s always a big gap between what you’d like to do and what you can actually do. The key to success is to keep this gap a small as possible. But the most important, and hardest part, is the execution, the implementation. It is as complexe, because people are resistant to change. It’s great to empower your people by design, but you’ll face resistance, because even unconsciously people will tend to resist to change (our brain likes its routine).”
Transformation of Findasense
Tomy and some of his colleagues decided to implement Holacracy and self-management in general. In order to do it step by step, and as the geographical situation of the firm allows it, they decided to choose certain offices to be pilots.
Consequently, the offices in Spain, Costa-Rica and Colombia have been selected. Their objective is to be self-managed by the end of the year !
People from Holacracy came to help the transition. They even called consultants from Zappos who spent 3 days in the offices.
Tommy decided to implement a new recruiting process, as it’s a very crucial step.
A 1st quick screening is conducted by the hiring manager. Then someone in the team (anyone) does a phone interview.
A 2nd phone screening is done by the hiring manager. Then the HR does a formal interview. Finally, there’s an interview with the team.
Today, they are designing new models of compensation and profit sharing.
Findasense in Chile
The country director used to work for Google, the wife of Tomy the Co-founder works there, and therefore they decided to implement a few practices that they liked, at Findasense.
They first one is the Seniority levels: each employee has a seniority level, going from 1 to 9. Those levels define your skills and experience. They are updated (or not) every 6 months and are transparent within the company. They also determine a range of salary. So, first you evaluate yourself, then your peers and then your manager.
Another interesting practice at Google is that they try to have an ever changing structure, so that employees are always kept out of they comfort zone. Indeed, many employees are overqualified and it’s essential to keep them challenged.
So for instance, sales are now organised by customer readiness but a few months ago they were organised by industry. Also, they used to have an ‘analysis and support’ team for each group and they are now merged to form a new group.
At Findasense, they like this mentality, team members can change team easily if there’s a new client. They also offer mobility within the other offices in other countries.
They also like to assign a leader or a team to a new project: for example, someone is in charge of the implementation of Holacracy in Chile.
Another team is currently in charge of a Goodwill project. In fact, everybody wanted to do a Goodwill project. So two employees are working on it and then the whole team will be able to contribute: they partnered with a foundation distributing personalised prosthesis (3D printed), and they will take care of their social media.