Our relationship with Sandy Mamoli goes back a number of years, including her appearance on a roaming iPad at Spark the Change 2015.

I found Sandy to have an incredibly humble and inquisitive style, but despite this, her list of achievements are vast. Sandy is a former Olympian, an international speaker, an author and she speaks 3 languages without even mentioning her achievements in business.

Through all this, Sandy still simply calls herself an Agile Coach. She is one of the founders of Nomad8 which is an organisation without leaders that trusts people to do what they want as long as they feel it contributes to the common purpose.

Sandy loves experimenting with finding ways to help people collaborate and has built a lot of her career and experience around this fascination.

Sandy is going to be sharing a story about using Holacracy as a model for de-centralising leadership with a customer in New Zealand, and the story of what did and didn’t work along the way.

So Sandy, what exactly is Holacracy?

Fundamentally, it’s a system for distributed leadership amongst individuals working together. Its rules are designed to make it possible to work in smaller teams that are 100% purpose driven.

Instead of having a leadership hierarchy, you create a hierarchy of purpose in which decisions are made by consent and a common understanding of the purpose behind what you’re trying to collectively achieve.

How are you tailoring your talk for Spark the Change to do with Holacracy?

I’ll be telling a story about using Holacracy in practice. I was working with a NZ tech company and the CTO gave me a one line instruction of “I’d like you to make this happen”.

I’m looking for people to understand how to get started and what success looks like so that they can understand if it will work within their organisations and how to go about it.

The reason for this is that I’m trying to share and demonstrate the ways in which people can collaborate better. I’m aiming to communicate that Holacracy can work and that as a framework it has potential. Like most other things, it will be modified and develop over time but it does have potential.

The principles behind it are all about working with purpose, and this is what Spark the Change is about.

Is there was one thing that people should be thinking about walking into your talk?

I want people to think about how unbelievably good things can happen when you give people the freedom to collaborate openly and to fulfil the purpose they’re working towards.

I hope it will help them remember the importance of giving people space to make their own decisions and to do their work in whichever way they see fit.