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Holacracy is an instance of organizational democracy, but it's not new - I took a holacracy seminar 6 years ago. Kudos to Medium for using the framework though - it's one of the few that lays out, soup to nuts, how to run a democratic company.

There are many companies that operate using democracy as an organizing principle - Semco is the great-granddaddy of them all (two books - Maverick[1] and the 7 Day Weekend[2] - were written by Semco's founder, Ricardo Semler, about how Semco operates).

Other well-known democratically-run companies include Zappos, WL Gore, DaVita (a $12B company), and Dreamhost.

If you're interested, take a look at WorldBlu[3] for more - they've been building a community of these kinds of companies, have tons of resources on their site, and even have a conference on organizational democracy.

[1] - http://www.amazon.com/The-Seven-Day-Weekend-Changing-Works/d...

[2] - http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0446670553

[3] - http://worldblu.com/




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