What is self-organization? A self-organization company is where no one has power over others. No one ‘manages’ others, all roles and circles lead themselves. In service of purpose.

Having supported dozens of companies in their first steps towards self-organization, coach Koen Bunders defined 7 requirements. Before you start you can delve further into a few important conditions that make the transition to self-organization more gradual and pleasant.

When a company starts with self-organization, that’s always a bumpy road. That is not bad, but you can experience it as difficult. That is why Koen has also described 3 tips if you want to start with self-organization.

What does self-organization take ?

7 Requirements

1. Learn to Let go!

a. ‘power over others’
b. projecting power on others (awareness)

Can be hard …

2. Learn to take 100% responsibility

You can’t hide, because you’re expected to energize your role(s) and sense tensions. Or, the opposite, letting go of your ‘heroism’ and take over the responsibility from others.

Can be hard …

3. Recognize your new boss: PURPOSE !

Be aware that you devote your time and energy to a purpose, not a manager. This helps to align your personal purpose and the purpose of the organization.

Can be hard… personal alignment?

4. Differentiate between Role and Soul

Separate between the work and the personal. What are the needs of my role? What are my personal needs? Both are valid. Both important. Let’s separate.

Can be hard…

5. A tool- and ruleset

Respect the rules of the constitution and the Governance created with it, like Holacracy.

Can be hard… shift from either autonomy or alignment to having both autonomy and alignment.

6. Learn to see reality ‘as is’, so that tensions can be sensed.

Can be hard… especially when you don’t have pathways to resolve tensions quick, safe, and reliable…

7. Play the game!

Energize role.

Sense tension.

Process tension.


what is self-organization from functions to roles

What does it take to get started?

3 tips

1. Trust

Believe that the people in your company are capable of self-organization

2. Find a coach

Organize support from a coach to guide you while building the internal capacity to self-organize.

3. Do it. Make it small and simple.

Start with an experiment
in a part of your company.
Learn. Iterate.

Send me the shortened version of the Holacracy rules in Dutch!

Let’s talk