Little Bookcase Publications: MDes Thesis Project
“Little Bookcase Publications” (v.3.0) is a 2017 mdes thesis project done at ocad University. The project is a four-player co-operative board game which offers an experiential hands-on understanding of Holacracy fundamentals via contextualized simulation.
Follow this link to access the latest version’s rulebook and the thesis paper itself. The latter documents in great detail the development and theoretical frameworks used to realize the co-operative board game.
Players act as partners at a small-scale publishing company where their collaborative purpose is to publish works of aspiring authors while simultaneously facing various events and maintaining the firm’s reputation along the way.
Holacracy is a peer-to-peer organizational system formally launched in 2007 from the realm of software development. Often referenced as a software update to conventional management practices, Holacracy powers hundreds of organizations worldwide that favor continuous iterations to both operational and organizational structures. In the literature review and primary qualitative data gathered via rapid ethnographic fieldwork it became apparent that organizations wanting to implement Holacracy can expect a steep, initial learning curve due to the rule-based – sometimes counter-intuitive – decision-making methods instilled in the method.
Further insights were gained from the field of organizational development, studies of role performance and play theory along with an iterative research-oriented design process. As a part of the Master of Design project for Digital Futures at ocad University, the aim for “Little Bookcase Publications” was to explore what fundamental processes and elements of Holacracy might be extracted to fit an introductory game to ease the learning of the method.
The game of “Little Bookcase Publications” is based on a peer-to-peer organizational system called Holacracy. The game-mechanics have been developed as a part of an mdes thesis project, and its culmination attempts to introduce the method’s fundamentals through customized gameplay to help with on-boarding.
Therefore, the game is not meant to learn about the entire processes and artifacts of Holacracy, or replace any certified coaching or implementations of the method.
For those interested in learning more about Holacracy and how to adopt the system for actual organizations, kindly reach out to certified Holacracy providers such as HolacracyOne, igi Partners, Energized.org, and more.