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Case: SeaState5

Cases - SeaState5


Building a start-up

They know they’re coming in with a radical plan for any organization – and have proven to deliver, always balancing a clear, can-do forward looking execution with the people skills to have everyone at the table trust the process.
— Job Veltman, Co-founder SeaState5

What did SEASTATE5 need?

SeaState5 aims to neutralize heavy weather for offshore operations through maritime robotics technology. For us Holacracy is the tool that we needed to organize ourselves in a dynamic start-up environment that can’t rely on a pre-defined plan. We also really wanted to get the maximum out of the potential of each of our three founders to grow a young company.


What did we do?

We loved the hands-on support. It helped us to learn a new way of working while focusing on our business. For us, it means stepping aside from consensus seeking in most cases, while re-engaging each other not for decisions but for advice and input. That was quite a big shift to make. Also, Holacracy is a strongly prescriptive way of working, which made us feel uneasy at first, coming from more flexible, implicit ways of organization. While the start was a bit of an exploration, we feel everyone has got much more effective in working through Holacracy over time. Clearly separating our organization space where we seek alignment or support from each other and our individual working space where we can maximize our own creativity and autonomous execution of where we are accountable for has made a huge difference.


What are the results?

As a fast growing venture we are constantly balancing new technology breakthroughs and scaling challenges in the production of heavy industrial maritime assets. Holacracy makes us much more comfortable during every stage of our business growth. We discovered an ability to process very difficult organizational tasks at the same time – with a small team and everyone in multiple roles, doing intensive sales, creative R&D and a strategy pivot at the same time. We firmly believe Holacracy allows us to operate each of these huge challenges in parallel and with the appropriate interconnection, without falling into the trap of trying to contain all in an ever-higher abstraction all-predicting single plan. Additionally our meetings just got a lot more effective.