Matthijs Collard on the Holacracy Community of Practise Forum:
I am coaching a colleague that has too many roles (Yes, that could also be me). I remember I once read an article about a nice little app (not software, but a Holacracy add-on method) that lets you evaluate your roles based on a few criteria. The result was that you figured out what roles you should give back. Thing is, I can’t find it anywhere. Does anybody know this app? Thanks!Matthijs Collard
I don’t know an app, but I do have some thoughts.
On the individual level:
- What is your gut feeling about the Role? Often, you already know which Role you do not want to hold. In Holacracy, it is safe to act on these intuitions: the Role falls back to the Lead Link, who can then pass it on to somebody else. Alternatively, they may get back to you if more complex processing is needed. For yourself, it is allright to take care of yourself first: it is not necessary to think of all possible knock-on effects of your resignation. The Lead Link and the Circle are there to hold this.
- What are your skills in the Role? Are you good at it, or not so good?
- If you are good: Do you enjoy your mastery, or does it bore you?
- If you are not so good: Does this bother & exhaust you, or does it challenge & motivate you to learn?
- Speaking of learning: Do you still want to learn new things about the Role and the skills it requires? Do you see personal development for yourself in it? If not: Does this give you a sense of peace & stability or of stagnation & boredom?
On the group level:
- Do you see a colleague who might be a better fit for the Role?
- Is there someone who could do the job better?
- Is there someone who is highly motivated to hold the Role?
- Is there someone disconnected from the team, for whom this Role would help reconnect with the Circle’s activities?
Or in other words: Would another individual or the Circle as a whole benefit from you giving up the Role?
Giving up a Role doesn’t have to be about you: It can be about helping others or helping the Circle function better.
What other criteria or tests might there be to find out what Roles to give up? If you have any thought, please share them in the comment below or back on the Holacracy Community of Practise!
What happens or needs to happen when an organisation switches to Holacracy?
With this article, I intend to give some clarity for founders or owners of companies that consider using Holacracy. I will outline the steps that need to be taken to move from the existing structure to Holacracy.
I will use our own case – that of Structure & Process – to explain the steps as we go along.
Establishing the legal base for Holacracy: The Foundational Document
A company moves to Holacracy when the current power-holders adopt the Holacracy Constitution.
In Structure & Process’s case, this was done by myself, Martina Röll, the sole owner, establishing and signing a foundational document.
It reads pretty straightforwardly:
Continue reading The Birth of an Holacracy organisation: the setup of Structure & Process →
In project work, we often speak of “Roles”. But rarely it is made explicit, what it means exactly to take on a “Role”. What are the expectations one can have towards you? What expectations can you have towards others?
Holacracy is a framework for collaborative work. It provides explicit and clear rules for how to work together.
In Holacracy, taking on a role means taking the responsibility:
- to sense tensions for that role and process them.
A tension is a gap between what is, and what could be better.
- to break down the role’s accountabilities into projects and next-actions, and to document these projects and next-actions.
(The role’s accountabilities are decided on in a governance process. You can see examples of role descriptions on our company’s public governance records. (click any small circle.))
- to continuously decide which projects and actions to work on
(More detail in the Holacracy Constitution, Section 1: http://holacracy.org/constitution#art1)
Filling a role grants the authority to take any action to express the Role’s Purpose or Accountabilities, as long as it doesn’t impact the Domain of another Role without permission. (Constitution 1.4) (More on “Domains” at another time.)
Continue reading Energizing Project Roles (Holacracy Basics, Part 1) →
What are the essential steps to seting up and maintaining coherent, purposeful collaborative work? How do you build an organisation?
Giving a talk to participants of Berlin’s Climate-KIC accelerator program last week helped me clarify my thinking on this. I will attempt to sketch out a systematic way to to get from “a bunch of people wanting to do things together” to a working and evolving organisation. There are many ways to do this – this is one, that, in our experience, has often worked well. It is informed by the work we did with Nenásilná komunikace group and our practise of Holacracy.
This will most likely be incomplete or unclear in places – please do leave questions and comments below so that it can improve!
1) Clarify Purpose
Goal: Arrive at a shared expression of purpose.
Method: Story Circle Conversation with Convergence.
Get all founders together and host a circle conversation on purpose.
Continue reading 5 Steps to Building an Organisation →
I ran a session at Mobilecamp Dresden today, speaking about “improving meetings”.
Other than in my previous thoughts about good meetings, that were centered around open business meetings, possibly between partners who don’t yet collaborate or know eachother well, this session was centered around project group meetings. Some fundamental aspects that I find important to make a meeting work:
Continue reading Fundamental Aspects to make Work Meetings work →
Our latest governance meeting minutes are online. Changes include new supporting roles (Proofreader, Sales Intelligence, Czech Translator) and a separation of the previous “Idea Sharing” role into Publications and Events.
To understand better what roles mean and how they evolve, see our blogpost Clarifying roles and accountabilities in Holacracy. And if you are inspired by any of what you see, please consider joining us!
In our company, we use Holacracy as our Operating Model: it allows us to develop great clarity on what we actually do (what our work processes are) and who does what (who is responsible for taking a particular action).
The functions and accountabilities are captured in Roles, and are being refined in Governance Meetings. You can study all of our company’s roles in our public governance records and there is a history of Governance and Tactical Meeting minutes available too.
(Note: since publishing this article, we have restructured the company, making most links in the following paragraphs not functional anymore.)
If you look at this morning’s governance meeting, you can see the subtleties of governance in Holacracy. For example
- we noticed that nobody was actually responsible for maintaining lists of participants of our events. We captured this as a new accountability for our Events Outreach Role. Having responsibilities in Sales and Marketing and Idea Sharing, I can relax now, knowing that this is being taken care of by Tanja in her Events Outreach role.
The changes made to the Collaboration Logistics and Sales Operations roles also reflect these small, better understandings of the business functions. (See the minutes to see the changes highlighted.)
Continue reading Clarifying roles and accountabilities in Holacracy – our April 8th Governance Meeting explained →