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Holacracy by Mind Map: Holacracy
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A practice

for organisations, to embed flexibility and effectiveness in their core processes, meetings, decision-making, organisational structure

includes, governance practices, distributed, throughout the organisation, evolutionary, distributed across time, operational practices, organised around a different paradigm, lean thinking, just-in-time, lean manufacturing, extreme programming, agile software development, ERP/supply-chain management, pull vs push scheduling, multiple sensors

result, flexible & effective, adaptive capacity

goal, to achieve the organisation's requisite structure, dynamic steering, dynamic steering principles and practices are embedded in all meetings


global governance, awake, alive organisations, linking to each other to govern their context

governments govern people, not organisations

key concepts

organisational structure

roles & accountabilities, who are you accountable to?, current question, what are you accountable for?, more useful question, activity, who are you counting on for what?, what are others counting on you for?, eg., General company circle, CEO role, hiring employees, designing company, ensuring metrics quality, controlling resource allocation, etc, Sales role, selling products and services, following processes set by business development manager, etc, design role, designing valuable products, maintaining product roadmap, gathering input from customers, etc, Marketing, roles and circles, are the same thing, it depends where you're looking from, from broader circle, 'sales' is a role, from lower circle, sales is a circle, core roles, facilitator, aim, align the circles governance and operational practices with the core principles and rules of holacracy, accountable for, facilitating the circle's governance meetings and integrative decision-making process, including stopping and redirecting behaviours of circle members which are pushing against holacracy's rules and processes, delegating facilitation temporarily when significantly involved in the specific content of an agenda item and called to do so by anyone in the circle, ruling on matters of holacracy process, procedure and authority that come before the circle, both within and outside of formal meetings, auditing sub-circle meetings and records to assess alignment with holacracy's rules and processes as needed, including at a minimum when prompted to do so by the rep link from a sub-circle, and triggering restorative actions if they find a sub-circle has a significant deficiency, secretary, aim, stabilise the circle's governance over time as a steward of the circle's formal governance records and record-keeping process, accountable for, maintaining official governance records for the circle, outputs of each governance meeting, minutes, a compiled list of all governance currently in effect for the circle, software important, holacracy software - glass frog, need internet connection!, or wiki, scheduling, regular circular governance meetings, special governance meetings upon request, notifying all circle members of all governance meetings, capturing & publishing next actions in operational meetings, lead link, aim, align the sub-circle with the strategic direction of the super-circle while shepherding the sub-circle towards its aim, accountable for, allocating resources of the circle, including prioritising projects and selecting projects for each iteration of work, discovering and publishing the metrics necessary for measuring the operational performance of the sub-circle (key performance indicators) and linking each metric to the most appropriate role in the sub-circle to collect data for that metric, reporting a summary of sub-circle key performance indicators in regular meetings of the super-circle, personnel-related accountability, appointing people into the circle to serve as circle members, assigning roles defined by the circle to circle members, monitoring fit between circle members and their roles, offering feedback and coaching to circle members to help improve their fit with their roles, removing circle members from roles as needed, removing members from the circle as needed, and obtaining and followind directions from their own lead links on actions to take when removing someone from the circle who is not a member of any other circles of the organisation, note, the lead link also becomes a member of the sub-circle and gains all circle member accountabilities within the context of the sub-circle, rep link, aim, remove constraints within the super-circle on the sub-circle's ability to sustainably pursue its aim, accountable for, meeting with the lead link of the super-circle regularly to provide feedback about the context of the sub-circle, discovering and publishing the metrics necessary for measuring the sustainability of production capacity in the sub-circle (key health indicators) and linding each metric to the most appropriate role in the sub-circle to collect data for that metric, reporting a summary of sub-circle key health indicators in regular meetings of the super-circle, note, the rep link also becomes a member of the super-circle and gains all circle member accountabilities within the context of the super-circle, circle member, aim, energise and lead assigned roles while helping to lead the whole circle towards its aim, accountable for, regularly addressing recurring tensions through governance meetings and operational channels to remove constraint and harness opportunitites for moving the circle towards its aim, working beyond assigned roles & accountabilitie as appropriate in service of the aims and goals of the circle and the broader organisation, and finding/taking mutually acceptable restorative action upon request if tension develps for others while operating outside of assigned roles & accountabilities, working collaboratively with other circle members, including, sharing needs and goals of roles you fill and asking them to take appropriate actions to facilitate your work, accommodating other circle members' requests for the same as much as practical by seeking mutually acceptable solutions to cross-role integration issues, when a direct cross-role integration is not adequately achieved, mutually reerring the matter to an appropriate circle meeting or to the circle's lead link to seek further resolution, collecting data for published metrics linked to each role the member fills and reporting that data regularly to the circle, regularly reviewing roles assigned to them and proposing the removal of accountabilities not aligned with reality

dynamic circles, agile because, self-organising, governance meetings, circles organised in a holarchy of scope, holarchy = natural hierarchy of increasing wholeness, holarchy, circles as part of the organisation, circles as wholes in themselves, broader circles include subcircles, equivalent to departments in standard org chart, both get representation on the other via a 'double link', 2 people serve on both connected circles, broader circle appoints a lead link to, carry its needs to a subcircle's steering, be accountable for the results of a subcircle, subcircle appoints a 'rep link' to, seek a conducive environment for the subcircle, provide feedback to the broader circle's steering, self-governing circles, each circle, has a scope it governs within, given to it by the circle above it, has a purpose or aim it pursues, given to it by the circle above it, uses dynamic steering, governance, operations, individual action, creates own roles & accountabilities, maintains its own log of roles and accountabilities, always clarity about who is accountable for what, self-organising does not mean self-directing, a broader circle defines scope & purpose of its sub-circles, subcircles self-organise to pursue their purpose, cross-circle collaboration, can happen ad-hoc through teams, (operational), a circle can be a team, a team might not be a circle, when to create a new circle?, when a role grows more differentiated and complex, with high-level accountabilities that need breaking down, with a variety of functions, each of which is beginning to differentiate itself, this is 'downward growth', when a circle (often the general company circle) begins to split in two, a new broader level of order is emerging, new circle, this is self-transcending growth, often what was the GCC becomes the sub-circle, and a new GCC emerges

double linking, circles connect via a double link, 2 people serve on both connected circles, lead link, drives for results, rep link, cares for sustainability, linking, leading, doing, the lead link's doing in the sub-circle is leading, measuring, the measuring in the broader circle is done by the rep links reporting on their sub-circle's measuring of its doing, functional division, managing role in a circle (lead link), manager of the team, appointed by the broader circle, accountable for, creating the results defined by the higher circle, has authority to take decisions in the circle, role representing the interests of the sub-circle in the broader circle (rep link), accountable for representing the circle to the broader circle, seek conducive environment for sub-circle, provide feedback to the broader circle's steering, brings visibility, how to we sustain our capacity to continue producing?, metrics, elected by the circle, high degree of commitment to the organisation, makes the circle itself accountable for representing its needs and interests with higher management, disentangles conflict of interests suffered by middle managers, rep link, accountable for representing the interests of its circle, lead link can focus freely on pursuing the aim defined by management, metaphor, particle accelerator, has two rings, to send energy in two directions, that's what's wrong with middle management, has to channel energy in two directions, frequently fails to do so, results usually win out over sustainability!, creates healthy flow of information throughout hierarchical layers, management is informed of what is really going on in the circles below it, employees can trust that their interests are being represented with higher management

the board, a special circle, doesn't have a specific scope, holds space for the potential of the organisation, harnessing the impulse to evolve, provides overall aim for organisation, by integrating perspectives of contexts, each 'context' has a seat on the board, eg holacracy 1 & licenced consultancy firm, via links to entities managing commons, questions, what does the world need the organisation to be?, what does the organisation need to be in the world?, all decision-making is integrative, until delegated to another means, no split between governance and operations

result, information flow, improved, throughout organisation, change, integrated faster, without losing control of direction, adaptive capacity embedded in structure and processes, organisational structure can grow organically with the organisation

organisational control

dynamic steering, allows an organisation to adapt quickly and flexibly to change in and around the organisation, is manifested by, governance, operations, individual action, shifts focus, away from predicting and controlling, towards building adaptive capacity, so the organisation and its structure, can proactively deal with, problems, opportunities, result, agile decision-making more in line with human nture, guiding principles, experiment & adapt, focus on present tensions, hold aim in mind, steer continuously, get real data, steer continously, the goal is a workable decision, not 'the best' decision, to arrive at the best solution in the long run, by always looking for the workable way forward during meetings, continuously integrating new information as it becomes available over time, any issue can be revisited at any time, delay all decisions, to the last responsible moment, then make small decisions and deliver fast, short cycles, incremental steps, fall back to predict & control, only when necessary, only if we can't find a way to steer, dynamic steering operations, find & eliminate waste (muda), everything that's not adding value that has cost, what is waste in our department?, start where you are, evolve over time, identify windows of opportunity - delay decisions to the end, build in systems that make it possible to delay decisions, focus on, facilitating flow, removing constraints, shift from "push" to "pull" scheduling, push:, conventional project management, "by when", project plans, gantt charts, etc, pull, flow pulled by market demand, use queues to hold work, pull from queues and do it, prioritise queues to always work on highest priorities, corkboards, one method to enhance operations, one per cirle, per team on a circle, use, index cards for projects, stickies for actions, colour coded push pins for each role/person, do operational meetings around the board, daily stand-ups, weekly tactical, monthly review/planning, when more is needed, use columns for, backlog, to consider for the future, active, let's get 'em done now, create iterations at regular heartbeats, in weekly/monthly meetings, each iteration is full of projects & actions, track in daily & weekly meetings, means changing your entire business so all processes are grounded in dynaimc steering, it's HARD!, metaphor, riding a bicycle, classic organisations, plot out course, then put on blindfold, holacracy, with your eyes open, safer, more flexible, anticipate the unexpected, result, improves, agility, productivity, because decisions can be made much quicker when the goal is to make a workable decision, better quality decisions in the long run:, improving a decision six times because of new information is better than fixing a static 'best' solution once

integrative decision-making, Originality, differs from other governance models, democratic, risk of majority rule, the minority vote is not integrated, although it may contain vital information, never outvote the fuel gauge, in the cockpit of an airplane, we're fine, airspeed indicator, altimeter, voltage meter, we're running out of fuel, fuel gauge, each individual is a valuable sensor with access to a unique field of information, even if it's just one person who sees an objection, they will be listened to, the important value of that perspective will be integrated into the proposal, consensus-based, everybody must agree, takes minority voice into account, leads to long meetings ending in compromise, aim, integrate tangible objections into each proposal to make it workable while preventing irrelevant or disruptive discussions, not about, consensus, personal feelings, being 'for' or 'against' anything, about, integrating perspectives, look for the workable-for-now solution, not the best or perfect solution, facilitate the process, navigate the circle's limits of tolerance, not the individuals'!, dynamic steering requires integrating all perspectives, not all perspectives all the time, just minimally sufficient perspectives every moment, when they become present and paramount, this allows the right path to emerge as needed, this is not about seeking consensus, consensus is not relevant, because this isn't about making individuals happy!, perspectives of the roles, not the people, finding the workable way forward, shorter cycles, doable pieces, good enough, benefits, no one blocks decisions, they just add more to integrate, decisions are not 'made', they emerge, it's a listening process, removes the influence of personal concerns, moves quickly, without ignoring the vital information in the minority voice, it doesn't matter if everybody doesn't like the proposal, provided they have no argued objections, a strong and valid objection will always get attention, even if no one else shares it, importance of the facilitator, makes sure the team stays within the limits of the governance meeting, squashes, 'yes, but what if's, such arguments don't refer to present tension, based on speculation and assumptions about what might or might not happen in the future, strong leadership of the process, crushes invalid or distracting elements, creates space to focus on substantive matters and get to the heart of them quickly

facilitated meetings

different types of meetings, governance, governance questions:, how do we organise ourselves?, what decisions are needed?, how will we decide?, when will decisions be made?, who will make which decisions?, who will tell whom to do what?, what processes will we need?, how can we make changes?, focus, governance issues, policy changes, delegating accountabilities, setting limits to delegated authorities, transforming tensions in the organisation, DNA, pattern, structure, not about addressing specific instances, specifics used to inform - feedback, feedback, drives improvement (team learning), reactive & generative, in governance meetings we show up as circle members, often fulfilling multiple roles, in operational meetings, more role focused, activities, define grants & limits of authority, establish roles and add/modify accountabilities, create policies and processes, integrate perspectives and new learning, grant roles authority to become full sub-circles, elect, roles, facilitator, secretary, representative link, to broader circle, maintain published governance records, output, specific roles and accountabilities, meeting agenda, check-in round, personal state of participants, "I'm feeling sick", helps us to interpret where others might be coming from, fundamental grounding for the meeting, space for individual concerns, no cross-talk, almost anything is fair game, transition into sacred space, catalyst to develop trust and more meaningful communication, don't skip it, don't trivialise it, even if other circle members do, Administrative concerns, time constraints for current meeting, general announcements by circle members, space for out-of-structure issues, use very sparingly, don't get sucked into conducting governance here, agenda building, focus on present tensions, where tension is, an opportunity to change the structure or function of the organisational system, an organisational response to environmental or market conditions, a recognition of a felt dissonance between 'what is' and 'what might be', list of short placeholders to represent each proposal, ad-hoc, round robin, facilitator prioritises and proposes order, or does a dot vote to identify priorities, up-beat energy, move it on through!, don't ask open questions!, specific agenda items, proposals, the person bringing the tension makes the proposal, facilitator encourages proposer to "just get it out", don't try to perfect the proposal here, one question rule, the facilitator helps the process 'work' the proposal, the integration round will get it right, ask proposer to state the underlying tension driving the proposal, what's the tension behind that?, capture the whole proposal, as the proposer speaks it, facilitator hints, ruthlessness permitted here!, this is a discipline: people can learn how to go with their egoic impulses, "this sounds like a reaction - reactions are next, cut off gracefully and immediately, you're not challenging ego, if you show up charged, you invite others to fight back, you're redirecting energy, clarifying questions, this is open - not a round!, framing is important, just the facts, face-value questions only to better understand the statement, no veiled reframes, or beter ideas poised as questions, no veiled reactions stated as questions, valid proposer response is "not specified in the proposal", encourage its use!, diffuses tension, reaction rounds, framing, one person at a time, no discussion or cross-talk, emotional or cognitive reactions, does not directly affect the outcome, although proposer may amend proposal in light of reactions, emotions may be clues to underlying organisational needs, recognises ego needs as separate and differentiated from organisational needs, all cross-talk ruthlessly cut off, not allowed to respond to a reaction, don't even let them finish the sentence, mature groups have more leeway, just keep with the energy, amend & clarify phase, after reactions, proposer may clarify any aspect of the proposal, proposer may amend proposal in minor ways based on reactions, no amendments are needed, and no major amendments should be attempted, a valid proposer response is "no amendments or clarificaitons", facilitator cuts off discussion, objection round, framing, an objection is, a reason why adopting the proposal will immediately put the system outside a "tolerance limit", objections are stated without discussion or questions, facilitator asks each person, if they know of any objections that must be integrated into the proposal, it is the circle's objections that are sought, not individuals' personal objections, facilitator, lists all objections on the board, immediately stops discussion of any kind, hints, do you see any reason why this proposal is not workable now?, is this objection a reason why the proposal isn't workable, or is it a better idea?", same energy as agenda-building round, after the round is complete, the decision is considered made if no objections surfaced, otherwise, integration begins, integration round, framing, open discussion, you're integrating around tensions!!, focus on the present tension, when looking for a workable solution, keep the aim of the circle in mind, scope & accountabilities, find the underlying tension, this generates more possible solutions, not just the recommended solution, beware of proposal creep, integrate around the specific proposal, nothing more, nothing less!, there is no such thing as complete, you want the incompleteness to keep the evolutionary impulse alive!, facilitator:, I think this proposal is workable, so let's test it!, closing round, brings formal closure to the meeting, critical learning opportunity for the circle, what worked?, what could have worked better?, 'we' reflections, feedback, to facilitator, no cross talk, almost anything is fair game, don't skip it, don't trivialise it, surfacing proposals, even if nobody's surfacing tensions, you still want the organisation to evolve, when to explicitly surface proposals, in governance meetings, when a straight-up proposal just won't work, but be careful not to overdo it, when no proposals are made, but tension is there, in special topic meetings, call these to dive deep into one topic, if the meeting includes governance, the facilitator facilitates, a proposal-surfacing process is valuable here, may span governance and operations, ensure clarity!, any action decided in a governance meeting has no more weight than if it were decided outside a governance meeting. Not captured in the governance minutes, you can use integrative decision-making, formal weight of authority applies only to governance meetings, good for strategy meetings, process, set a focus, proposer clarifies the topic to address, surface perspectives, facilitator asks for data & tensions around topic, facilitator charts whatever arises, a mindmap works best, with topic in the centre, no analysis - just surfacing perspectives, divergence!, any form of convergence is crushed, surfacing continues until it naturally dies down, round robin, verify for more information before proceeding, round robin, proposal round, each person is asked for proposals in turn, what would you propose about this?, facilitator charts each proposal, no discussion, no cross-talk, sacred space, make proposals, facilitator makes a proposal based on that data, possibly just proposing one of the proposals, possibly by integrating several into a single proposal, use integrative decision-making for each, facilitator repeats & makes another proposal, until it feels like time to stop!, operational, what do we need to do?, delegating accountabilities, agenda items take 3-5 minutes each, facilitator, ensures team gets through the agenda in the alotted time, often the lead link, focus, effectiveness, quick and effective decisions on operational issues, operational meetings, multiple types and heartbeats are common, daily stand-ups, 10-15 minutes, typical agenda, quick check-in round, update round, what did you get done yesterday?, what do you plan to get done today?, anything in your way?, if so, what's needed?, quick metrics/progress update, optional, any critical issues?, break, weekly tactical, tactical meeting agenda, check-in, lightning round, what do you plan to work on this week?, 60 seconds or less per person, no interruptions, metrics review, minimise discussion, just get data out, specific issues, build agenda on the fly, what's relevant now?, round robin, move quickly, park big issues for other forums, what's the next action, next action can be, 'take issue to next governance meeting', what's the issue?, brief discussion, next action, identify, record, get through every item, every meeting, without fail, avoid, "by when?", you don't know what else has to be penalised to achieve that deadline, instead:, if you prioritise on your worklist, when do you think it'll be done?, closing, after meeting, e-mail minutes to the group, just knowing there's going to be a governance meeting keeps the energy going and changes how the tactical meeting unfolds, authority should be clear from governance, if there's lack of clarity in a tactical meeting, individual action can work, lead link allocates authority during meeting, forced weekly synchronisation, monthly review and planning, often just an extended tactical meeting, with more metrics, updating models, etc, in that case, follows similar agenda to tactical, sometimes focused on actual planning, review progress from last month, prioritising and selecting projects for next, in that case, may have a different agenda and feel, planning method needs dynamic steering, many specific approaches exist for this, operationally focused, goal, everyone is synchronised around the circle's work, typical output, next actions, projects, no one-size-fits-all process, good templates for daily & weekly meetings, need modification to fit the circle's context, different templates for different types of operation, strategic, heartbeat depends on organisation, possibly multiple, quarterly, annual, different circles have different time horizons, focus on big picture, What direction makes sense now?, agenda prepared in advance, 2-3 topics max, allow plenty of time, consider off-site, avoid tactical details, no specific process, Art of Hosting?, creativity, perspectives, big issues, input, circle aim, from super-circle, outputs, strategic direction, themes, goals, etc, tensions that lead to governance proposals, integrative elections, to elect key roles on each circle, representative link to broader circle, secretary, records minutes, maintains policy logs, facilitator, runs circle meetings, stick to process, election after information sharing and integration, all key perspectives must be integrated, decision can be revisited at any time, any circle member can call for a new election at any time, election process seeks best fit for a role, not about popularity, about, real reasons, best fit, process, define the role, facilitator describes, the role, the term of the role, fill out ballots, each member fills out a ballot with his or her nomination, including facilitator, everybody must participate, no discussion or comment, no campaigning!, ballot uses form:, (nomitator's name) nominates (nominee's name), post-its!, facilitator collects all ballots, nomination round, the facilitator reads aloud each ballot, asks each nominator to state why he/she nominated the person, something about the person, good for social appreciation!, each person gives a brief statement as to why the person they nominated could be the best fit for the role, you can also nominate yourself if you think you are the best fit, nomination change round, the facilitator asks each person if he/she would like to change their nomination, based on the information heard in the previous round, "given what you've just heard, do you wish to change your nomination?", changed nominations are noted, no discussion, no cross-talk, discussion (optional), if the facilitator senses a likely choice, usually the person with the most nominations, then he/she skips this step and proposes that person immediately, otherwise, the facilitator asks for brief discussion to establish a likely candidate for the role, then proposes someone and moves on as soon as practical, avoid!, objection round, the facilitator proposes a specific nominee for the role, then asks each person in turn if he or she knows of objections to the proposed nominee filling the role, the nominee is always asked last, 'why this isn't workable now', 'I don't want to do it' isn't a valid objection!, if objections surface, the facilitator, either facilitates a discussion to integrate them, or simply moves on and proposes another nominee, the election is done when there are no further objections, if there are no alternatives, the facilitator can propose a fresh nomination change round, comes from sociocracy, individual action, take whatever action is needed, even if outside existing policies and process, be prepared to restore the balance, take the need for action to the circle, to help the circle learn and adapt, this drives proposals in governance meetings, coming full circle, even without any other meetings, we can and will take individual action, meetings then become a fallback for tensions, operational, governance, strategy, to create space for individual action, heartbeats, strategic meetings, quarterly, at need, governance meetings, monthly, at need, operational, daily stand-up, weekly tactical, ad-hoc special topic

roles, facilitator, ensures the team follows the optimal meeting process, meetings, are no longer hijacked by long and frustrating discussions, take less time, are more effective, result, more time left for real work, organisation more successful in pursuing its aim, elected by circle, hints, remember, your own biases, the rules of dynamic steering, hold space for what wants to emerge, mantras, any decision can be revisited at any time, delay decisions to the last responsible moment, make decisions in the smallest possible increments, will it cause immediate harm, can we try it?, How can we make it safe or practical to try it?, Listen for what the circle needs to meet its aim, remember it's about roles and their accountabilities, conflicts are often about roles, not people, listen for the workable way forward, hold rigidly to the process, especially at first, ruthlessly crush out-of-process interactions, sensing energy is KEY, each phase has its own energy signature, learn to embody them!, don't break the process until everybody 'gets' the process, addressing common behaviour patterns, You often have a better idea than whatever is proposed, and you'll try very hard to get it worked in somehow, If it's not in process, cut it off, in integration, redirect it, "is this workable?", you often express concerns or objections about lack of resources to implement new things (it's not worth the time, we're already too busy, we can't afford it?, governance meetings are not about resources, how do we make it workable?, we aren't allocating resources, we are clarifying what we have to think about allocating resources to, lead link is responsible for resource allocation, you tend to engage folks in discussion or interaction at every chance, even at inappropriate times in the process, off process, cut, during integration, it's OK if it's moving towards integration, you have a sense of what could go wrong, and frequently object about what might happen, If it's not in process, cut it off, Is it safe to try now?, accept objection, deal with it in integration, you don't want to do anything more than you already are; you try to avoid anything new being added to your plate, accountability doesn't mean you have to DO it, just that you need to consciously decide what priority to give it, integration round, you can go to your lead link to discuss resources, whatever the problem, you know whose fault it is; your frustrated with them about it, and you'll make it known and find opportunities to attack them until you feel better, cut off - stay with process, specify what the phase asks of him, redirect: there is a clearly established accountability for performance issues, peformance issues should be taken up with the lead link, does that give you a pathway to address your tension?, you anticipate the personal concerns of other people and raise objections for them, objection round, can you trust the person to be their own sensor?, it's not about the person, it's about the role/accountability, dynamic steering will pick it up if there's an imbalance, you're often very frustrated and express significantly negative reactions, however, you rarely actually raise an objection or make a proposal - instead you just stew in it, don't engage in it - do nothing, trust the person to take care of themselves, you almost always react during the clarifying questions round, often veiling your reaction as a question, what's the question?, that sounds like a reaction, do you have any clarifying questions?, you're not so sure about this Holacracy thing yet; you frequently try to break out of process to instead discuss the process and try to tweak it during meetings, just return to process - don't engage, don't get sucked in to justifying and defending the process during the process, during reaction rounds, you frequently react to other people's reactions, talking directly to them in your own reaction, cut it - "no reacting to others. What's your reaction to the proposal?, you make sure to say when you agree or disagree with someone during each round - "I agree with that objection", if process is broken, stop him, either 'objection' or 'no objection', you frequently break the process by joking, laughing, etc. out of turn, accept it, as long as it's not really disrupting. You can't stop that with a new group, until they get used to it, model holding the process sacred - without engaging!, you often interrupt whoever is talking to add relevant (or sometimes irrelevant) comments, always off process - except in integration round., crush, when you don't see why a proposal is necessary or relevant, you raise an objection to that effect, is the process workable?, it's not your tension, we're not going to outvote the fuel gauge, interactions with secretary, remember to have secretary read back proposals frequently, at any time in the process, any one can say "secretary, can you read out the current state of the proposal", utilise secretary role to assist in working through clarifying questions, check-in with secretary to make sure they are keeping up with the process & changes, encourage secretary to listen closely for both content and intent of proposals and objections, help secretary avoid adding their own ideas and interpretations to the proposal, aims and accountabilities, secretary, role, scribe, editor, historian, aim, accountabilities, challenging role, not about note taking, capture output, not process, keeps current state of the proposal throughout the process, captures the intent of the proposal, checks with proposer continually, must understand the process and outputs as well as the facilitator, gift of service to the circle - gets little credit!, clarifier, a good secretary will, help the circle ask the right questions, ask clarifying questions to make results clear, concrete and no more ambiguous than intended, ensure that proposals take the proper form, ensure that the words accurately reflect the intended meaning, can break process to make sure they have captured things right, don't underestimate the role's impact, when done well, it accelerates the process, ensures clarity of results, when not done skilfully, significantly hampers, facilitator, process, facilitator and secretary are both members of the circle, like everybody else

getting the work done

work within your roles & accountabilities

work with other explicit roles

take individual action

synchronise at operational meetings

formalise at governance meetings

from aim to action, aim/purpose, why the circle exists, guiding star, given by broader circle, strategic direction, mission, goals, etc, what big things are we pursuing now?, climb mountain, uncovered in strategy meetings, roles & accountabilities, how will we work together to get there?, clarity governance, defined in governance, assigned operationally, projects, what needs to get done to get us there?, easy to confuse with actions, managed in tactical meetings, actions, what concrete actions are needed?, clarity operations, easy to confuse with projects, managed in operational meetings and daily stand-ups

the role of leadership

as dynamic steering shows up, leadership changes from pushing things through to removing, obstacles to flow, waste, whatever doesn't add direct value to the organisation's aim

management is baked into the system's processes, freeing managers to lead

holacracy is not a substitute for leadership

leadership is necessary throughout the organisation, in all roles, in all circles, leadership is energy that brings life into the roles in the organisation

lead links have explicit accountabilities related to traditional leadership concepts

lead link facilitates operational meetings

don't confuse, facilitation, process focus, (judiciary), leadership, output focus, (executive), don't let the leader surrender leadership to the facilitator!

What's in it for you?

your organisation

becomes more sensitive to internal and external change, takes les time to become aware of problems and opportunities as they arise

becomes more capable of rapidly integrating new insights and changes into all layers of the organisation

facilitates transition to dynamic steering

by, embedding into the structure of the organisation the ability to transform needs and tensions, making it clear who takes decisions on what

result, information and awareness flow naturally to those places where decisions are most efectively taken

creates learning organisation

tensions that arise from a changing environment are used as direct input into the continuing development of the organisational structure

at all levels, resilient, embracing change

metaphor, engine which becomes better and stronger as sand is put in

How to implement

Learn to work with the guiding principles of holacracy

initiate facilitated meetings

innovation in the organisational structure


not time consuming, initiate new meeting practice, operational meetings, save time from the start

flexible & workable, modular, an organisation can start working in a single team or department, can start with facilitating a set number of meetings, awareness of what is workable and how to integrate tensions into the process, part of the holacracy approach anyway!

tailor-made, organisation chooses how to position the change, profile, low, high



invent simple scenario, some new process, we pulled it off, but only just, shouldn't be real at this stage

elicit from group exactly what was less than ideal

what can you propose to capture learning?

run integrative decision-making meeting, present proposal, answer clarifying questions, reaction round, amend and clarify, objection round, integration (if needed), amend proposal by integrating perspectives, go back to objection round

Shared models and language

integral theory

type patterns

Berens temperament theory

berens' interaction styles

the 16 types

cognitive dynamics

cultural development & cultural values

spiral dynamics

individual development

cook-greuter's developmental action logics

cognitive dynamics

power dynamics & system spaces

Barry Oshry's organisational spaces

Additional resources

Articles & Audio about holacracy

operational practices compatible with holacracy, getting things done, David Allen, death by meeting, Patrick Lencioni, agile estimating and planning, Mike Cohn

Type models that support holacracy, Core booklets, understanding yourself and others, an introduction to the 4 temperaments, Linda Berens, an introduction to interaction styles, Linda Berens, the 16 personality types, Linda Berens & Dario Nardi, advanced material, an introduction to the Personality Type code, Linda Berens & Dario Nardi, 8 keys to self-leadership, Dario Nardi

developmental models that support Holacracy, articles by Susanne Cook-Greuter,, leadership agility, Bill Joiner & Stephen Josephs

Other background models & materials informing Holacracy, seeing systems, Barry Oshry, Leading systems, Barry Oshry, Requisite organisation, Elliot Jacques, Sociocracy, the organisation of decision-making, Gerhard Endenburg, Integral Theory, a Brief history of everything, Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen's teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment,, The 5th Discipline, Peter Senge

what's new about holacracy?

organisation beyond the personal

introducing a new concept: the organisation

holacracy aims to help the organisation 'wake up', to consciously find and pursue its own calling, to be what the world needs the organisation to be, to be what the organisation needs to be in the world

and invites us to be in service to that broader aim, the end goal is not meeting ego needs, shareholders, employees, customers, etc, it's about helping something new unfold into the world, egos become cherished sensors for the organisation


reframing, Behaviour that is healthy in a pathological environment becomes pathological in a healthy environment, source unknown, holacracy reframes 'healthy' facilitation, behaviours once helpful become limiting, new behaviours and aims are now practical, even the 'feel' of effective facilitation shifts, at first this will be uncomfortable

beyond the personal, means holding space for the organisation's voice, focusing on the aim & holding the process as sacred, inviting the people to take care of themselves, requires modeling a new way of decision-making, one that honours ego without attaching to it, so that we can all get out of our own way, takes courage to move beyond our discomfort, to rigidly stick to the process when needed, to ruthlessly crush others when needed, and the wisdom to know how that's truly helpful, and the compassion to enact it without levying judgement

at the edge of now, Holacracy helps shift beyond predict & control, to the action-inquiry focus of dynamic steering, this takes present-moment awareness organisationally, and a conscious organisation, not just individuals, Dynamic steering aligns us with what's 'requisite', it reminds us of the 'inherent perfection' of now, and drives us to continually evolve into the future, Facilitating this requires letting go of old habits, habits that were healthy in the past, but limit us now, before old habits can die, new habits must replace them, new habits grounded in the present that support flow

core principles & resulting structures & processes

Good for a 15 minute introduction!

developed collaboratively by, Eric Graham, Evan Leonard, Brian Robertson, Michael Dobbins, Joel ?


contextual thinking, looking first to the organizational culture for cause rather than to the individuals within it, to understand, why, organizations operate as they do, people behave as they do, how, to most effectively influence performance and behavior, Holacracy is a series of organizational practices for creating a context, that is naturally engaging and brings out the best in people, where people know they can make a difference, where the impact of fear and personal needs are diminished, where more energy is directed toward effectively meeting the organization’s aim

Embracing natural structures, everything is, a whole unto itself, a part of the larger organization, Holacracy evokes the best of, self-organizing teams, Autonomy, each unit/team (“circle”) performs its own, leading, governance, strategy, doing, operations, tactics, measuring, metrics, everyone in the organization truly has an opportunity to play a leadership role., hierarchical structures, Communion, Circles are organized into concentric rings via “double linking”, bidirectional free flow of information, a lead link sits on the sub circle, a representative link sits on the super-circle, alignment across the “membrane” between circles, each circle, is given its aim by the super-circle of next higher scope, is self-organizing but not self-directed

Integrate perspectives, in any situation we each hold only a partial perspective, by skillfully and efficiently integrating multiple perspectives we are able to develop more comprehensive and wise solutions., Integrative decision-making (IDM), Holacracy's decision making process, draws out and integrates all available perspectives within a circle, energizing and refreshingly non-tedious

Embracing reality as our best teacher, The landscape is ever changing, the best way to learn and evolve, shorten the learning cycles, ideas, action, response, feedback, Dynamic Steering (sense and respond),, shortens learning cycles, rapidly folds learning outcomes back into the structure of the organization itself, result, greater engagement, trust, learning, hope, more effective and sustainable movement toward organizational aims

Embrace tension and conflict for facilitating organizational alignment, reframe tensions, valuable data that something is out of alignment within the organizational systems, not, problems to be hidden or taken personally, governance, how we work together, separated from operations, getting the work done, tensions guide, adjustment, continually, dynamically, individual roles, policies, result, a context that allows the work to get done in a much more fluid way

Evoking intrinsic engagement, traditional incentives, carrots, sticks, rules & regulations, holacracy, facilitates the natural engagement that results when people are finding meaning, connection, and growth in their work., This starts with having an inspiring organizational purpose.