Basics of Holacracy
Some internet research on this topic
Margôt van Brakel
• A management system that ‘suits’ the ever
changing and faster moving world.
• Changing the way power works in an
• Becoming a responsive company.
• “Don’t throw out structure, replace it! And
therefore it must me better.”
• Structure: minimal / just in time / dynamic.
• Holacracy is purpose driven.
The problem with hierarchical
structures: there’s a lot going on that
Shifting the management system means
shifting power and in doing so
empowering the employees
In Holacracy it’s all about
working in circles.
The new orgchart looks like this:
The biggest difference:
Shifting from people to roles
A new approach
to organisational structure, meetings, automony
and decision making
When playing an new game,
you need rules:
The Constitution; of course, open source
How it works
different meetings for different purposes
Tensions tell us where we need to change
and are the input for meetings
checklist / metrics / project
• Frequency: Typically weekly
• Purpose: To get each circle member on the same page and to address any
problems hampering progress
1. Check-in Round: Each person has an uninterrupted chance to mention
anything on their mind.
2. Checklist Review: Facilitator reads aloud a checklist for each of the roles,
which the person in question responds to either with "check" or "no
3. Metrics Review: Each role responsible for a data report shares a brief on
4. Progress Updates: The facilitator reads aloud each project, asking, "Any
updates?" The project lead either says "no updates" or gives a brief
5. Agenda Building: Each person has a chance to raise a tension,
represented only by one or two words.
6. Triage Issues: Facilitator gives each person with a tension a chance to
explain their issue and discuss it with other members. Facilitator
determines what next steps need to be taken to resolve the issue as
quickly as possible.
7. Closing Round: Each person has an uninterrupted chance to share a
closing reflection about the meeting.
collective and continuous process
for tweaking roles & accountabilities
• Frequency: Typically monthly
• Purpose: To refine a circle's operating structure (i.e. creating, amending, or
removing roles, policies, or sub-circles; electing a facilitator, secretary, and
1. Check-in Round: "One at a time, each participant has space to call out distractions
and orient to the meeting."
2. Administrative Concerns: "Quickly address any logistical matters, such as time
allotted for the meeting and any planned breaks."
3. Agenda Building: "Participants add agenda items, using just one or two words per
item. Each agenda represents one tension to process. Facilitator captures them in a
4. Process Each Item Using the Integrative Decision-Making Process: "Each agenda
item is addressed, one at a time, using the Integrative Decision-Making Process,"
which is a system that allows the proposer to speak uninterrupted and others to
weigh in, one at a time.
5. Closing Round: "Once the agenda is complete or the meeting is nearing its
scheduled end, the facilitator gives each person space to share a closing reflection
about the meeting."
• Frequency: Typically every six months
• Purpose: To review the circle's overall progress and develop long-term goals
• There is no mandated structure, but Robertson says the meetings should last around
four or more hours, and can fit into the following skeleton.
1. Check-in Round
4. Strategy Generation
5. Unpack the Strategy
6. Closing Round
• A“Role” is an organizational construct with a descriptive name and one or more of the
• (a) a “Purpose”, which is a capacity, potential, or unrealizable goal that the Role will
pursue or express on behalf of the Organization.
• (b) one or more “Domains”, which are things the Role may exclusively control and
regulate as its property, on behalf of the Organization.
• (c) one or more “Accountabilities”, which are ongoing activities of the Organization
that the Role will enact.
What’s a role?
Special role #1: lead link
• PURPOSE: The Lead Link holds the Purpose of the overall Circle.
• DOMAINS: Role assignments within the Circle
• Structuring the Governance of the Circle to enact its Purpose and
• Assigning Partners to the Circle’s Roles; monitoring the fit; offering
feedback to enhance fit; and re-assigning Roles to other Partners
when useful for enhancing fit
• Allocating the Circle’s resources across its various Projects and/or
• Establishing priorities and Strategies for the Circle • Defining
metrics for the circle
• Removing constraints within the Circle to the Super-Circle enacting
its Purpose and Accountabilities The Lead Link also holds all un-
delegated Circle-level Domains and Accountabilities.
Special role #2: rep link
PURPOSE: Within the Super-Circle, the Rep Link holds the Purpose of
the SubCircle; within the Sub-Circle, the Rep Link’s Purpose is: Tensions
relevant to process in the Super-Circle channeled out and resolved.
• Removing constraints within the broader Organization that limit the
• Seeking to understand Tensions conveyed by Sub-Circle Circle
Members, and discerning those appropriate to process in the Super-
• Providing visibility to the Super-Circle into the health of the Sub-
Circle, including reporting on any metrics or checklist items assigned to
the whole Sub-Circle
Companies using / implementing
holacracy… just a few of many
Read more about it …
All input comes from internet sources & holacracy taster workshop in Amsterdam.