Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Greetings and hi everyone!

Reading this specific thread on gamifying glassfrog/Holacracy is especially inspiring to me.

The reason being, I’m currently doing my OCAD University MDes thesis project in their program “Digital Futures”. The combined objectives of the written thesis support paper and design output are to explore …

  • How might the practice of Holacracy, its benefits and challenges, affect organizational structure in regards to governance and decision-making within the private sector?
  • Can role-play – an act that I believe to be inherently paralleled in the practice of Holacracy and in many role-playing games such as “Dungeons and Dragons v3.5” – aid in introducing Holacracy to newcomers?

In essence, the “Holacracy as a Role-Playing Governance Game” thesis project – Dropbox link to more detailed proposal – is currently shaping up to be a multi-user web platform that introduces the framework and working principles of Holacracy through cooperative, participative play experience. Our cohort is currently in the constructivist, experimenting phase so while nothing is set in stone, the following is my action-plan for the moment.

Anytime and anywhere during the week-long OCAD graduation exhibit in April 2017, visitors can sign up to play using their own devices by initially choosing preset roles to steward in service of a collective purpose. Eventually, the participants themselves will push towards emergent, cooperative creation of additional roles and relevant artifacts. To turn visitors from spectators to participants, the output will reference the aesthetic setting of approaching an already in-play table-top board game by projecting the in-play participants’ progress and actions onto the top of a surface. (Dropbox link to my proposal presentation “poster” during the cohort’s colloquium last week).

I’m currently in ideation-mode regarding …

  • setting up a fictional organization with a shared purpose and initial roles. As an example, if you’ve played the immensely fun, co-op board game “Pandemic: Legacy”, I could imagine an example of such an organization being Pandemic Curers (sic) with the collective purpose “To develop cures and preventing outbreaks of diseases” and the initial roles of Medic, Researcher, Generalist, Dispatcher and Scientist).
    Regarding scope and number of individuals able to play, I’m unsure at this point. Blast Theory’s “Day of the Figurines” is really inspirational, somehow they have managed to run town simulations of up to 1,000 players.

  • In “Dungeons & Dragons”, the facilitator role is held within the Dungeon Master who also plans adventures (narrative situations that can produce important tensions to process in Governance and Tactical meetings) for the players’ fantasy roles. However, in a Holacracy-run organization the tensions are rather created by life when doing operational work in various roles while the facilitator guides the meeting processes. In Brian’s excellent “Holacracy: Governance Simulation”, the tensions were, I believe, necessarily predetermined and handed to players beforehand rather than being sensed when doing operational work (of which there isn’t any). So I have to figure how to solve this tension-issue, which might be to create an operational game of sorts that allows tensions to be created via gameplay which then another aspect of the game allows players to process their tensions via the key Holacracy processes of Governance and Tactical Meetings.

  • Since I’m developing the multi-user introductory execution utilizing Holacracy’s framework in an academic environment as a volunteer, and combining it thematically with other role-playing dynamics (Dungeons & Dragons, for example), I’m currently making sure with Rebecca Brover what I can develop using Holacracy’s framework and what I cannot. Under the licensing subpage on HolacracyOne.org, it states that “Anyone can freely use Holacracy in their organization. However if you would like to offer services to help other organizations adopt Holacracy, you will need to join one of our licensing programs.” This is where I get a bit confused for I am not specifically coaching any particular organization in Holacracy – only introducing its framework through public gameplay of sorts. Moreover, the same subpage states that as a practitioner (which I am, kind of, but more of a volunteer?) I can only deliver public presentations without simulation, which concerns me and is the reason I am seeking advice from the Holacracy community.


Sorry that this post turned out to be a bit lengthy, I get easily carried away with Holacracy and Teal-way of thinking. I sincerely believe that scalable, transparent and participatory org systems such as Holacracy, which fundamentally and systematically integrates diverse perspectives and distributes authority in service of a transparent and shared purpose, will move organizations towards being more agile, inclusive and empathetic.

I’m thankful for any feedback, advice and concerns offered. : )

– Egill R