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

In my humble opinion, this is one of the best-developed Apps we use at HolacracyOne. Some hate it, some love it. Both for legitimate reasons.

From the perspective of someone spending money: There's nothing like pitching the money I spend to the entire company to make me think carefully about what I buy. 

Under-informed or less thought-out spending decisions have a chance to be caught by my colleagues.  

It also taps into the wealth of organizational learning accumulated over time, as well as the individual expertise of any colleague. 

From an Org perspective: I see that better decisions are made. They aren't necessarily slowed down by the open discussion. Beginning with "I intend to spend..." means spending (under a certain sum according to the Extra Rules) will go through barring any escalation. The spender is not seeking consensus, or even necessarily feedback. Just giving others a chance to review the intention, ask questions and (if over a certain sum according to the Extra Rules) attest to whether or not they'd do the same.

Nor is it necessarily as exhausting as it may sound. A partner can process or not process spending intentions. For example, I'll carefully read, react to and consider spending intentions concerning the Training Circle, where I hold many roles, but will rarely spend time with intentions coming from the GlassFrog circle, where I hold no roles.  

In terms of shifting power structure, I see that having nearly total transparency around how company money is spent can go a long way in leveling the playing field. The fact that anyone in the company can escalate any spending decision can be a powerful equalizing force. I also see that it mitigates potential grumblings, resentment or confusion that can otherwise accompany spending decisions. (Why did he get that, but I didn't? Why is she spending so much money on that stupid thing?!) Answers to those questions actually exist are are accessible. So grumbling and resentment (either my own about my colleagues' decisions, or my colleagues' about mine) have little ground to stand on. 

Also - it is hard. It can be stressful to pitch every spending decision I make to the entire company. What if people think I'm stupid? In areas where I have little experience, I may worry it will appear I don't know what I'm doing. But if I don't know, chances are, a colleague will. My ego may take a hit, but organizationally, a better decision is made.  There are other worries: What if it doesn't pass? What if I run out of time? What if someone actively disagrees with me? We have slowly built out processes for these. 

My advice to anyone trying this system is to view it as a game -players throw intentions into the pot and together try to make the best decision possible. If a good, cost-effective decision is made, everybody wins. 

Have fun.