Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site
Andrew Scott posted:

Hi Matheus

I can talk from direct experience as I'm in a three partner business running Holacracy.

We adopted Holacracy back in July 2017 - six months ago - after I completed the practitioner training in London. The partnership has been collaborating for two years and trading for one year, so I have before and after experience too.

The place where we are consciously breaking the constitution is that I'm both Lead Link and Facilitator. That's a consequence of me being the only one to complete the practitioner training so far, plus my background (organisation development consulting) in comparison to my two domain specialist colleagues who are without general management experience.

Holacracy has been SO helpful. We got into the bind of seeking consensus and spending a lot of time on calls talking "about" doing things rather than getting things done. Holacracy has definitely increased our productivity and made remote working easier. I'm in the UK, my other colleagues are respectively in the US and Australia.

The big issue it flushed out was that until recently we were four partners, now we are three. There is no "we" in Holacracy. Our fourth colleagues was very keen to shape the business's agenda and said often that "we" should do this and "we" should do that. When confronted with what he was going to do, i.e. take on one or more defined roles, he said "none". It became much clearer, much faster that he should no longer be a partner.

Of the three of us, one of them is Secretary and holds four defined roles, the other two defined roles and me, as well as the core roles I hold, 10 defined roles. As I'm everything not product it really helps me to be clear about the tension I'm feeling, e.g. "in my role as bookkeeping/branding/funding/technology/ "state tension".

Hopefully that gives enough of insight to be helpful. Please feel free to get in touch if you have further questions.

Kind regards,


Hello, Andrew! Thanks for the insights!

I have to say that we have a super similar history, since we started in 4 and decided that the 4th should no longer be a partned for similar reasons!

Also, I am the management guy in there, responsible for facilitating the growth of both culture and strategy, as well as the management and communication systems the organization runs.

So, what I'd like to know is the breaking-constitution process, how flexible can we become when we adopt holacracy and what are the key points that we might not modify in order to keep the framework reliable and getter MORE, not less, engagement?

I mean, the defined roles, are all of them necessary in a 3 ppl org? Also, what tips do you have to run it without a lead link within the archor circle? And how important are the defined roles in the archor circle?

Thanks for the tips and insights! Have a great week =)