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

[@mention:532592670943008396] Well, at the risk of moving too far off the original topic, I think that's an important question, but in this case, I don't think it's a paradox. It's just a rule in a game. If you want to play this game you have to follow certain rules. It's really nothing more than that. 

In that sense, rules (as long as playing the game is optional) are never really "forcing" anyone to do anything. I wrote a little about my distinction between "control" (i.e. "forcing someone to do something") and "influence" on this blog post if you're interested. 

And FWIW, I appreciate the sense of potential for paradox, so I think it's important to sniff them out. My personal favorite example is telling someone, "Be spontaneous!" In the very speaking of it, you create an un-winnable situation for the respondent. If they are spontaneous, well, then they're only doing it because you told them to (and are therefore NOT spontaneous). And if they stubbornly refuse to be spontaneous (like just standing there), in an act of genuine spontaneity, then, of course, you could also accuse them of not acting spontaneously. 

And I do believe this phenomenon can occur with Holacracy practice, especially as people may be initially told by management something like, "Don't listen to us! Manage yourselves!" That message is very much like "Be spontaneous!" And that doesn't mean don't use them, it just means, should you use them, be aware of how they might completely skew what you observe.