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

Adoption of policies concerning the whole organization

Hello!

I have a question about the procedure for the adoption of policies concerning the whole organization. For example, the company's main circle has adopted a policy that restricts the authority of lead-links for the dismissal of employees and implements a special dismissal process. What is the procedure for transferring this policy to the roles and sub-circles of the third, fourth, and so on level? Does this policy start working in the company as a whole by default? Or should the link of each sub-circle try to adopt this policy for its circle through a governance meeting?

Thank you

12 Replies
Folkert Ringnalda
05/31/2018

Do you mean 'dismissal of employees from their roles' or 'dismissal of employees from the organization/company (i.e. firing people)?  

Nadir Aliev
05/31/2018
Folkert Ringnalda posted:

Do you mean 'dismissal of employees from their roles' or 'dismissal of employees from the organization/company (i.e. firing people)?  

At the moment, this is the same for us. But it's not specifically about this policy, but in general about the rules of translating policies

Sam Burnett
05/31/2018

Good question! We are thinking about this as well.  I think you start with clarifying a domain like "Employee and HR management"  or "staffing, hiring, dismissal, and employee management" or some other clear enough description of the domain and then clarify the policy as it relates to that domain.  Then the circle or role that holds the domain can clarify the policy in governance.    

Ivan Matosyan
06/01/2018

Hello, I think it is clear from the Holacracy Constitution § 2.6.1. https://www.holacracy.org/constitution#art261 That you can apply policies to sub-circles.

"A Circle may modify the Purpose, Domain, or Accountabilities on a Sub-Circle.

A Circle may also move its own Defined Roles or Policies into a Sub-Circle, or move any from within the Sub-Circle into itself.

Any of these modifications may only be done via the Governance Process of the Circle.

Beyond these allowed changes, a Circle may not modify any Defined Roles or Policies held within a Sub-Circle."

 

Nadir Aliev
06/01/2018

This authority is assigned by default to the lead-links of all companies circles. From this point of view, we need to take from them this authority and allocate it to a separate domain. The question is, can we do this? Can the main circle limit the authority of the of other circles by making a governance decision in the main circle?


This is just one example of such decisions. For example, we also want to adopt a badge system in the company. Is it enough that we will make such a decision at the meeting of the main circle? Will the decision made in the main circle be binding for all circles and roles in the company (speech about the circles and roles of the third, fourth, etc. level)? Is it enough that we simply announce to the circles about the decision?

Chris Cowan
06/02/2018

[@mention:558068091793200931] 

Do you mean 'dismissal of employees from their roles' or 'dismissal of employees from the organization/company (i.e. firing people)?  

At the moment, this is the same for us. But it's not specifically about this policy, but in general about the rules of translating policies

Hey Nadir, I know this wasn't your question, but you must differentiate the Lead Link's authority to remove someone from a role from the authority to remove someone from the organization. They MUST be two separate authorities if you want Holacracy to have any chance. 
Ivan Matosyan
06/03/2018

[@mention:455886150941203371] Hello, Chris, 

If a Lead Link or a governance process removes a partner from all roles he was filling or a partner resigns from all roles he was assigned to:

Do you find it more than a formality to remove a partner from an organization by another roles authority or a governance process meaning dismissing legal contract?

If so, could you please clarify why?

 

Chris Cowan
06/03/2018

[@mention:576648489231374882], yes, I think it's more than a formality. A partner may not be filling any current roles for a number of reasons. Some bad. Some not so bad. So, there should be some defined process (or a defined role to create a process) for identifying the difference and moving things forward appropriately.  

Lead Link role-fillers (note: not the Lead Link role itself) may have valuable information to contribute to that process, they may even be involved in that process, but if so, they should do so through a different role. 

Xavier Boëmare
06/03/2018

Hi [@mention:558068091793200931]. Yes, by default a policy applies to the circle it belongs and all sub-circles, whatever the depth level. "by default" : it can be specified otherwise in the policy itself.

Thanks [@mention:455886150941203371] for the reminder. Indeed differentiation between the lead link and a role/process dedicated to the employer/employee relationship is crucial.

 

Nadir Aliev
06/04/2018

Thank you all! You helped me a lot!

Rachel Hunt
06/04/2018

[@mention:455886150941203371]. As an analogy, I imagine that it's as if two people are married and become separated. One or both may have stopped filling the "roles" that they previously filled within the marriage. Yet, no matter how obvious it is that their relationship is over, they must go through the legal process of getting divorced. Until they do, they are still technically still married and there is presumably still some possibility of redefining the relationship in a way that will allow them to stay together.  

If a partner is removed from their roles, there is presumably still some possibility of them being reassigned within the company until they are formally terminated. This is a subtle but important differentiation between role and soul. The employment contract is an agreement between the company and the person (soul) not with any role(s) they may fill. 

Also, it seems to me that separating reassignment of roles within the company from the practice of hiring and firing from the company is a core part of what makes Holacracy work. If the Lead Link holds all of the coercive power of a traditional CEO, then the authority has not been distributed enough to matter and a lot of the problems Holacracy is designed to avoid are likely to come crashing back. 

Just my opinion. I'm open to other thoughts on the subject. 

Chris Cowan
06/04/2018

[@mention:580449087370309526] Yeah, the seperation metaphor works. Though, in my experience, leaving a role has absolutely nothing to do my relationship to the company as a whole. Like not even 1%. 

But I can imagine in a situation in which a Lead Link removes someone from a role for some broader performance issue, then it there is some implicit connection between taking them out of the role and their relationship to the company. In which case, thinking in terms of divorce might fit. 

So, I'm just saying make that connection explicit if anything.