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

Allocating Resources

I am curious from the community what Allocating Resources means to you. We have some hourly employees where there is a big question about people's time being or not being a resource. Most often we think of money but that's not super relevant in our circles because circles aren't given per circle budgets. I'm curious if anyone has good words to talk about how lead link's allocate resources. Look forward to hearing your insights.

3 Replies
Pam H

Hi [@mention:493184366878843164]. I don't know if this will give you ideas about Lead Links allocating resources or not, but I would definitely say people's time is a valuable resource. The following webpage gives 5 links to really good research studies about using time as the only currency exchange and at least 4 of those 5 papers would give you valuable "proof" of the value of people's time. They will refer to timebanking in general, but also to a ton of rescue work that was done in New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 when they had 3 sets of huge earthquakes within 10 months of each other. The timebanks were literally how people got food, shelter, resources, and even rescue, when the government was overwhelmed and had neither the budget nor the number of people capable to do the work that needed doing.  http://timebanks.nz/resources/research

According to Economist Jeremy Rifkin who is a key advisor to several governments around the world (Germany, France, Luxembourg, China, and others) that are restructuring their economies to be more resilient and less hierarchical, we are rapidly headed toward world economies where money and hierarchy will no longer be the main mode of exchange, and that will be true in capitalist countries like the US as well, whether they want it to or not. If you can't watch the whole thing, start at 40 minutes. This was posted February of 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOMLkqbFR5o

Most of you on this Community of Practice will probably see this talk of Jeremy Rifkin's as applicable to why both Holacracy and lateral non-hierarchical sharing economies will be critical to the world economies in the near future. I believe it will affect the near future of all human beings on the planet.

Brian Robertson

Hi Jenn - Well, whether or not the lead link interprets that accountability as including people's time, no one else has any duty whatsoever to align with the lead link's time allocation decisions.  The only restriction others are bound to is that they can not "dispose of assets" without an authorization ultimately coming from the anchor circle's lead link.  And time is not an asset; as much as I wish we could control it like an asset sometimes, it just keeps flowing by hour by hour regardless - and I've never seen a company with "time" on the balance sheet.

So, if a lead link wants to focus how people allocate their attention as time flows by, the lead link will need to use other mechanisms in the constitution, such as prioritization decisions and strategies, because leaning on that particular lead link accountability alone won't actually affect anyone else.

Note one possible exception here is in the case of hourly workers whose relationship with the organization is highly variable (vs. those whose relationship calls for a relatively fixed amount of time, like 8 hours per day) - in that case, you could easily make an argument that each hour someone authorizes them to spend is actually a direct cash spend, in which case the rule around not disposing of assets applies.


Thanks all, I guess what I'm not sure of is are there other resources the lead links are allocating in other organizations that I'm missing? I suppose money and hourly time is the big ones. 

We are a preschool so we have a required number of people in the classroom with the children so when we have more people then are required we have a role (not the lead link because it was changed in policy) that allocates that extra time. 

The one area in which we have conflict with the time is that we have a coverage team that is with the children for a specific block of time so the circle members can come out of the classroom and meet. That time is used for tactical, governance, and a curriculum meeting structure we have developed, but the secretary sets the meeting time but if time is a resource then the lead link allocates resources. I do think in this case it is a resource because it's a specific block of coverage time given to the circle. So there is a two hour block of time which two of the three meetings fit in, who gets to determine which will take place... The circle member of course still have the choice to attend the meetings or not, no one can demand that of them but how the time will be used for those who attend. Writing this all out makes me think we just need a policy or role that takes the confusion out of it (I'm not in the circles so it's just something I am observing).

Anyway, I'm happy to hear any other resources thoughts. What resources beyond money and sometimes time do your lead link's allocate?