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

Basic Partner Responsibilities and Authority in Holacracy (Handout)

I put together this 2-pager that compiles the basic responsibilities and authorities that come with the Holacracy Constitution:

The most obvious place you can find what you can expect from whom is by looking at the roles in GlassFrog. But the Constitution also gives you several basic rules on what authorities and responsibilities everyone has. Here is a cheat-sheet for all of them.

It compiles the following: 

  1. What's your authority?
  2. What are your basic responsibilities?
  3. What about expectations set outside of Holacracy?

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Thanks to [@mention:532592670943008396] for starting working on this and sharing it here, it inspired me to create this cheat-sheet.

I hope you find this useful, and any feedback for improving it is welcome!

9 Replies
Mohammed Ali Vakil

[@mention:449411339497350002], this is so useful!! Thanks for creating it!

Linda Berens

[@mention:449411339497350002] This is really helpful even for those of us who have been around for a while! Thank you and the person who's post inspired it.

Dianne Dickerson

[@mention:449411339497350002] Great reminders in a very useful format. Thanks so much!

Bernard Marie Chiquet

Thanks [@mention:449411339497350002] - very useful, I'm going to translate it in french


Hi [@mention:449411339497350002],

Thanks for this precious work ! I guess that the post you're thinking about is this one, from [@mention:532592670943008396] : ...e-member-role-filler

I'm not sure to get the sense of the following sentence from you're document :

● For all other roles, don’t object to a governance proposal because it contradicts a legacy policy. Let the governance conflict with it, thus creating an incentive for whoever wants to rely on that policy. The status quo is your enemy in this case.

Would you accept to give me an example, an illustration please ?

Thanks again !

Olivier Compagne

[@mention:476716727616148334] That's the one, thanks! I edited my original post. 

An example to the situation I describe is, say: John proposes to create a policy about mentorship to clarify what's expected of the Mentor role. But Sonia objects because "we already have rules about that, and this policy conflicts with those rules, so it would cause confusion." whereas the rules in question are part of the legacy policies of the organization, and are not in governance.

My point is that instead of objecting, it's best to let it happen and then notify the relevant roles/circle that if they want their "legacy policies" around mentorship to be standard across the company, they should adopt them in governance. 

Jean-Luc Christin Lyon


I love it, people need such a reminder.

I think it could be stronger if you mention two words,

1- your ideal
You have the responsibility to reach your ideal way to achieve your role.
You are responsible for monitoring your role and your ability to express your vision, to identify gaps between the current reality and a potential sense (each gap is a "tension"). "

IMO, this definition of a tension embeds the deep sense of holacracy. People do not have the opportunity to express their tension, they have the responsibility to reach their own ideal !!

2- your duties

It's a sensefull word, close to "accountability", i refer to "4.1 DUTIES OF CIRCLE MEMBERS"

Isabelle Rappart

thanks [@mention:449411339497350002], very usefull

Olivier Compagne

Thanks [@mention:532592670943008396] for the suggestions. One key element of the cheat sheet is that I tried to keep it as simple and concise as possible. 

So I chose words that are the most concrete and down-to-earth as possible for people to immediately relate to them - and they can consult the constitution if they want the exact wording. I'm afraid mentioning the "ideal" would make it less immediately actionable for people. Thoughts?