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

Can Lead-links unassign individuals from roles?

This one is somewhat of a pedantic observation.

Based on the constitution's appendix A - the lead link has domain over "Role assignments within the Circle" and is accountable for "Assigning Partners to the Circle’s Roles; monitoring the fit; offering feedback to
enhance fit; and re-assigning Roles to other Partners when useful for enhancing fit".

But when reading the constitution's section 2.4 "Role assignments", I read that "The Lead Link of a Circle may assign people to fill Defined Roles in the Circle, ..." - it does not state explicitly that the lead link can take back this assignment - instead roles are resigned from (as specified in section 2.4.3). This has always stood out to me as a beautiful "live loop": You can get assigned a role but you decide when you resign from it again. This way nobody can just take roles and you cannot be pressured to take on actions outside its accountabilities, in fear that you will be removed from the role by your lead-link or whatever.

The reason I ask is because a question in the practitioners certification suggests that Lead-links are indeed authorised to remove partners from roles.

Either I suggest the constitution's section 2.4 explicitly state that the Lead-link can retract her assignment of a role to an individual at any time or the lead-links domain and accountabilities should specify that it is unrevokable assignments that the Lead-link has domain over.

What do you think?

5 Replies
Paul Walker

Makes sense to me! Currently, the "re-assigning Roles to other Partners when useful for enhancing fit" can be interpreted as, I can take you out of the Role and put someone else in if it is better for the Circle. However, I don't see any harm with clarifying that a little by being "assigning Roles, monitoring fit, providing feedback, and unassigning Roles".

Karilen Mays

Since a domain is property, and therefore up to the role to control, then LL can decide when, if, and how to handle role assignments is my take. Please visit git hub to make suggestions to clarify wording - nice to be in touch Kraen!


Kræn Hansen

If it is indeed the intension that the LL can unassign roles (I sort of hoped it wasn't), I think this should also be included in the introduction of section 2.4. Or do either of you think there is a more appropriate place or am I not seeing a detail here? (English is not my native language - so I might very well be misunderstanding the formulations).

Karilen, I will try to draft a proposal and present it as a pull-request on GitHub, and post the link here. Thanks for that suggestion

BTW. Brian as Constitution Steward might want to publish a change to the policy on how proposals for changes to the constitution are considered - if GitHub pull-requests are the preferred way going forward - Just a thought

Kræn Hansen

I've added a pull request to the constitution - please add your reactions here or there preferably there ... https://github.com/holacracyon...Constitution/pull/94

Karilen Mays

KRÆN Few other thoughts in case they spark anything useful for anyone: Lead Link authorities can be delegated (such as to a distinct role for handling a particular function handled by LL by default) or constrained - such as a policy, requiring a conversation for example before removing from roles.

Also, in a mature Holacracy practice (less at the very beginning for some people), an individual has many roles, so removing from a role is not a huge authority in a way.

Wondering if those options balance out your concerns. 

PS: I haven't gotten into the pull requests myself, so congrats on trying that out! Practicing and talking is much more my interest, and leaving the language updates or constitutional suggestions to others.