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

Cascading Domains


Maybe somebody can help with this puzzle. We have been adding domains to roles in sub-circles. We figured that for that to work well, the sub-circle needs to also have that domain. Our logic: the sub-circle has to own the territory before it can assign the territory to one of its roles. Otherwise only sub-circle members are held by the role's domain. Correct?

Example: Role Product Owner in GCC sub-circle Product Development holds domain 'Product release decisions'. In the GCC circle the Product Development role/circle then needs to have the same domain, 'Product release decisions', to make sure nobody in the company decides to release a new functionality.

Curious how experts look at this.

Jan Willem

3 Replies
Tom Mulder

[@mention:585798053992261976]. Yes you are right. Article 2.1.3. provide you with the insights and rules.

Jan Willem van Crevel

Thanks Tom. Clear.

Brian K Haney

[@mention:585798053992261976], this issue illuminates one of the myths of Holacracy. Holacracy is often said to eliminate hierarchies, but it doesn't. Holacracy changes the nature of hierarchies, their composition, but hierarchies remain a core part of Holacracy.

Domains articulate scopes of authority that are delegated from the GCC to Roles and Sub-Circles. But any scope of authority is derived from the root of all authority in the organization. That authority devolves from the Ratifying Authority, through the Constitution, to the GCC. Before any Role in any Circle can exercise control over a Domain, there must be a clear trail of scope of authority, i.e. Domains, from the GCC, through all intervening Sub-Circles, to the Role.

Your practical question reveals much about the abstract underpinnings upon which Holacracy rests. But I'm waxing philosophical. I'll stop now.