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

Combine meetings

Hello, everyone!

I have a tension. During our first tactical meeting we found many agenda items wich should be addressed to governance meeting. It was very painfull issues wich we wanted to process immediatley. And we had no time to wait next apropriate meeting, I mean Governance.

My question is: what do you think about combining two types of meeting into one? Especially at the first steps of the holacracy adoptation, when nobody has understanding about anything.


7 Replies
Oliver Emmler

Dear Max,

your Secretary is responsible for scheduling additional special Governance Meetings promptly upon request of any Core Circle Member. So your Secretary might had the option to schedule one right after your Tactical Meeting.

I would not combine both into one but - what helped in one of my cases - is to have a Governance Meeting following a (weekly) Tactical Meeting every second to fourth week. You might want to consider the frequency based on your needs.

I would not mix the Tactical & Governance into one especially at the first steps of Holacracy Adoption. You might want to consider Shu - Ha - Ri (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari).

Best Oliver

shammi nanda

[@mention:590444325765688151], i don't understand what u mean by mixing two kinds of meetings, is it going to be one after the other or do a tactical meeting with governance meeting process or vice versa, and if u think of mixing the two processes it can be a disaster for your organisation. Both meetings have a different purpose and so different forms. if you have a rush to do things and scarcity of time, then as its the norm the stuff which needs to come in the tactical meeting can come between people without the meeting on a one to one conversation or just call an offline conversation. Besides, i am wonderign if you have done any practitioner training as in that they explain the purpose of both the meetings very clearly. 


Thank you, [@mention:582983104089905965] and [@mention:568484858377802720]! I strongly agree that meetings should not be mixed up and undersatnd the porpose of each of them, and difference between two processes.

I give an example. In our team we do SCRUM and already use four types of meetings - daily, sprint review, retrospective and planing. Daily and Review - its completely match with holacracy Tactical style. Planing similar, but still mostly stand alone. Then we tryed to start Retro in the Tactical format, but when we start focusing on how we can improve and began triage, we realised that there is 10% tactical outputs (projects, actions, requests) and 90% issues addressed to Governance (few ongoing expecteations and many policies). Here we came to understanding that our Retro had been to be started in Governance manner. We finished triaging, close Tactical and immediatley opened Governance. But it felt like wasting time when after almost each proposal, facilitator said "Sorry, keep it for Governance".

And adds oil to the fire fact that time for Retro is over and next Governance meeting will take a place not early than week later.

Tom Mulder

As you mention you have just started so you will discover much work that is not defined yet in Governance. Do not worry. Getting this clarity will help you in the future. For now make sure that you have regular Governances meetings to process it. Also you can use the asynchrone process (see art. 3.2.1) to make proposals outside of Governance meeting if needed (This is supported by GlassFrog in the premium version).

For now keep processing the Tensions in Tactical. Circle members will learn where to address their Tension. 

Tip for now: have a Governance meeting after Tactical to keep the process moving.

Success and great to see that you have started.

Cheers Tom

Keith Jarvis

Here's the only issue we've faced with jumping right from Tactical to Governance if a Governance Tension came up in Tactical: NOTIFICATION.

If ALL the circle members are present, the Secretary could theoretically fulfill the requirement to reasonably notify circle members of the Governance meeting to take place immediately.

If ANY circle member is NOT present, they have not received notification, and so by extension they were not able to clarify, react and object to any proposal. We had this happen and STRUCK the resultant Governance as NVGO.

The same proposal then came up at the next 'properly notified' Governance meeting and was accepted again. This time is was valid.

Paul Walker

For years now, we schedule virtually every meeting as a "Hybrid". That means it can be Tactical or Governance, depending on what the people in the room need at the time. If someone needs Governance, than the entire Circle has already been notified that Governance might happen on that day, so there are no issues regarding that concern.

As for how to transition from Tactical to Governance without wasting time saying "Hold that for Governance" -

If facilitated properly, Tactical can help make the Governance part run more quickly. If I bring up a Tension in Tactical, but we discover it likely needs to be a Governance issue, we can still use that time to talk about my Tension, ask questions, etc. Most likely, nobody is going to repeat themselves during Governance, so it goes much faster. All in all, it should net the exact same amount of time overall either way.

Sam Burnett

We do a similar thing where we have standing governance meetings after our standing tactical meetings.  If the governance meeting is needed, we take the time. If not, we can move on without it.  Earlier in our development process, we did a lot of governance meetings.  Now we find we skip them more often. When we do need them it is often after a big "new learning" type event where we discover how roles need to be oriented for smooth functioning.  Typically as part of growth projects or when a tension created the need for role clarification.  That might be because our system is relatively clear and stable.. or it might be because we have stalled a bit in terms of our holacracy tool use