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

Constitution Versions

Howdy folks - 


Um, so we adopted Holacracy August 2014, when the constitution was version 4.0 ... then this past June the 4.1 version came out... and it's great, all good.  And then the question landed... what happens over time and in the future re: revisions to the Constitution?  

Does my organization have to re-adopt or re-affirm somehow when the constitution is updated? I somewhat naively assumed that there was some sort of language in the adoption documents or in the live constitution that updates were automatically rolled in, and that we were always in tune with the live version of the constitution.


How does this work, and what might be needed for my org to re-adopt 4.1?  4.2?  ....



4 Replies
Juliane Martina Röll

We manually "upgraded" to Version 4.1 from 4.0, after we had reviewed the changes carefully.


I think it would be dangerous to have an "automatic" update built in. But maybe that's safe to try for some organisations. 

Keith Jarvis

No reply from anyone @ HolacracyOne?


Have they simply abandoned these forums?

Koen Veltman
Hi Keith, like your thinking!

Here a few thoughts in random order:
- I would love to explicit link in the Glassfrog of an organizations governance records and the version of the (potentially forked) constitution they use
- adopting a new/updated constitution in larger organizations can be quite a thing so good to make explicit how it works
- how upgrading works could be defined by the constitution but maybe also by a role in the anchor circle eg a constitution steward that can propose a constitution upgrade. Together with a policy that says something like "as long as there is no objection from any of the other anchor circle members as expressed through IDM in a special announced meeting and the change in constitution is explained throughout the organization by the "chain of command" of the secretaries (just like facilitators have an accountability in the case of process breakdown).
Karilen Mays

Hi Keith, I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply faster! Sometimes it may seem that we have abandoned...I often wish I could prioritize more time on these forums.

All you have to do is take whatever power that originally ratified the prior version, and they sign the new declation for the new version. Do you have your original adoption declation on file? If not, just download the new one, and re-ratify symbolically and formally, and then announce it.

You could also adopt a policy saying you automatically run with the most current version, but I dont think that is needed. We update our operating agreement when a new version of the constitution comes out if my memory serves correct, and partners automatically opt in to those changes or else have a window to opt in.

Is it clear enough?