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Constitutionality of multi-level circle movements/prioritization/resourse allocation

Based on the tenets of self-organization, super-circles should not be forcing down how a circle unpacks its work.  However, with in the Glassfrog super-circles are allowed to restructure sub-circles by doing things such as pulling out or pushing in roles.  This seems to break a tenent of self-organization, but allows for more practicality.


At Zappos, at least for now, we have been going on the judgement that this ability/power extends to multi-level circle moves.  So, you can make a proposal at the GCC to do a restructure that impacts a circle a few levels down.  If this was not the interpretation, such a move would require many governance meetings to make one small move.


Recently, we have encountered a similar question with regards to budgeting/resource allocation.  Clearly from a self-organization lens it makes more sense to not allow this to go down multiple levels, but from a practicality standpoint this would make operations much harder.


I'm interested in getting the COP's point of view.

5 Replies

Hi John,


I think it makes sense to restructure sub-circles in the GCC if the tension is to change the membranes of the sub-circles but as long as it doesn't violate the circle's autonomy to self-organize. For instance, you cannot create a role in the GCC and than restructure a sub-circle to include this role. The right move would be to create an accountability on the sub-circle and than the LL will bring to the next governance meeting the creation of a role to fulfil that accountability.

But if you want to change the membranes, it does make sense to restructure at the GCC level.

I am not sure that answers your question but these are just thoughts I have

Davi Gabriel da Silva

Hello, John. I also have the same question. For me, it really breaks a tenent of self-organization. Otherwise, super-circles can "micro-manage" sub-circles several layers below :S

Brian Robertson

My thoughts here are aligned with Margaux's - I'd use that power not to dictate the sub-circle's organization, but only to redraw the boundaries of the sub-circles (i.e. what functions are included in each; the scope of each) - which is part of the broader circle's self-organization.  So, I think of it more like you're just moving an accountability from one sub-circle to another, but there happens to be a role that expresses that accountability that goes along with the move... hence the broader circle still doesn't care how the sub is organized, it's just moving whatever organization is already there from one place to another, then leaving it to each to further change that as-desired after the move.  If someone tries to use this power not like this but to actually much in the sub-circle's organization, then you'd hope the rep link or lead link from that sub-circle would object...

- Brian

Gerald Mitterer

John, following your judgement of multi-level-circle, which sounds reasonable although I came across several instances where the option of re-structuring sub-circles and moving roles into it was kind of abused by powerplayers, I have two questions:

1. did you grant this authority by amending the constitution or a governance proposal?

2. if the lead link of the sub-circle has a major tension with that and rep link takes tension back to super-circle - can he jump circles as well if it refers to the changes made by multi-level up circles or does he need to take the longer path? wondering how you mapped this two-way road...

Stephan Jenner

I think the important thing to remember is glass frog is a tool and not the constitution it supports some of the functionality required and allows for some great support in changing membrane boundaries but in the end the constitution is the set of rules and any redraw using glass frog is just a proposal that needs to go through IDM which is the true tenant if the rep link or leadlink object then process it change the proposal and then allow the circle to define its work.