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

Cross Link Accountabilities (Language Nuance?)

The first two accountabilities of the Rep/Cross Link role seem to be very similar, so I'm wondering what the nuance of the difference is.

  • Removing constraints within the broader Organization that limit the Sub-Circle
  • Seeking to understand Tensions conveyed by Sub-Circle Circle Members, and discerning those appropriate to process in the Super-Circle


This came up because one of our circles is considering creating such a role, and one of the members felt "Removing constraints" was vague. I think it reads as less intuitive for a rep link when broader org is the target entity and the sub-circle is the linked entity. Thoughts?

Also, does it make sense to make any modifications to these accountabilities for a cross link versus a rep link?

P.S. Loving this forum. Excited to give back once I have more experience/understanding to contribute with. Very thankful for how responsive everyone is.

3 Replies
Jean-Michel Gode
01/14/2016

Hi Fred,

Cross LInk is a very specific role to use carefully.

What is the original tension? May be could you adress it with another solution than the Cross Link role...

Fred Magovern
01/14/2016

We have a "Customer Communicator Role" in the Customer Comms Circle that has a purpose to deepen relationships with our customers. 3,000 of our customers were not included in our monthly emails due to an issue with an accountability that lives within the Marketing Circle. In addition, some of the decisions of the Marketing Circle, significantly impact the work of the Comms Circle. Both the impact & frequency of the tensions arising in Customer Comms that seem like they can only be processed in Marketing seems to suggest that a Cross Link role is warranted. This is true for at least one other pair of circles as well. Thoughts? Definitely appreciate the feedback - we're new to all this.

Brian K Haney
01/15/2016

This Novice Practitioner's thoughts:

Why is it that Customer Comms is not a sub-circle of the Marketing Circle? Customer communication is an integral part of marketing.

Assuming that the Marketing and Customer Comms circles have a common super-circle, I would expect the best solution would be to have that super-circle move the Customer Comms circle into the Market Circle. Then the Customer Comms Circle lead link and rep link would be accountable to carry the tensions between the two circles.

Short of that, it sounds like each of the rep links of the two circles could, in the super-circle's governance process, ask for accountabilities to help improve coordination. (I leave it to you to define the specifics of those accountabilities.)

A cross-link rep might still be called for, but that increases overhead be creating a new role that much shuttle between two circles.

Finally, a new accountability could be defined on a role in one circle to coordinate a particular category of issues with the (lead link of the) other circle. (Since, short of creating a cross-link rep, the other circle is opaque from the outside, forcing all incoming requests to the to other circle onto the shoulders of the other circle's lead link by default. The the lead link of the other circle may redirect such requests to another role in that other circle. That redirect overhead is probably the kind of overhead that a cross-link rep is intended to avoid.)

Just my two pence.