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

Delegation of domains across several layers of the holarchy

Hey [@mention:455886150941203371],

thanks for your article on Understanding Domains — helpful as always.

I have some questions regarding the delegation of domains across several layers of the holarchy. As you have outlined in the last paragraph of the article, a circle can only further delegate a domain to a role within its circle which has been previously granted the right to control by the super-circle. In other words: you cannot give away control over what you haven’t been given before (unless you are the GCC).

This makes sense to me since two parallel sub-sub-circles may want to define the same domain without having been granted the right to do so from above. This would lead to confusion over who 'really' controls it ("Hey, we claimed it first!")

1) I checked the constitution but couldn’t any reference to a “law of inherited domains” or something like that. Is this really undefined in the constitution or am I just missing it? 

2) If I, as a facilitator of a super-circle, should find in the Governance records that two of 'my' sub-circles have defined domains that my circle hasn't granted them exclusive access previously - is that a case of invalid governance that needs to be stricken out (e.g. both the Marketing circle and the IT circle secured "the company's homepage")? Or are these domain definition just something that everybody outside of these two sub-circles can happily ignore since it only regulates access on the sub-circle level (e.g. within Marketing or within IT)? 

3) What would be the appropriate pathway for a sub-circle that wants to secure company-wide exclusive control over a domain? Would it try to obtain the domain allocation via Rep Link from the next higher level recursively, until it reaches GCC which legitimizes the delegation downward from there?

4) Does anyone else sense a tension that the constitution could be clearer and more explicit on this?

Thanks, 

Dennis

P.S.: Others are invited to jump in with answers, too. 

5 Replies
Chris Cowan
04/24/2018

Hey Dennis! 

1) I checked the constitution but couldn’t any reference to a “law of inherited domains” or something like that. Is this really undefined in the constitution or am I just missing it? 

Hmmm...well, some of it may be extrapolation/simplification of what is written. Though, there is this part at the bottom of 2.1.3, "In any case, all Domain delegations are always limited to whatever authority the Circle itself had in the first place."

2) If I, as a facilitator of a super-circle, should find in the Governance records that two of 'my' sub-circles have defined domains that my circle hasn't granted them exclusive access previously - is that a case of invalid governance that needs to be stricken out (e.g. both the Marketing circle and the IT circle secured "the company's homepage")? Or are these domain definition just something that everybody outside of these two sub-circles can happily ignore since it only regulates access on the sub-circle level (e.g. within Marketing or within IT)? 

If they haven't been given to either sub-circle from the super-circle, then it's invalid governance. I would lean on 3.2 which defines how governance can be changed (i.e. no objections, etc.) because essentially it's as if a role (Marketing, or IT) changed the governance of the circle without following due process. Like if a child suddenly declared that they controlled the family car. 

Now, if a role within the sub-circle, say Marketing Maven inside the Marketing circle, could propose the domain "the company's homepage," and that would be "legal, but ignorable." Like if a child declared that their teddy bear controlled the family car. Then, Barbie, GI Joe, and the other toys in the child sub-circle would have to check with Teddy, but everyone else in the family could happily ignore it.  

3) What would be the appropriate pathway for a sub-circle that wants to secure company-wide exclusive control over a domain? Would it try to obtain the domain allocation via Rep Link from the next higher level recursively, until it reaches GCC which legitimizes the delegation downward from there?

Yes, I think so. I mean, I have a sense that the role which seeks control should be able to go straight to the GCC to propose that, but I don't think I can find a justification for that in the current rules. Maybe that will change in v5. So, yes, for now, I would say do what you describe. And if there are like, 3 or more layers, then that's a pain, but a necessary one to make sure there are no objections.  

 

4) Does anyone else sense a tension that the constitution could be clearer and more explicit on this?

It's an interesting question, because I sense the need for more explanation, but not sure of the appropriate level of detail to provide in the constitution itself. I often think of how practitioners of different religions rely upon a history of commentary on their primary religious texts. Or, how in chess, you have the official rules, but the really interesting things are all of the strategies...the openings, the set-ups, counters, etc. So, for me, I'm focusing on building up the commentary and letting the rules handle the basics. With that said, there is a sliding scale and I think the constitution v5 will make some of these things easier to get. 

Dennis Wittrock
04/24/2018

Hi Chris, thanks for your reply. Once again you found useful metaphors and examples to drive home your point.

Fritz von Allmen
04/25/2018

[@mention:457856795977603624] the part with Car control => child => Teddy => GI Joe is the best storyline i've seen so far to explain how domains work

IMHO, the constitution should be improved here => make it more clear

The reason why I think it's not clear is simple: there are always a lot of questions and answers come in metaphors. If it would be clear and easy to understand, there would not be as many questions... I would appreciate clarification

 

Koen Veltman
04/28/2018

Awesome response @Chris Cowan!

 

re 2 - I am a fan of the “GI Joe” route above the “article 3.2” route. As a starting point I would use that what happens in a circle stays in a circle (from the outside I would consider its governance a black box and none of my interest). In your methaphor language: My two kids are definitely ok with having their own domains in their own circle. Any interference I do from the “family GCC” is definitely not found useful. And if I am part of their circle I just play along. So your metaphor definitely holds true!

 

re 3 - one alternative: go straight to the role that cares (maybe the Lead link of the “global marketing circle”? Or the GCC LL?) And ask them to propose it and then work downwards. Might be less painful than working upwards a couple of layers. But if you find that the role actually doesn’t care about it the rep link ascend is definitely the way to go. 

 

Greetings from family holiday!

koen

Dennis Wittrock
05/02/2018

Hi Koen,

Koen Veltman posted:

re 3 - one alternative: go straight to the role that cares (maybe the Lead link of the “global marketing circle”? Or the GCC LL?) And ask them to propose it and then work downwards. Might be less painful than working upwards a couple of layers. But if you find that the role actually doesn’t care about it the rep link ascend is definitely the way to go. 

yes, makes sense. Thanks for the (potential) shortcut. 

cheers, 

Dennis