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

Difference between anchor circle and general circle ?

Is there a difference or is it just the same circle?

I understood that the Anchor circle is the first circle (established by CEO or company owners), and this circle is concerned with strategy and the overall purpose of the company, and the roles are filled by the "establishers". But that means that it is a circle within the general circle, unless you fill the anchor circle with many other roles, and make the anchor circle the general circle (in Glassfrog).

If the anchor circle is the same as the general circle, this means that this circle will contain many roles. For practical reasons not all these roles can (or should) participate in the governance meeting, how is this solved?


4 Replies
Juliane Martina Röll

I am not sure I fully get your question, Jürgen.

The "Anchor" Circle is a Circle defined by the Holacracy Constitution: It is the "first", the "highest" Circle.

A "General" Circle is not defined by the Holacracy Constitution. However, many Holacracy-powered companies have a "General Company Circle" (GCC) as a Subcircle to the Anchor Circle. (HolacracyOne does this, see here. At Structure & Process, we used to do this, but got rid of it, see here.)

If you find that your Anchor Circle is crowded up with too many roles, creating a "Company" (or "Operations", or "GCC", whatever works in your context)-Subcircle might be a good first step.

Does this help? 


Dear Anna,

Thanks for your reply.

I understand from you answert that the Anchor Circle is created by the current leaders (CEO of business partners). And all other circles are created in it. The anchor circle automatically controls all Domains that the Organization itself controls (according to the constitution). I have a problem with this last one, because this shoud mean that only one or two persons control all domains, unless other roles are added to the Anchor circle.

A first solution is to add all other roles to the anchor circle, but then you have the problem of an overcrowded governance meeting with roles that don't belong there.

A second solution is to make a subcircle: "the general company circle" or an "operations circle" where you put all these other roles (like bookkeeper, office management, etc.) and add certain roles to the Anchor cirlcle to have a kind of "Board"

In our company today we have 2 business owners, and a kind of "governance comité" with 4 other people. Would it be possible to give these 4 people a role in the Anchor circle to help control all domains?





Hi Jürgen,

the moment you define roles/circles with purpose and accountabilities in your circle (also in anchor circle) you implicitly give access to the domains (like inherited) of your circle, as long not otherwise governed by explicit domains (of roles/circles) and policies.

hope it answer your question 

Jeff Kreh

Also, the RepLinks coming into the anchor circle help to expand its human membership, which may address (or raise) your tension.