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

Domain Delegations, Circle Authority and Secretary Interpretations

Hello guys,

Reading "Delegation of Control" (section 2.1.3) from the Constitution, my interpretation is that all defined domains in a Circle (or in its Roles) must be delegated by the super-circle:

In any case, all Domain delegations are always limited to whatever authority the Circle itself had in the first place.

Let's say we have a circle called "Product" that is responsible for building and maintaining a software product. "Product" is also part of the GCC, which has another circle called "People". Then there is a Governance Meeting in "Product", and someone makes a proposal to create a Role that has a "Hiring Process" domain. 

There is an "implicit expectation" (not recorded in Governance yet) that the "People" circle is responsible for hiring, including defining its processes. I could raise an objection against this proposal, stating this is "outside of Circle authority". Just reviewing the holarchy, we have GCC and two sub-circles ("People" and "Product").

Then, I believe, it would be up to the Secretary to make a governance interpretation to verify if it is really out of authority or not. Am I right?

Anyway, what would be the "correct" interpretation? Can I state that we cannot add a Domain to a Role that is not defined in the Circle itself?

I know, that is complicated, and I can provide further explanations if necessary.

Thanks!

3 Replies
Karilen Mays
01/20/2016

My interpretation, and I don't claim it to be "the correct" one -- is that a circle can define a domain within it even if it has not been explicitly delegated/defined, but it would only be relevant internally to the circle, not to the entire organization.

I could see someone objecting based on outside of circle's authority to govern, though if there is no domain or policy, it is all implicitly up for grabs in my mind, so I wouldn't make the above argument.

If someone wants to object based on that during a governance meeting, I would just facilitate through to the integration step and see what comes of it. The person filling the role may want their rep link to propose a domain in the super circle to clearly define they control the property.

If you have a good facilitator, then someone could only ask Secretary to make a judgment call during a time out or in integration, unless it is the facilitator testing the objection right when the person raises it. 

If the facilitator thinks your objection sounds reasonable, then they don't have to ask secretary for an interpretation or test it; but they can. You may find in integration that you can't do the work you need to (of defining the circle domain, for example) in your circle meeting, and get the rep link involved for the next super circle meeting. 

Or perhaps you could resolve that objection some other way.

Brian Robertson
01/20/2016
Hi Davi - Yes, in a sense all domains must be delegated from the super-circle. But just by creating a sub-circle, the super-circle has already given it a domain over its own internal functions and activities, per §2.1.1. So, to answer the question in your example, I would not consider adding that “Hiring Processes” domain to be outside of that circle’s authority. That is governing and limiting a domain that’s been delegated to the whole circle: the domain of its own internal functions and activities. At the same time, per Karilen’s point, I don’t think that domain limits any role outside of that circle, because it is only governing the circle’s internal functions (roles)… If you want to limit the People sub-circle, you need to be controlling a domain that the GCC has explicitly granted to the Products circle, not just the default domain of the Product circle’s own internal functions.

Hope that helps!
- Brian


> On Jan 20, 2016, at 12:26 PM, HolacracyOne <alerts@hoop.la> wrote:
>
Davi Gabriel da Silva
01/22/2016

Nice It is much clearer now. Thank you for your answers!