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

Doubt about a potential case of NVGO


In a Governance meeting, somebody proposed to add an accountability to an existing role.

Let's say the role is :  "HR", which have the purpose : "providing  the partners with stimulating administrative, legal and financial working conditions"

and the new accountability that was proposed : "imagining and designing marketing campaigns to sell the software we produce"

My question : can some member of the circle raise an objection "Non valid Governance Output", because it considers that the accountability is not aligned with the purpose of the role ? Would that be a sufficient argument to conclude it's non valid ? 

Or would it just be bad (but valid) governance ?

I wonder how I should react as Facilitator in front of this objection.

Thanks for your help !




5 Replies
Bernard Marie Chiquet

[@mention:476716727616148334] I love that one - this happens a lot in my experience with early adopters. And this is a tricky one. My interpretation (in your example) is that this is probably not a valid objection and one way I would react as a Facilitator is probably to time out and give some coaching to have the opportunity to explain that there is not such constraint of having purpose and accountabilities aligned. There could some case where it makes a lot of sense to add an accountability to a role even if such acc. is not aligned to the role's purpose, rather than creating a new role for instance, may be because this could be the best role to enact such ongoing activity. And I would give them a concrete example I would find from iGi's holarchy (I know there are some).


One might consider benefit of accountability being perhaps sole accountability in a new role within anchor circle, as apposed to needing to be "part of" an existing role. The reason why I say this is that it might be worthy to protect accountabilities naturally flowing from the purpose, for clarity in the organization.

The purpose for which the new accountability needs to be addressed, is probably something that can be identified (felt) by GCC, so that purpose can be written in the role. The purpose for the new accountability being identified here could be something previously underestimated/not understood by the company, and might be something worthy of much more focus. Having accountability set in this way perhaps allows clarity for additional resources to address this need, which might be more difficult to understand if it's buried in a role that doesn't identify the purpose or modification for the new accountability. Something to consider!


Jean-Michel Gode

Hi Vincent,

From my perspective, this proposal - as strange as that may sound - is not NVGO.

In fact, any governance proposal is deemed to be valid as long as it doesn't harm the circle or moves it backward...

Hope that helps,


It's not NVGO, but probably objection is in order.

LL might have a problem filling a role that requires this universal skillset.
If there's a Marketing role, that has a Purpose about campaigns — this might be a clarity problem.

Francesco Lomonaco

IMO, even if it is not an NVGO, it might be appropriate to raise an objection because harm is caused by reduced clarity or by the confusion that the non-alignment of purpose and accountability is creating.