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

"Global" Policies


Has anyone of you experiences with policies that are based on external prerequisites (e.g. external audits, quality certifications, kind of „behavioral guidelines“ etc.) and need to be valid for the entire organisation? Anyone ideas on good governance for that without harming circle boundaries too much? Apart from breaking it into Acc for subcircles...

Happy to hear if anyone of you came across a similar question and if so, how you tackled it.

Thanks for a brief hint,

4 Replies
Adam Banko

Hi Gerald,


I'm also interested in this question. Here are some "global" policies from H1's glassfrog:

Policy: Advances for Membership Requirements

Policy: Password Requirements

And others in H1 GCC policies.


The underlying questions for me is about the meaning of Policies.


"You may also define “Policies” for your Domains, which are either grants of authority that allow others to control or cause a material impact within a Domain, or limits on how others may do so when otherwise authorized." -- Constitution 1.4


Do they only regulate access to specific Domains?

Are they also a general dump for any other rule and guideline? Like "Only the designated Advocate for an employee shall have the authority to specify and raise the salary granted to the employee [...]" is an algorithmic way of defining domains. (from Manager Mimicry App)


Can work hours, dress code, language use, behavior inside and outside the company all be regulated with policies or is there a limit?


I have an issue at my company that people's initial idea to solve a tension is to create a new policy even if an Accountability, a Domain, or sometimes even a Project or Action would solve their tension. Maybe Policy is the gravitational pull for all Governance as it is the most flexible Governance tool available to solve tensions.

Mieke Byerley


Maybe this resource will help clarify it a little. http://wiki.holacracy.org/index.php?title=Policy


One thing to remember is that a Policy enacted on say the Anchor Circle would by necessity apply to the General Company Circle as the GCC, in the scope of the Anchor Circle, is one of it's roles (so that circle as a member role would have to abide by that policy). This would mean that the Policy would be defined on both the Anchor Circle, the GCC and inherited by any Sub-Circle there in by default (this is in some ways the reason to carefully consider the Organisations Anatomy/Structure). So essentially Policies have a cascading nature by default, you would need to stipulate specifically within the Policy Scope if it were to apply to the relevant Circle Only.

Gerald Mitterer

Hi guys,

thanks for your thoughts, very helpful. I guess the best way forward I figured out is twofold: there are aspects of global policies that are more general expectations and seem to fit better in a membership agreement (or labour contract). 

Apart from that I like the way of having a Domain on GCC level: "All Company property & ordinary business affairs" which allows to limit or grant authority via policies as shown in H1 examples above.


Hi Gerald,

I think you do not need a Domain like this, as it is already stated in the constitution Art 2.1.1:

"Further, each Circle may control its own functions and activities, as if a Domain of the Circle, for the purpose of defining Policies that limit the Circle’s Roles"

In my opinion this enables the GCC to create policies affecting all the activities of all Roles within the company.