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

How to deal with demoralize partner when an accountability is transfered out of his role?

Consider the following scenario:

In our tech circle, there is internal tech role, whose accountability is developing and maintaining order tools, And then, there is another role, store tech role, whose accountability is developing and maintaining tools for store daily operations. One of the store operation is to create orders. Previously, store tools will send order data to internal tools, but then recently this integration was experiencing issues causing missing order among other things. Both parther filling those roles discuss and come up with solution to move the accountability of maintaining order tools to store tech role. This proposal is then brought to governance as propoosal. The partner filling internal tech role although agreed to the proposal, but feel unhappy because he has been working on this tool for the previous 6 months. And what make it worse, the tool might not be used by other role, as the store tech role will create new feature on his own tools instead of using the one created by internal tech role.

I am not sure that there is anything wrong with the process, but it results in one of the team member become less happy. Is it something that can be avoided? Or is there anything that as holacracy campaigner in the company, I can suggest to ease the transfer?

4 Replies
Fajar Firdaus

Additional info:
The discussion to come up with the solution took a lot of long and on going meeting. 

Olivier Compagne

[@mention:456308404149183518] Sorry I had a hard time picture the process you described, so I'm not commenting on that. But a couple thoughts:

If the person is less happy because they don't like the role as much after the change, then it sounds like a personal role-fit issue and s/he might consider getting out of the role?  Or if it's just because s/he was working on a specific tool s/he liked a lot, s/he could propose to continue working on this specific tool out of interest, until it's done?

Regarding the long discussion to come up with a solution: it sounds like the two role fillers discussed a proposal outside of a governance meeting, and came to the governance meeting with their solution already agreed upon. When it happens, the governance meeting is likely to feel like an unnecessary and bureaucratic formal process... since the decision was already made! Instead, consider encouraging people to bring their proposals to the meeting without discussing them ahead of time, and using the gov meeting process to sort out any objections. It should cut down on the meeting time quite a bit, and it will make people more engaged in the process.

Fajar Firdaus

[@mention:449411339497350002], thank you for responding to my thread.

The reason those two roles were discussing before going into governance, because they expect that the changes will have dramatic effect operationally. This turn out to be true, since the changes involve two software supporting running business, so they are trying to minimize disruption while the changes happen. 

Regarding the happiness of the person filling the role, he was unhappy because he has been working on a tools that will be discarded after the changes.

Olivier Compagne

[@mention:456308404149183518] There are good reasons for people to discuss a possible governance change before proposing it, so I'm not saying it's not a good idea in your particular case. There are also risks involved, especially if the people are unexperienced Holacracy practitioners.

For example, if the situation at hand is particularly complex and impacts a lot of stakeholders, then it might make sense for the person collecting input from them before proposing a change in governance. This will allow him to start with a better proposal to address his tension. 

On the other hand, if the discussion is focused on trying to "convince" others or getting buy-in from the group to ensure that they don't object during the governance meeting, for example, then it's probably undermining your Holacracy practice. 

There is a fine line between these two stances that experienced practitioners may be able to navigate, but if they are novices, my general advice would be to just bring it to the governance meeting — especially if you can have a good Holacracy coach who will help during the meeting.

Regarding the happiness of the person filling the role, I don't know the specifics but sometimes it's just necessary to face the reality that what is best for the organization might not be our favorite course of action... I would probably offer some support to that person, acknowledging his feelings (it's not fun to feel like we "wasted" time on something), helping him understand that this change of direction is not a disapproval of his contribution as a worker, and that his talents really valuable working on something else.