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

How to join a circle?

Hi, I'm quite new to Holacracy and am wondering what is the best way to join a circle.

My understanding is that I have to contact the Lead Link of the circle and "apply"? Theoretically, could I join any circle I want or there are some limitations? Is that "normal" that I need to put some effort to apply to a circle?

Also, does the Lead Link act as a filter to avoid too many people in a circle? But maybe it could harm the company to prevent people from joining circles they want to join. To me it could discourage people from experimenting new roles (it's not my case but let's imagine) and so freeze people and decrease knowledge sharing.

Interested by your feedback about it, thanks 

2 Replies

>To me it could discourage people from experimenting new roles

If there's no domain, you can just go ahead and do pretty much anything! (You can do anything in service of your roles, and as individual action you can do anything in service of the organisation provided it creates fewer tensions than it solves).

Role allocation is the domain that the LL has by default. You can request to impact that domain, and the LL can technically  refuse only if they have a valid objection (like "I don't believe you can process the tensions in this role effectively"). 

As ever, I think of governance records as doing two things: (1) keeping an accurate enough model of what's happening in the business (2) framing the conversations that need to happen. So if you are effectively doing a role, it probably helps the LL (and the whole organisation) for you to be allocated to that role - then the model is made more accurate. If the LL doesn't want to add you, sounds like a tension and conversion that needs to happen is being set up!


Hi Leo,

You can find in the Holacracy constitution the rules bu default, at section 2.3 which is about "Core Circle Members". http://www.holacracy.org/constitution 

There you have what are the conditions to be Core Member of a Circle (i.e. a person invited to the meetings of the circle)

If what you want is to energize roles in the circle, by defaut indeed you have to apply to the LL (or the LL can contact you if it wants to assign you to a role in the circle). In that case, you're applying to a role, and being Core Member of the circle in which the role is embedded is just a consequence.

If you want to participate to one circle's meeting without being assigned to any role in it, but as Circle Member, you may ask to the LL which can decide a "special appointment" (2.3.4)

If you want to observe meetings of a circle, without being Core Member, as a kind of "visitor", i don't know specific rule, so maybe you could simply ask to the circle you want to visit. 

Or you might bring a tension where you think it would be appropriate to deal with if you feel you need an explicit policy about visits, circles disovery, or role assignment.

Hope that helps