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

How to quickly process governance tensions

Hi All,

Do you employ any strategies that help you more quickly process asynchronous tensions? I am running into a situation where there are a lot of asyncs/tensions, and finding meeting time to process them all is difficult.

I've heard some accelerating async acceptance time and using slack as a tool. Not sure exactly how that would work, though.

-Rob

10 Replies
Margaux
03/05/2016

Hi Rob,

 

There is a functionality in GlassFrog (if you are Premium not free) that allows you to draft governance proposal and either bring them to a meeting or sent to all the core circle members. Once they receive it, they can select “No Objection” or “Escalate to meeting”.

Moreover, if you define a clear policy on top of what the constitution says about governance outside of governance meetings, you can configure your circle to accept all the out of governance proposals if nobody has clicked “Escalate to meeting” within a certain time (we've put 5 days).

Here is the video explaining how to do that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQCBpwC4HWg

rob thorpe
03/05/2016
Thanks. I am aware of what you wrote, and the details around asynchronous
proposals (we do use them, with a 5 day period).

I'm looking for other ways / strategies to make this more efficient. One
I've heard is to use a slack channel to pitch an async before proposing to
garner feedback, and then submitting the proposal afterwards for a shorter
acceptance.
Margaux
03/06/2016

I understand, personally, I'd rather do a special governance meeting very quickly because otherwise it seems like you are seeking everyone's inputs, integrating it in a consensus to get your proposal adopted.

Though you might find it useful to discuss with some people because drafting your proposal.

rob thorpe
03/07/2016

In theory I agree with you about a special governance. However some circles I am in would benefit from something along the lines of below:

In Holacracy training in December, Sam Spurlin mentioned a 'flash governance' approach using slack. I may pilot this for a sub-circle. There is an admin feature in Glassfrog to tweak the acceptance time of Asynchronous right? What is the most minimum time?

Flash Governance using Slack:

  • Create a slack channel comprising of core circle members
  • Members submit proposals to the channel using @channel to notify all 
  • Upon proposal there is a 24 hour window to follow the IDM process (clarifying questions, reactions, amend & clarify, integrating objections) all in the channel
  • Anyone can request to escalate it to a meeting (just how the asynchronous proposal process works)
Margaux
03/07/2016

I think that's breaking the Holacracy constitution. You can't amend the governance process...

rob thorpe
03/07/2016

I disagree. It's not amending the governance process, it's just using another channel to execute it. In the plan I outlined we still are using the asynchronous process through Glassfrog, just expediting and giving the room for feedback through slack. Still uses the IDM process. 

In 3.2.1 of constitution it says 'A core circle member may distribute a proposal to all other core circle members asynchronously, outside of a governance meeting, using ANY written communication channel approved for this purpose by the circe's secretary."

I'm interpreting this as it is the secretary's call to introduce this method, and also their duty to ensure that in executing it, nothing is unconstitutional.

I think it's important to explore more methods to enact governance to fit your organization. In our case, we need something that allows asynchronous proposals to be put through with some more discussion and context, rather than putting it in a 'black box' of the Glassfrog asynchronous proposal process. We cannot always schedule special governance to meet our regular needs.

Karilen Mays
03/08/2016

Couple of brief thoughts Rob (aside from the slack idea, will respond later to that too):

I would suggest sticking with the discipline of simply bringing up proposals as the fastest way forward to more efficiency along with stuff like using asynchronous proposals, and not necessarily "pitching" proposals ahead of time per se... though if the proposal is very complex and you want to give people a heads up, I see nothing wrong with that.

Or if you want feedback, there are no rules against sharing a proposal in advance for feedback, or asking some questions to a colleague, etc. I think it could role model (no pun intended) something that could look like or create a pull to consensus, and even ignoring governance records and formal authorities, depending on how you do it...

Also, hold proposal crafting sessions in pairs or groups, and do more governance meetings so that people are comfortable with the process.

In HolacracyOne, I would estimate that the majority of our proposals are done via asynchronous proposals in GlassFrog, and since they aren't typically urgent tensions, any that are escalated or are usually just brought to the next meeting. Some are simple, and some are more complex. We have a lot of experience crafting proposals and with the process, so I think that this more efficient expression of Governance comes later, after getting comfortable using the concepts and practice first.

rob thorpe
03/08/2016

I agree with all points, and we in general are practicing in that way. My original intention was to discuss ways to make the async process work better in itself, perhaps by leveraging a tool like Slack. This is more of an experiment that likely a smaller sub-circle would use, not a means to replace any existing hola-operations.

Susan Basterfield
06/23/2016

Has anyone tried using www.loomio.org - it's really well suited!

Alexey Ilyichev
06/27/2016
rob thorpe posted:

I agree with all points, and we in general are practicing in that way. My original intention was to discuss ways to make the async process work better in itself, perhaps by leveraging a tool like Slack. This is more of an experiment that likely a smaller sub-circle would use, not a means to replace any existing hola-operations.

We have a policy in our circle saying that whenever somebody posts an async proposal to slack with channel notification, everyone should object within 72 hours, otherwise the proposal is accepted. It was used a few times during last few months. Works great for small and easy proposals. The problem is we actually have to wait for these 72 hours, because usually there's somebody who doesn't react to the proposal in any way.