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

Meeting Attendance - Voluntary?

I've heard people suggest that Tactical and Governance meetings are "optional", or "volunteer". But, neither of those words, literally or conceptually, exist in the constitution. Nor could I find any specific reference to the contrary. It seems that, if we don't have an explicit expectation, it could be implied, and indeed, interpreted by some, that they don't ever have to participate in Holacracy meetings. Thoughts?

3 Replies
Tom Mulder
03/03/2017

Dear Suzanne,

In the Constitution article 3.2.2. you find the conceptual text for this. Also 4.2.2. gives a reference for this from Tactical.

There is no explicit rule that says you have to attend but in article 1.2.1 there is the responsibility to sense, process and resolve tensions. If you want to resolve those tensions then Governance or Tactical are most of the time the place where to address this .

Jean-Michel Gode
03/03/2017

Hi Suzanne,

From my perspective, article 4.1.3-b of the Holacracy Constitution gives a strong reference: "Requested Meetings Over Execution: On request of a fellow Circle Member, you must prioritize attending any Circle meeting required by this Constitution over executing your own Next-Actions. However, you may still decline the request if you already have plans scheduled over the meeting time, or if the request was for an ongoing series"

As Tac and Gov meetings are required by the Constitution and requested by a fellow Circle Member - the Secretary, every Core Circle Member is due to attend these meetings (excepted exclusion for Minor Allocation).

Hope that helps,
Jean-Michel

Olivier Compagne
03/04/2017

[@mention:491213757319414485] Tom and Jean-Michel have explained it already, but I thought it'd be useful to consolidate their responses in a single post for future reference. So here:

The constitution (article 4.2.2) specifically says that Core Circle members are invited to meetings (implying they're not required to attend)

4.2.2 Attendance

All Core Circle Members and anyone else normally invited to participate in the Circle’s Governance Meetings are also invited to participate in its Tactical Meetings, unless a Policy says otherwise. There is no advance notice or quorum required for a Tactical Meeting, unless a Policy says otherwise.

Additionally, more generally unless the constitution or governance of the circle specifically "requires" something, then it's not required. A "requirement" is a constraint, and by default in Holacracy, something is allowed unless it's explicitly constrained

But if you want someone (or everyone) to attend a meeting, you can simply request it from them and they have to prioritize attending, as Jean-Michel quoted from article 4.1.3-b

4.1.3 Duty of Prioritization

You have a duty to prioritize where to focus your attention and resources in alignment with the following constraints: ...

(b) Requested Meetings Over Execution: On request of a fellow Circle Member, you must prioritize attending any Circle meeting required by this Constitution over executing your own Next-Actions. However, you may still decline the request if you already have plans scheduled over the meeting time, or if the request was for an ongoing series or pattern of meetings rather than a specific meeting instance. ...



For example, at HolacracyOne, Brian Robertson is the GCC Lead Link. It's not uncommon for him to request from all GCC circle members that we prioritize attending the GCC Tactical meetings.