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

No lead links at all?

Hello there!

I am trying to implement holacracy in my company (that's me + 2 partners), but we already run a 100% horizontal management in a way it would be difficult to choose a lead link for the anchor circle.

For a 3-employee organization, that is planning to scale kinda fast from now, what would be the issues of running holacracy with no lead links in any circle? 

We have already defined all the roles, but I'm wondering if we'll have trouble in the future without any lead link...


So, I'm searching for some adapted version that can support this structure! Do you guys have any advice? Or this idea might be a bad one?

8 Replies
Tom Mulder
01/29/2018

Check Article 5.2.2:  Acting without a Lead Link in the Anchor Circle.

Tom Mulder
01/29/2018

If you want no Lead Link in any Circle then you need to have Roles or Policies in the Circles that take over the Accountabilities of the Lead Link (see Art. 2.2.3).

Chris Cowan
01/29/2018

Matheus, 

As you probably already know Section 5.2.2 of the constitution gives some guidance on this.

Here is one way to think about it. The Lead Link role is a bundled collection of authorities, as such, they can be broken apart and distributed however makes sense for your situation. 

I'll highlight the part of 5.2.2 that says, "all decisions that normally require Lead Link authority become valid outputs of the Circle’s Governance Process," because the only decisions which require Lead Link authority are:

  1. Allocating resources (discussion here
  2. Role-assignments (Lead Link domain) 
  3. Defining metrics (4.1.1d)
  4. Setting priorities and strategies (2.2.2)

Everything else can be done by anyone. However, the main thing to watch out for is a lack of clarity regarding who is responsible for what. With such a small team it might not be an issue. 

There are other things to watch for as well, but that's a quick answer!  

 

 

Matheus Ortiz
01/29/2018
Chris Cowan posted:

Matheus, 

As you probably already know Section 5.2.2 of the constitution gives some guidance on this.

Here is one way to think about it. The Lead Link role is a bundled collection of authorities, as such, they can be broken apart and distributed however makes sense for your situation. 

I'll highlight the part of 5.2.2 that says, "all decisions that normally require Lead Link authority become valid outputs of the Circle’s Governance Process," because the only decisions which require Lead Link authority are:

  1. Allocating resources (discussion here
  2. Role-assignments (Lead Link domain) 
  3. Defining metrics (4.1.1d)
  4. Setting priorities and strategies (2.2.2)

Everything else can be done by anyone. However, the main thing to watch out for is a lack of clarity regarding who is responsible for what. With such a small team it might not be an issue. 

There are other things to watch for as well, but that's a quick answer!  

 

 

 Thanks for the insights, Chris!

I get the point when you say we might miss clarity sometimes, as we plan to grow the team a bit fast. 

But the real challenges are probably in defining the strategy and priorities! Should I get a role just for that in each circle?

Does it make any sense to have a circle/role that just looks for the other circles and help them to set their priorities?

And what is the difference between allocating resources and role-assignment? The 2nd one it's kinda obvious, but not the 1st one!

And can I ask you to tell the other things we might watch for as well?

Matheus Ortiz
01/29/2018
Tom Mulder posted:

If you want no Lead Link in any Circle then you need to have Roles or Policies in the Circles that take over the Accountabilities of the Lead Link (see Art. 2.2.3).

Thanks, Tom!

About defining the overall strategy for the circle, does it make any sense to create a circle/role that just looks for the other circles and help them to set the strategy? 

How would you handle with it?

Tom Mulder
01/30/2018

[@mention:575944726524854281]. The Lead Link role takes the Strategy as defined in the Super Circle into the Sub-Circle. This way the overal Strategy as defined in the GCC or Anchor Circle is distributed into the Organization. If there are no Lead Links in any Circle then the Accountability needs to be transferred so the Sub-Circles still get the information on Strategy and the priorities that derivate from this.

How you want to set this up is your choice. If a Role like Strategy Guardian is created this Role will have an Accountability like: "Providing insight about the Company strategy". The Role in the Circle that has been given the Accountability for Establishing priorities then needs to take this information for priority setting. The transferred Accountability from the Lead Link role to this Role then can be something like: Establishing priorities and strategies for the Circle based on input from @Strategy Guardian.

Here a some links to HolacracyOne and their Strategy process:

 

Matheus Ortiz
02/11/2018

Great insight, Tom! Thanks!

But how about the anchor circle (general company) if I dont have any lead link there, how can I make sure I have a strategy decision making on it with 3 partners with the same power?

Tom Mulder
02/11/2018

Whatever process you feel comfortable and agree upon as a Policy for it. Can imagine a Policy where 2 out of 3 must agree or all three must agree or ..........

Do not know if you have focus area's for the 3 partners but than you can use IDM process. The focus holder makes a Strategy Proposal and then use IDM to come to validation of this strategy part.

Just some thoughts that you can use.