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

Policy 'all functions and activities for this circle / for entire organization' option - where did it go?

Um - so - am I misremembering something? I believe that in Governance mode that a Policy proposal that occurred within the Anchor Circle allowed a proposer to identify if the proposal was:

1) For all functions and activities for this circle


2) For all functions and activities for this organization


6 Replies

Hi Keith, 

I checked with our GlassFrog team, and here's what I gather: to the best of their knowledge, there has never been a default domain for “All functions and activities for this organization” for the anchor circle. It has always used “All functions and activities for this circle”.  

Hope that helps!

Keith Jarvis

Kay - thanks for responding. I'm not saying it was a default - rather that it was an OPTION when proposing POLICY. Without such how would the anchor circle set policy for the whole organization vs just within its core circle members?

Dien Kwik

This thread brought up an old question of mine regarding how to set a policy that we want to limit just to apply to one circle and not the circles below it.

I have always assumed that "All functions within this circle" meant within that circle and all subcircles under it. Is this correct ?

Due to this, we have always specified in the policies themselves that the policies only apply to that circle and not the circles below it when we want to limit the policy only for that particular circle.

Are we doing it correctly ?

Karilen Mays

Keith: Maybe misremembering because circle=org in case of Anchor circle since the Anchor circle is the boundary of the entire org?

I've never heard of or seen an option other than All functions and activities within the circle... which in the case of anchor circle would mean the organization.

If you create policies at the anchor circle, they apply to the entire organization. 

If anyone has a specific case, it may be easier to comment further Dien.

Olivier Compagne

[@mention:454478741268114544] [@mention:450819477777465353] Yes Dien's interpretation is correct: at the Anchor Circle level, when a policy applies to the entire circle, it effectively applies to the entire organization unless specified otherwise in the policy itself. 

That is because the sub-circles are part of the circle, so all policies apply to them.

EDIT: ha, looks like Karilen beat me to it!

Jeff Kreh

I may not understand the issue well enough to offer this suggestion, but here goes . . . Policies should be thought of as universal in nature, meaning that when a particular issue requires special limiting action another mechanism is more appropriate. A policy is a pretty blunt instrument, whereas an accountability is a targeted scalpel. In this way, policies address general principles and accountabilities address specific practices. Again, I may be way off but this way of thinking helps me avoid the tendency of creating too many specialized rules that are then difficult to change later on. Also, if I understand correctly, role fillers can place policies on their roles for the purpose of informing others re. appropriate interactions in the role's domain. It strikes me that these types of role-specific limiting or granting "policies" are of a different class than circle-wide policies. If circle-wide policies concern themselves with ideas that apply equally to the entire circle (incl. all subs and subs of subs), then greater elegance and consideration could likely result.


My question is, do we see clearly how a sub-circle can challenge and remove/amend super-level policies that limit their ability to pursue purpose? For Likewise, our aim is that as long as the role fillers do not engage in behaviors that are immoral, illegal, unethical, imprudent, or come from a place of willful ignorance and inconsideration, then any action that seeks to pursue purpose should be encouraged...