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

Rep link when there is no broader circle


We're trying Holacracy in one team that is a part of the broader organisation. So there is no broader circle, but there is broader organisation that influences how this team works. To me it makes sense to have a role like RepLink to protect this team's boundaries and to speak for this circle in the broader org. But as I understand, by constitution if there is no broader circle, there should also be no RepLink.

What do you think of that? Have anyone been into a similar situation? What did you do?

2 Replies

Hi Alexey,

We have the same situation with Danone (100'000 employees) where we have several pilots. The broadest circle of the pilot has no Rep Link because it doesn't make sense, you need a Rep Link only if you have a super-circle working with Holacracy where you can process tensions limiting the sub-circle.

However, it makes sense to have an interface with the group because from the larger organization perspective, there is still a hierarchy with managers so the Chief Executive Finance has a role that interface with the group and triage any tension from the outside “world” to the appropriate roles inside and same in the other way. It's the same case for any organization as the world isn't in Holacracy and people thinks there is still a CEO.

Hope that helps.


We've have the same challenge and took the same strategy that Margaux laid out and we've iterated on it a couple of times. We started by created a role with the purpose: "create a familiar structure to the outside world." Then created a Rep Link role in our second iteration. We ran like this for quite sometime but honestly these roles were more about how we internally reconciled the fact we were doing something different and not about real gaps in capturing work. Once we were more comfortable with things we removed these roles in favor of  undifferentiated work and roles that had more explicit accountabilities for real tangible work like the role "pencil whip" which had the purpose "fast processing of beauracracy"  with metrics and checklist items. This role signs paperwork and "approves" things in our enterprise resource planning systems per the hierarchy business processes that haven't changed.

In the end, there is a bunch of ways to handle this and I suspect it will evolve over time.