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

Satellite offices - new circle, or new roles within existing circles?

We're a small company (10 people) opening a satellite office abroad, which will quickly increase our size by 50% or more. Right now our entire org exists within one circle, and has done so fairly successfully so far. We're wanting to make sure the structure is appropriate for the new office, but I'm unsure whether to create the new office (which is a production hub for our creative design agency) as a new circle, or to try to expand circles by discipline and enfold the people in the new office into discipline-specific circles.

Does  that make sense? any guidance?


4 Replies
Bernard Marie Chiquet

Hey [@mention:491073019777409299] Just try one that makes sense to begin with and let reality show you the path - as you know you just have to follow the tensions. And may be a new circle is just not needed.

If I were you, I would ask myself first: What's the new work that's going to be done in this satellite office? Is there different roles or just one multi-filled or ...



Thanks [@mention:449833773917801859]... we're in a general state of trying to decide if/when to add circles vs. keeping things simple as they are now, understanding that adding new circles will necessitate the addition of new lead links/rep links/facilitators/secretaries, etc.   Trying to avoid the creation of multiple circles (by discipline) at once.

Any guidance on how and when to do that? ( recognizing it's a big topic).


Jean-Michel Gode

Hi BD513,

Just keep things simple as they are now. Capture your actual organization through GlassFrog, and then process surfacing tensions through Governance meetings. Then let's the structure evolve toward the requisite one.

Hope that helps.

Bernard Marie Chiquet

Yes [@mention:491073019777409299] I agree with you, creating a new circle has a cost. Your worst enemy when it comes to design structure in Holacracy is your *mind*. I like to look at circles as cohesive organs of the body of the org. with their own value chain and rate. My advice would be: 1/ Follow the tension (always) and 2/ if you've different options, try to get the one with the more cohesion and  the lowest coupling within the holarchy.