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

Time as a domain

Intuitively, I'm almost certain that a partner's time cannot be considered a domain to be held by a lead link. It seems counter to Holacracy principals to have to ask permission from a lead link to recruit one of their circle members for another role in another circle. But can someone help me find support for this assumption in the constitution? Thanks. 

10 Replies
Chip Halsey
05/17/2016

I'm new to Holacracy and just took the Practitioner course but not the certification test.  I believe you can talk to whoever you want whenever you want.  The Lead Link of the circle you want them to join would need to extend the offer and they can decide to join on their own and accept a Role provided there are no Policies that prevent it.  The Lead Link of each circle they belong to can set priorities on the accountabilities for a Role in that circle but cannot set priorities for a Role in other circles (i.e. priorities are set for a Role not a person).  If the person (in their Roles) is not meeting the accountabilities of any given circle then the members of those circles can raise tensions in a tactical meeting.  I don't believe any single Role can set priorities for a person (or that person's multiple Roles) across multiple circles that they belong to but it should not be an issue as long as they are fulfilling their accountabilities for each role in each circle.  (I'm not 100% sure so we'll see what other say.)

Dennis Ross
05/17/2016

Ideally, a team member should be able to fill roles based on the alignment of role to their talent (i.e. what they can contribute to the organization).  

This becomes an issue if a role requires a certain amount of energy (i.e. time) from a role-filler to meet the needs of the organization, then there may be a need to enact a policy to limit the role-filler from spreading their time (aka resource) too thin across the organization. 

We have a policy in place that defines what constitutes a core role (think time and energy) and limits the number of core roles a team member can hold in the organization.  This is an important distinction (for us anyway) because the core roles are linked to budget and must, therefore, be monitored/controlled by the circle Lead Links who are responsible for resource allocation.

 

Carrie
05/18/2016

I feel like it's counter to holacracy to ask permission from other lead links to recruit someone to fill a role. However, I have no valid objection unless I can find something in the constitution. Right? 

Chip Halsey
05/18/2016

There is nothing in the constitution that requires you "to ask permission from other lead links to recruit someone to fill a role."  

Holacracy favors taking action that will benefit the organization. 

You should talk to a holacracy advocate in your organization and review the policies created in the Halocracy circles.

 

 

Carrie
05/18/2016

Unfortunately, I am the Holacracy advocate in my organization- haha. While nothing in the constitution suggests this is appropriate (to the contrary), I why it connot be passed as an Anchor Circle policy or procedure. We are new to Holacracy so you can clearly see this as a grasp for old managers to keep control of their 'resources' (people).

Dennis Ross
05/18/2016

Carrie,

In my example, we instituted a Policy at the GCC to restrict team members in certain cases from filling more than x-number of roles.  The Policy was enacted based on a tension created around resource allocation and certain team members ability to fully energize their primary (core roles).

The important thing to consider, from my perspective, is that in our case, the Governance was tension-driven.  

If the old managers are restricting circle assignment - which would require Governance - based solely on their desire to control  people (i.e not based in a Tension), then the Policy which would be required to restrict such assignments would not stand testing outlined in Para. 3.2.3.

Hope this helps.

 

Karilen Mays
05/20/2016

Carrie, I suggest incremental reframes or changes to the policies. You intuitively know this is reinforcing the prior paradigm. While this may be the case, I don't see anything necessarily invalid in constraining/restricting Lead Links from assigning people to a role until/unless something else happens. Asking permission may be too fuzzy; do all have to give permission? Do they agree? Do they approve, etc... 

Alternative idea: Perhaps create a manager or time manager or people steward or some role to enact this function (since Lead Link is not typically an operational role), and assign it with the best fit, even if that is simply all the lead links. Have the policy require no objections from everyone in that role before you add someone to a new circle. 

Finally, if you ever interpret that you have invalid governance, asking secretary to strike it is one approach, and also talking about it and or then just proposing something a little better is my preferred way. It can help start to reflect on these ways of thinking to have it defined in governance, even if it mirrors the old hierarchy.

Hope this helps and you will keep us posted on your progress!

Kevin
05/21/2016

To echo something Karilen said and expand slightly:  I think it's far better to have a policy that you think is questionable -- and perhaps designed only for your period of transition -- than to have a tacit understanding that people will/should ask permission but fail to codify that understanding in governance.  In my experience, codification of old policies was a necessary step toward changing them to something that more closely fits the Holacratic paradigm because it gets them out in the open, providing a shared understanding of the current situation and the change.

Karilen Mays
05/21/2016

This is a really good point Kevin; I remember something you all had that was kind of like a "sunset" clause that said when certain old policies would expire to help push those conversations along.

Documenting roles and policies based on exactly where you are as a starting point is really good coaching! Couldn't agree more with you here.

jan
06/01/2016

@Carrie, you could argue as well, that it's not in the accountabilities of the direct Lead Link of that role to decide about the resources that are spent to energize that role. 

One of the Lead Link's accountabilities is: "Allocating the Circle’s resources".

In my opinion that means "Allocating/Distributing the Circle’s given resources", where the #FTEs might be one of these resources. But that Lead Link cannot decide about the "quantity" of the given resources, i.e. he cannot influence the #FTEs that is allocated to his Circle.

So, whatever process is in place to define a Circle's resources, that process needs to be followed in order to determine if it's OK to reduce the #FTE for that circle. Or maybe find a third way, so that the respective circle can still fulfil its accountabilities while still being able to reduce the time your colleague spends on that specific role.