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

Unwanted role

Dear Holacracy Practitioners.

We have a role: "the post office"

It is all about sending and receiving invoices and other important papers in our company.

There was a problem with this role long before Holacracy.

Years ago there was an "administration department", but at some point of time, it was dissolved, and the function of administration was divided between many people.

One of the function was the post. No one wants to do this. It is time consuming, pretty boring but very important. Usually the youngest member of team got this work to do.


Now we are in Holacracy.

What we did in past is, we have split it in 3 roles:

- sending the post

- receiving paper post

- receiving electronic post


It worked for a while. Now one of the role fillers would like to give away the role.


No one want to accept it.

What can we do?


I know, that as in Constitution the role is filled by Lead Link, but this is not a solution. I understand it as temporary measure, but how can we solve it for future.

Can we make the policy that "in some cases some partner have to accept a role?"

Do you have the problem like that in you practice?


4 Replies
Bernard Marie Chiquet

Interesting! As you mentioned, nothing to do with Holacracy here... just a business issue to deal with. How could you fulfill such activity knowing that there'nt many candidates for such job.

Within iGi (our org.), we have 2 or 3 roles like that and all Partners take turns filling such roles - we've a Partner Agreement on that one.


When it comes to the work that "nobody wants to do" I think of Simon Sinek's formula: "start with why"

Seems pretty clear to me there is a very strong WHY here - if this role doesn't exist, then invoices don't get sent, then we don't get paid, then the company doesn't exist! 

When that's articulated clearly, is it still true that nobody wants to do this? Or are people open to seeing this role as boring but very necessary - and wiling to do it on rotation as [@mention:449833773917801859] suggests?


Some other options that come to mind:

1. Is it possible to outsource any of this work? 

2. Can the 'post office' role be broken down into smaller packets that make it easier for people to take on?

Konrad Olesiewicz

Hi Mikołaj,

That's a great case. At some point I also dealt with a problem like that thought it was not Holacracy. What was done:

- rotating the role

- tying benefits with the task (role) (home office hours, cinema tickets mainly tokens of gratitude that someone did that to make the role more attractive - but it can be a slippery slope and depends highly on the culture will it be more "fun" relief type of thing or more "transcational" demand rising move)

I'm curious how how you will manage it. Please do let us know what works out




Thank you for all answers. There was some magic there... Right away after I have sent this post I got the idea, and offered this role with limited timeframe i.e.:"Who would like to fill this role for next 2 months?" - and soon I had 2 volounteers.

It looks that the real "Why?" for them to not take it, was that everyone was affraid to "stuck" in the role, or they didn't wanted to be the bad one, who took the role and then gave it away (causing problem for the others...)

Anyway thank you!