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

What's your process for Role Allocation?

Hello Holacracy Practitioners

In our organization currently, the Lead Link assigns people to roles without any defined criteria. 

The tension is it feels like the old Management Hierarchy where the Manager decides who does what by allocating it.

I'm looking to evolve our process of Role Allocation.

I'd like to start out with something simple that gives a voice to the person to accept the role, and some kind of process / criteria when assigning or removing a person from a role.

I'm looking for inspiration from other practitioners on what processes you're using to (re)allocate people to roles. 

thanks,

6 Replies
Philippe Pinault
01/13/2018

Hi Mohammed.

You will find some inspiration there: http://reinventingorganization...ition_and_Allocation (Read Formal Role Allocation heading).

Bernard Marie Chiquet
01/13/2018

Hey [@mention:526540758988153729] 

Mohammed Ali Vakil posted:

 

I'd like to start out with something simple that gives a voice to the person to accept the role, and some kind of process / criteria when assigning or removing a person from a role.

 

You have already got such threshold as any Partner being assigned unilaterally by a LL has the authority to resign from the role at any time per section 2.4.3. So in practice, a LL would normally be inclined to ask any potential role filler if he would accept it before assigning him. 

For many roles, in our company, we use a simplified election process on slack.

We also do an annual shuffle process where everyone "loose" temporarily all of their roles and have to make a pitch for being reassigned to those roles they are willing to keep.

And there is a lot more to share re such subject...

Brian Robertson
01/13/2018

Hi Ali - To echo Bernard Marie's point, they already need to accept the role assignment, unless they've agreed otherwise (e.g. in an employment contract).  But I'd like to add another caution here: it sounds like you're motivated to design something here based on principle, so that it feels less like a management hierarchy.  That's often a trap; the goal of Holacracy is not to make things feel less like a management hierarchy or remove management hierarchy dynamics - it's to enable a company to more effectively organize around a purpose.  Is the role assignment process you use now getting in the way of expressing that purpose somehow?  Do you have a concrete example of how that happened, in a specific case (or many cases)?  Or is it just that it feels like the old approach and you want to evolve it from principle?  If it's the latter, I'd say resist the urge.  If it's the former and you do have a concrete example of where the current approach actually got in the way of getting the work done (not just "it felt like the old way"), then go looking for a solution to that specific tension; know what you're trying to solve for, so you can assess potential approaches against the real tension.

Good luck!

Bernard Marie Chiquet
01/13/2018

Thanks [@mention:449693036223847456] - Your comment is very useful and at the same time, I find that very often, ex-CEOs adopting Holacracy sense tensions re the fact people still look at them for approval and, then may decide to "burn some bridges" for reducing the old hierarchical power dynamics and mental models, and easing the new "from roles" power structure. All of that in order to allow a better expression of the Org. purpose through Holacracy tension processing practice.

 

Mohammed Ali Vakil
01/14/2018

Thank you [@mention:449833773917801859], [@mention:457716058472171489] & [@mention:449693036223847456] this was very useful for me. 

I especially liked how these questions are framed:

Brian Robertson posted:

Is the role assignment process you use now getting in the way of expressing that purpose somehow?  Do you have a concrete example of how that happened, in a specific case (or many cases)?  Or is it just that it feels like the old approach and you want to evolve it from principle? 

I'm going to think about this one.  

I'm also curious to know what is H1's process for role allocation?

Brian Robertson
01/15/2018

We use the constitutional default for most roles, plus this policy.  However, a small handful of our roles have a different role assignment rule just for that role, such as this one.