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

When does a circle gets too large?

Our circle currently has 15 members in total, and in tactical meeting, our project update session takes more than half of the scheduled time slot. However , there is no tension from the member aside as we still managed to finish all agenda items.

During, governance, there is not many tension added as agenda, so the circle is quite stable right now. We change the schedule from weekly to biweekly and now monthly.

However, reading another post in this forum, it hinted that circle often optimally sized at 5 to 8 person. So I am asking for help , is there any tension that I should have been feeling by now? Or can we keep on doing what we are doing with the current circle size?

4 Replies
Bernard Marie Chiquet

[@mention:456308404149183518] I would recommend to wait for tension to surface. There are no rule here, everything is fair until it's not, i.e. a tension sensed by someone surfaces - then just follow the tension. I know some circles even bigger than 15 members, like 25 or even more... and they work quite well... 

Tom Mulder

Hallo Fajar, I echo what Bernard is saying. On the Project update you might want to do some coaching. Not all Projects need to be on the list. It is only Projects that people feel that need to be shared with others or when a Partner has requested updates (see art. 4.2.2.(d)).

So ask the people to check if the Project really needs to be on the list or that it is just a small or personal Project that is not interesting for everybody.

Hope this addittion helps.

Cheers, Tom

Fajar Firdaus

Thank you [@mention:449833773917801859]. I agree with you, but I am afraid that our sensor missed the tension, so do you have any example of tension that have resulted to breaking circle into several? For example, instead of creating functional role, we create project/client based circle? 

Also thank you [@mention:523162737680436711], what if we already understand and have shared the important projects only, but they still took a very long time during tactical. Can I use it as tension " project updates too long"?

Tom Mulder

Fajar, it is your tension so yes you can process that. I presume that everybody follows the rule only to share progress made since last report (art. 4.2.3.(d).