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

Why are only Core Circle Members eligible for elections?

Why are only Core Circle Members eligible for elections?

I have been asked this question quite a few times. The simple answer is: because its in the constitution. That answer feels totally unsatisfying though since it doesn't explain anything.

So i can only assume the reasoning behind that rule. What I usually answer: because you don't want to bloat the circle with more people than needed. The Facilitator/Secretary/Replink would have to join the two Holacracy meetings (the Replink even the one of the upper circle) even though they don't have anything to do in the circle.

This answer works best for the Replink, since it has to be aware of the circle's work. But for the Facilitator and the Secretary people usually see a benefit in having an external, more experienced persons filling the roles (usually the ones holding that role ad interim for the first governance). Though, they are not allowed to elect them.

Is there some reasoning behind this rule that I'm missing?

2 Replies
Serge Beaumont

Fundametally it's a team thing. You can not have somebody contributing to the team who does not feel the responsibility of helping the team achieve its goals. You can also look at this in reverse: whomever feels that ownership and responsibility is a core team member.

A team breaks down if it has team members who can decide or block things of the team without it having any problems for themselves. For example, this is what in IT is called the "ivory tower architect" problem. Someone who can block or force a team's solutions without any repercussions to themselves, and this invariably leads to unworkable, bloated and unpractical solutions.

So I'd turn this around. You can elect somebody from outside the circle in one of the circle's roles, but then by definition they become part of the core team.

Eric Babinet

There are specific rules in the constitution about who is a Core Circle Member (see here) and unless someone is a Core Circle Member s/he can't fill an elected role.

That being said, per 2.3.4 the Lead Link can appoint anyone as a Core Circle Member.