The first circle to define really should be the main (anchor) circle of the company. But I have to admit, I did not have the authority to to start with the anchor circle. The core activity of our company is software development, and since we were managing it with agile methods it was in quite a good condition. But the supporting processes, like HR, finances, IT support, bizdev really needed more consciousness.
I knew that I couldn't have started setting up circles without clarifying the purpose statement of the company. We worked on the purpose, on values and principles, but we did not set up the General Company Circle. This caused hardships later on but that will be an other post. It seemed to be my only option then.
So firsty I worked on the supporting processes. Here are the steps:
I define Holacracy circles by making the following steps:
- Define its mission. How to is here…
- Define its roles or sub circles, and define their mission statement as well.
- Define the most important accountabilities.
- Define its most important policies.
- Hold elections for their roles
- Define strategies
- Define domains, scopes, whatever is left.
- Set up its tactical meeting table or tool.
Now let's see it in details!
After creating the mission sentence I call everybody who is expected to contribute for the circle to join a brainstorming and map all the roles, ideas, processes that are necessary to fulfill the circles mission.
Since we people are extremely different creatures some of us may focus naturally on abstract ideas while others on problems, roles or values. Anyhow you should be able to categorize all ideas into:
- roles (possible sub-circles)
- accountabilities, that can be bound to specific roles
- projects or next actions
Roles should have their mission sentences as well, to have a proper allignment, so the next step is to work out these. Also after defining the roles you should have an idea about who will fill them, so it is time to make elections.
At his point we have spent at least 1,5 to 4,5 hours in 1 to 3 meetings together depending on the number of the participants, the number of the roles to be defined and the efficiency of our commmmunication and the meeting facilitation.
To define a strategic focus I call for a retrospective meeting. This type of meeting helps clarifying the pros and the cons of the current operation and the efficiency in alligning with the former goals. You can read about my method and experiences here.
At this point we are possibly after our 3rd or 4th 90 minutes long meeting. We have a deeper understanding of ourselves (in the context of the organisation), our contribution to the company (the super-circle), our connections in the processes. So after working on the organisation now it is time to work in the organisation.
Setting up a tactical board or shaping an online tool for this is quite relieving for those who are practical and waited to get things done during the past meetings. At the end of the meeting you have all your key accountabilities, KPI-s, and all relevant projects and next action on the board or in the tool.
The setup process is over. You can govern yourselves and do your tactical meetings as written in the constitution.
Do you have a better way? Do you, did you do it differently? What are your steps? What problems did you face when trying this?