Holaspirit is designed to help organizations become agile with self-managed collaborative teams, whether they are using their own customized methods or sticking with popular management systems.
Holaspirit is fully customizable and works perfectly for organizations using Holacracy. Here are some of the ways Holaspirit helps companies operate within Holacracy principles and how the platform can help make this journey easier and more effective.
What is Holacracy?
Holacracy is a new way of structuring and running your organization that replaces the conventional management hierarchy. Instead of operating top-down, power is distributed throughout the organization – giving individuals and teams freedom while staying aligned to the organization’s purpose. Holacracy is described in a set of rules, the Holacracy Constitution.
Holacracy, the book, by Brian J. Robertson
Holaspirit + Holacracy Key Principles
While there are many different features within Holaspirit, not every single one is only from the holacratic framework. Some parts of the software are not specific to Holaspirit or Holacracy (such as Projects and OKRs), we won't mention them here. Instead, we'll just point out the things that may be unknown to you.
The first concepts you need to be familiar with are circles and roles, distributed authority.
Principle 1: Role instead of job description
With Holacracy, the hierarchical structure disappears and you end up with a formal structure that is fully focused on getting the job done.
Job descriptions and corporate titles become dynamic roles and responsibilities that are transparent and evolve as the organization changes.
In Holaspirit, people can hold multiple roles. Accountabilities can change… and new Roles can emerge from shifting Accountabilities. Roles can move between Circles and form sub-circles on their own. Just navigate in your Roles and find the most common features behind the 3 dots.
Principle 2: Circle structure
Holacracy structures the various roles in an organization in a system of self-organizing (but not self-directed) circles. These are teams of roles. When a function becomes too complex it might need more than a role to accomplish it. A circle then, team up different roles inside of it to accomplish such a function.
In Holaspirit, the chart allows you to view your organization as a "holarchy". It is the same hierarchy you've always known (a top-down structure), it just looks a little different.
Circles are organized hierarchically, and each circle is assigned a clear purpose and accountabilities by its broader circle. However, each circle has the authority to self-organize internally to best achieve its goals.
Circles are connected by two roles known as "Circle Lead" and "Circle Rep", which sit in the meetings of both their circle and the broader circle to ensure alignment with the broader organization's mission and strategy.
These roles are automatically created in Holaspirit and are called core roles. Find them in your Role Template library in your Administration settings.
You can read more about these "core roles" in this article, but below is the overly simplified version of how they are set up by default.
Facilitator: The person who runs the meetings to keep things on track
Circle Lead: This is the leader/manager of the team and the role filler who assign people to roles.
Circle Rep: A representative for the rest of the team who can speak on the team's behalf to circle's higher up the chain.
Secretary: The one who schedules meetings and takes notes during meetings.
Principle 3: Governance process
Each circle uses a defined governance process to create and regularly update its own roles and policies. Holacracy specifies a structured process known as "integrative decision making" for proposing changes in governance and amending or objecting to proposals. This is not a consensus-based system, not even a consent-based system, but one that integrates relevant input from all parties and ensures that the proposed changes and objections to those changes are anchored in the roles' needs.
In Holaspirit, governance process includes two parts:
Governance Meetings: Governance Meetings are one of the two meeting processes prescribed by the Holacracy Constitution. The focus of this meeting is to modify the structure of the Circle. Specifically, in a Governance meeting you can:
Create, remove, or modify the Roles of the Circle
Create, remove, or modify the Policies of the Circle
Elect people to the elected core roles of the Circle (Facilitator, Secretary, and Rep Link)
Restructure a circle (move role out and in)
Governance proposals outside of meetings: If you do not want to wait for your circle's next governance meeting and wish to share a proposal directly, you can create an asynchronous proposal and submit to your fellow circle members.
Principle 4: Tension
A "tension" is the perception of a problem or an opportunity of improvement. It can be an issue with your job, a policy you think needs to be changed, lack of clarity on a process, changing the color of the webpage - anything at all. This module on Holaspirit lets you write down what your tensions are so you can get them treated by the organization.
You can discuss your tension in your circle meeting and get everyone's consent before moving to the next actions.
Principle 5: Operational process
Holacracy specifies processes for aligning teams according to operational needs, and requires that each member of a circle fulfill certain duties in order to work efficiently and effectively together. In contrast to the governance process, which is collective and integrative, each member filling a role has a lot of autonomy and authority to make decisions on how to best achieve his or her goals.
Holacracy specifies a tactical meeting process that every circle goes through usually on a weekly basis. This process includes different phases to report on relevant data, share updates on projects, and open discussions where any circle member can add to the agenda. Every circle can manage their Tactical Meetings on Holaspirit.
How to use Holaspirit according to Holacracy
Core Roles are set up but you can adapt it:
By default, you’ll be set up according to the Holacracy Constitution:
1. Circle Lead is the linking role between the parent circle and the circle itself. It’s the role assigner as well.
2. Circle Rep represents the circle in the parent circle.
3. Circle Rep, Facilitator and Secretary are elected roles.
If you wish to edit these settings, navigate to the Circle settings menu in Administration.
Activate the Consent Mode
By default you’ll be set up in Open Mode to save you some time in the design of your org chart in Holaspirit. Once it’s ready, you can switch to consent mode. Consent invites all core-circle members of the circle to participate in the decision-making process. Whenever a user wants to edit a role, they’ll be able to submit a governance proposal.
A proposal is validated by the group after each member has had the opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and raise one or more objections.
Activate the Holacracy Onboarding Program
If your organization is using Holacracy and new to the practice, you can activate the Holacracy Onboarding Program for practitioners.
Holaspirit has designed a hands-on onboarding program for Holacracy practitioners in collaboration with Holacracy experts! The onboarding program includes 3 months worth of weekly emails.
Create Linking Roles
In Holacracy (5.0), a circle has the ability to link and invite other roles into the circle. If this is part of your practice, use the Transversal Role feature of Holaspirit.
Holaspirit makes it easy to operate in Holacracy and easy to customize every little detail to fit your organization's exact needs.
Are there features you'd love to see implemented that aren't yet on our public roadmap? Please let us know at [email protected].