Holacracy + Holaspirit

How to work with Holaspirit according to Holacracy principles

Karolina Krawczyk avatar
Written by Karolina Krawczyk
Updated over a week ago

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.

Jump ahead to:

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 and is a registered trademark owned by HolacracyOne LLC.

Useful resources

Holaspirit + Holacracy Key Principles

Holaspirit offers many different features, however not every single one is only tailored to the holacratic framework. Some parts of the platform are not specific to Holaspirit or Holacracy (such as Projects and OKRs), and 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, as 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.

On 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.

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, teams up different roles within itself to accomplish such a function.

On Holaspirit, the organizational 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 conduct their own governance meetings, assign members to fill roles, and take responsibility for carrying out work within their domain of authority.

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.

On 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 app on Holaspirit lets you write down what your tensions are so you can get them processed and resolved.

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.

Circle members can capture Projects and next Actions in the corresponding app.

How to use Holaspirit according to Holacracy

Set up your core roles

By default, your organization's core roles will be set up according to the Holacracy Constitution.

  • Circle Lead is the linking role between the parent circle and the circle itself. It’s also the role in charge of assignation as well.

  • Circle Rep represents the circle in the parent circle.

  • Circle Rep, Facilitator and Secretary are elected roles.

If you wish to edit these settings, navigate to the Circle settings 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 your decision making settings to consent mode. Consent invites all core-circle members of the circle to participate in the decision-making process.

Whenever a user wants to make changes to the governance of the organization, 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 App

The Holacracy App is designed for the Holacracy framework, and tailored to fit your needs as a Holacracy-powered organization - including reinforcing the new habits needed for success!

The app offers all the settings you need to apply the rules, structure and processes of the Holacracy framework and make sure the settings are consistent across your workspace. It also makes the adoption and understanding of Holacracy easier by providing tips and definitions directly on the platform, in real time.

Create Transversal 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 available ? Feel free to let our Customer Care team through the online support chat!

Did this answer your question?