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.
Here are some of the ways Holaspirit helps companies operate within Sociocracy principles and how the platform can help make this journey easier and more effective!
How to use Holaspirit with Sociocracy patterns and principles
Principle 1: Circles
With Sociocracy, an organization associates each of its functional or operational component with a circle. Each circle represents a human group that has the responsibility to execute, measure, and control its own processes in achieving its goals.
How to: In Holaspirit, your organization is displayed in a chart of nested and interdependent circles. This visual representation brings transparency to your team organization’s structure and purpose. It avoids duplicated work and unclear responsibilities with an easy-to-navigate, living, role-based org. charts
Principle 2: Consent
The consent principle is the way of decision-making in which the arguments for taking a decision are central, which is expressed by the fact that none of the members has a paramount and well-founded objection against that decision.
Consent is not consensus — it does not mean that everyone agrees. It means that nobody is aware of a risk that the organization cannot afford to take. The circle decides about policy and delegates the execution to the members. This means delegates clear domains with freedom to decide.
All policy decisions are made by consent. Although the circle may consent to use another decision-making method (see this article if you want to apply different decision making across the organization).
How to: There are two different decision-making modes in Holaspirit - they are called governance modes. Sociocratic organization can opt for consent mode from the Administration menu. With consent mode, circle's members can process their items during meeting. You can even create your own meeting agenda template). All circle's members will be notified when a meeting is open and will received a detailed meeting report in their inbox.
To speed up decision making and convert circle's members needs into clear execution, circle's members can process policy proposals outside of policy meeting.
When a new proposal is created, all circle members will get a chance to object or escalate the tension in the next meeting.
These functions ensure that everyone who should be involved in the decision has some say in what gets changed, while an "objection or no objection" method supports consent-based decision-making.
Principles 3: Double linking
A circle has a link with the next higher circle in such a way that at least two persons, the functional leader and at least one elected representative from the circle, belong to the next higher circle and participate in the higher circle on an equivalent basis.
While most companies have a linear top-down organizational structure, with managers providing links from one level of the organization to the one below, Sociocratic organizations use a second link bottom-up. The operational leader role provides guidance and prioritization top-down from the higher circle to one below it. The representative measures if the decisions in the next higher circle can be executed in the lower circle.
You first need to create role templates for the double linking roles. Make sure their accountabilities towards the circles are clearly expressed. From the circle settings in Administration, you will be able to define the roles as links between the circles of your organization.
Principle 4: Elections
In Sociocracy, circles elect people to functions, tasks and roles by consent and with transparency.
Roles, and Representatives specifically must be chosen by consent of the circle which they represent. This ensures that the organization is woven together by a web of consent, and that power flows in circles through the entire organization.
How to: There are two way to decide what roles need election in Holaspirit.
Election of core roles (such as Role leader, or Representative) must be managed in Administration.
There might be other roles that need election within a circle. For that Role leader or Admins can decide which roles are elected from the settings on the Circle page > 3 dots > Settings.
How to customize Holaspirit according to Sociocracy
Sociocracy has "process roles" and are so-called "core roles" in Holaspirit. These has predefined roles for each circle relies on Holacracy, but are easy to replace with the Sociocracy variants using Role Templates feature. Just follow these steps!
Change Circle Lead to Leader and replace its accountabilities with these two (or something similar):
- oversee operations of the Circle
- communicate the interests and decisions of the Circle’s broader Circle.
* If you'd like, you can also choose to make this an elected role, further promoting consent-based role elections.
Change Circle Rep to Representative and replace its accountabilities with these two (or something similar):
- attend the meetings of the broader circle
- communicate the interests and decisions of the Circle to the broader Circle.
Facilitator and Secretary are default roles in Holaspirit already, so you shouldn't need to change anything there to start or continue your journey with Sociocracy!
In Sociocracy, Operational and Policy meetings are generally held to create clarity for the work done by and in a circle. However, as Sociocracy is more generic than by example Holacracy, there are no defined meeting templates. But when leveraging Sociocracy to whatever makes sense for the organization to operate, it makes fully sense to use templates!
Meeting Templates in Holaspirit allows you to build your own meeting format according to your practice.
Any meeting falls into 3 phases, each with their own aim:
Opening. Making sure people & circle are ready for the meeting
Content: Creating more clarity for the circle’s work.
Closing: Evaluating the meeting to improve meetings over time.
And it's up to you to decide the content of your meetings! You can even pre-set personal meeting or feedback meeting.
How Holaspirit aligns with Sociocracy values
The principles also require transparency in the organization. Since decision-making is distributed throughout the organization, all members of the organization must have access to information. In Holaspirit, members of the organization have direct access to the information they need to make high quality decisions in their areas of responsibility and accountability. A clear organizational chart, defined roles and expectations, projects, metrics, and even meeting outcomes and circle's decision are transparent. This helps practitioners of Sociocracy start off on the right foot, having most things transparent by default rather than trying to figure out how to make that possible.
Alignment and effectiveness
All the organization's activities are aligned to its purpose on Holaspirit from circle's projects to OKRs. It becomes easier to stay aware of how well each initiative is performing and the net-effect of any goals the organization is pursuing.
As this information pours in, changes to the organization's governance can be made regularly and effectively. This makes it easy to keep track of what's working and what's not and evolve the organization to take what's successful and move beyond the rest.
Holaspirit makes it easy to operate within Sociocracy paradigms 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].