Next week I have Intrust IT’s first official governance meeting scheduled, so today I had a prep meeting with my exec team, which consists of four people: me, plus one person from operations, one from finance and one from sales. We’ve been talking about Holacracy for a couple of months now in generalities, but now is when the rubber meets the road. I’m starting with just this initial group and will add a person or two every week or so as we expand our implementation.
I began the meeting by again reminding everyone of Robert’s Rules of Order and how that framework is used in many meetings to keep things moving, make sure everyone’s voice is heard, and to make sure time is used wisely. I explained how Holacracy’s governance meetings also have a similar, very formal framework that is there for a reason and that next week we will have an outside facilitator who will run the meeting and his job is to make sure that those rules are followed properly.
I handed out copies of the constitution and quick reference cards to everyone, but I told them not to read the constitution at this point because it would just seem confusing. It will be used more as a reference when questions come up. It’s like trying to learn how to play a card game by reading the rules first – it’s a heck of a lot easier to just watch a few hands, then ask some questions and play a hand or two where everyone shows their cards and explains what they are doing. Like a new card game, we will be doing something similar next week – the facilitator and I will ease my team into the governance meeting by explaining each step just like we would play a card game with our cards showing.
Then, using the quick reference cards, I walked them through each step of the meeting so they would know what to expect. We discussed each item and they had some questions I was able to answer, and I gave them some examples of what happened in the training I attended.
Finally, I logged into the Glassfrog app and set them each up with an account. At this point I just have the default General Company Circle and I’ve input a purpose for the company. That is all that is there. There are no roles, circles, or any other structure in place yet. I showed them how to create a tension in Glassfrog and instructed them each to create 2 to 3 tensions before our meeting next week. While they watched I entered a tension that I have and I also created a proposal for a new role. To get some ideas of what a proposal for a new role looks like, I showed them some of the roles, domains and accountabilities that HolacracyOne has in place within their company, because their whole structure is publicly available.
At the end of the meeting, Chad (who was initially skeptical about Holacracy) said “I think this is going to be a really fun and interesting process, because this past hour just FLEW by. I can’t wait until next week’s meeting!” I agree with him, and that’s an encouraging sign, for sure.