Our First Holacracy Governance Meeting

Today we had our first Holacracy governance meeting.  Prior to this meeting I spent about three months introducing Holacracy to my company in different meetings and communications, so I was excited to see everything actually come to fruition.  Last week I even held a pre-meeting with the initial three people who would be in this meeting so that they knew what to expect.  In that meeting I asked them all to bring two or three tensions to the first governance meeting so we would have some things to talk about.  I also set them up with accounts in the Glassfrog website and showed them how they could input their tensions.

For the first meeting, I invited Continue reading “Our First Holacracy Governance Meeting”

When is a Tension Too General?

I had a one on one with my VP of Finance today, and one of the items she needed help with was defining her tension for our governance meeting Wednesday.  It is our first formally facilitated meeting, and I asked her and the rest of my executive team to come to the meeting with 2-3 tensions to be processed.  The first tension she had was “procurement”.  I told her there’s never a tension that is “wrong”, and even if she didn’t know what to propose she can come to the meeting with it and as part of the process she could ask for input.  She understood that, but since this is our first governance meeting, she is nervous and wanted to be more prepared than that, so to put her mind at ease we decided to clarify it in our one on one. Continue reading “When is a Tension Too General?”

Holacracy Prep Meeting

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 Continue reading “Holacracy Prep Meeting”

Holacracy Training Report Day Five

Friday wasn’t a full day, which was good because it had been a long week and I was looking forward to wrapping up the training.  We started off the morning with a Constitution Review.  We again broke up into groups of four.  Each person was assigned a portion of the constitution to read and then report to the group any interesting things we found.  We all found some interesting information that reinforced some of the things we experienced this week. We all agreed that it made a whole lot more sense reading over it now than when we all read it before experiencing Holacracy.  Some of us also found information that would have helped resolve some of the issues we had in our meetings.  The constitution is short enough that a regular review of it can be done very easily.

We then reviewed some different ways that Holacracy can be implemented, but not much time was spent on that because most of the people in attendance had already implemented it.  Instead, Brian asked if anyone had specific questions or challenges they wanted to discuss.  He wrote all of them down, then consolidated the list and setup about 6 different tables and then the group got to pick which table they wanted to go sit at based on the topic discussed at that table.  I floated the topic of “Accountabilities and Consequences” which was accepted and I got about 8 people at my table to discuss it. Continue reading “Holacracy Training Report Day Five”

Holacracy Training Report Day Four

On Thursday we kicked the day off with training on the personal organization system “Getting Things Done”, or GTD.  This system was developed over many years by David Allen in his consulting and business coaching company. The system allowed business executives to be more productive, thereby getting more things done.  I read the book many years ago and have loosely used his system ever since.  It is legendary. Continue reading “Holacracy Training Report Day Four”

Holacracy Training Report Day Three

In the morning we focused on tactical meetings. We broke into our company groups and then took turns facilitating a tactical meeting. The Holacracy tactical meetings are a suggested best practice, but they are structured to move quickly to knock out everyone’s agenda items and will be something we will be adopting because it dovetails nicely into the overall system.

In the afternoon we focused on governance again and broke into new groups that were given new scenarios to work through in a governance meeting. We each took turns handling objections and integrating feedback. Since we didn’t do any pretend work in our make-believe companies, it was pretty much a whole day of back to back meetings. So the day didn’t fly by as quickly as the first two. I still learned a lot and got to test out a bunch of different scenarios to better understand how everything works.

Holacracy Training Report Day Two

Chances are you’ve been in a meeting where someone “made a motion” or “seconded” that motion, “called a meeting to order”, etc. That language and how it’s used in a meeting is from Robert’s Rules of Order. I was first introduced to that way back in grade school while in 4H and in student council.  Chances are that’s where you first learned about it, too.

Holacracy has a certain format to its meetings that follows the same thinking as Robert’s Rules. There is a certain structure and some particular language that is used when you are in a meeting. So today we dove into how to facilitate a governance meeting. In the morning Brian introduced us to the concepts, then we broke into our groups and had a work session. But the real learning for the day came in the afternoon when we had a meeting for the entire afternoon. Continue reading “Holacracy Training Report Day Two”

Holacracy Training Report Day One

This week I’m attending the Holacracy “Practitioner Certification Training” conducted by HolacracyOne in San Francisco.  It is a four and a half day class.  Each day I will write up a bit about what we covered, so welcome to my first post!

This morning I sat at a table with 6 other people, and one of those happened to be Mark Ward from ArcherPoint, which is an IT consulting company with 100 employees. They are a recent ESOP (24%) and Holacracy adopter. They also recently did a book study of GGOB and are considering adopting that. Also at my table is Leona, who is from Beijing. She works for Baidu, which is a Chinese company with 50,000 employees. They are in the process of adopting Holacracy.

Soon after the meeting kicked-off we went around the room and everyone got to introduce themselves. It seemed like we might be the smallest company here. It is a very diverse and international group to all be gathered together in one room. Here’s a sampling of who’s here: Continue reading “Holacracy Training Report Day One”

Mo’ Mobility, Mo’ Problems

Apple released the iPad 3 last month with much fanfare.  In the first weekend alone they sold 3 million of them, which is very impressive considering it took 28 days for the original iPad to reach just 1 million units sold.  As I’ve written previously, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been finding new and inventive ways to increase productivity by arming their employees with these modern marvels.  While businesses have been quick to uncover new capabilities with these devices, they have also been quick to uncover new problems.

Not only are these devices changing the requirements for wifi inside the office, but now outside of the office the new iPad 3 has the ability to gobble up bandwidth like never before.  While latched onto Verizon or AT&T’s 4G LTE network, a user can consume a whole month’s worth of bandwidth in just one hour by watching hi-definition video, or downloading a bunch of apps.  Speaking of apps, we are seeing a common scenario where a company allows users to use their personal iTunes accounts on their iPads.  Then using that same personal account they purchase apps for business use and get reimbursed for the purchase, or use a company credit-card for the purchase.  If that user ever leaves the company, those apps that the company paid for go with the user’s iTunes account – there is no way for the user to transfer those apps back to the company.

  Continue reading “Mo’ Mobility, Mo’ Problems”

Gatlinburg Out of Office 2012

This week I’m on vacation.  So I put together this fun little out of office message:

Hey Y’all!

I am out of the office this week, Monday March 26th to Friday March 30th. I will be back in the office Monday April 2nd.

This week is Spring Break for my kids. So I decided to take the family to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to do some hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:


If all goes well we won’t have any close encounters with the 1,500 bears that live in the park. In addition to some hiking, we’ll probably do some go-carting, horseback riding and Zorbing. Yes, I said Zorbing. You can only Zorb in New Zealand, Guam, and the Smoky Mountains. I’ve done both the wet and dry version, so believe me when I say that the wet version is MUCH better than the dry.

Continue reading “Gatlinburg Out of Office 2012”