Habit Support: How to record tensions for governance in Holacracy

Sneak Peek #2: Holacracy Habit Support

Most people are surprised to learn that there are no rules in the Constitution about what you can bring up in a governance meeting.

There are, however, some rules about what can come out of the process.

Think of the process like a sausage grinder. Put in whatever you want — the process grinds it all up and gives you something useful on the other side.

You don’t even need a proposal to get the ball rolling. You just need a tension. You can ask for discussion to help you come up with a starting proposal, if you need it.

But if the only valid outputs of a governance meeting are changes to roles, policies, or domains, then what happens when a proposal has nothing to do with changing the governance?

If this happens, anyone can raise an objection during the objection round. If a valid objection is raised, the proposal moves into integration and it gets fixed collaboratively.

It’s easy to think objections are indications that a proposal is bad, incomplete, or don’t belong in governance meeting. Instead, think of objections as “requests for integration.” Use them. Trust others to use them. They are the most direct way to figure out what changes are absolutely needed.

It’s much faster to put your idea out there and encourage objections than to try to predict all possible issues others may have with your idea. (Pro tip: You could even say during Amend & Clarify, “The proposal works for me, but I encourage others to raise objections if needed.”)

Don’t let perfectionism or concerns about creating harm get in the way of practicing your habit, record tensions for governance. The burden is not on the proposer to make a “good” proposal because if the proposal causes any harm, then others will raise objections and you’ll fix it. Together.

With practice, you’ll find out that you don’t need to practice Holacracy perfectly to effect meaningful change.