Holacracy Thoughts from the Trenches: Stop Strangling your Roles

Written by James Elliott
on September 19, 2018

Early in practice, we get tied up in our accountabilities they can sometimes be seen as the limit of our work. It is important to remember that it is the purpose that is what drives our Roles. It is the purpose that provides our authority in the Role and allows us to take any action or project we deem necessary to attain that purpose. Our accountabilities are an obligation of the Role to other Roles in the circle. Accountabilities is what’s expected by our Role from different Roles, not the limits of the work to be performed. As we settle into the Role, it is essential to remember that we energise the Role best and the circle and organisation by striving to fulfill the purpose of the Role, not just performing the accountabilities.

As we mature in our filling the Role, we also need to remember that the purpose when we initially take on a Role is not the ultimate boundary. It is a placeholder put in place by the circle for what it believes is needed now from the Role. As you energise the Role, you need to re-evaluate its purpose, its fit in the organisation regularly. Where you see the purpose of limiting the Roles ability or opportunities to enhance your circle’s purpose, you should propose changes — allowing the Role to grow like we as humans continuously re-evaluate our reason for being here and adapt to our world.

20 %

only 20% of managers believe that their systems for managing commitments across silos, work well all or most of the time

Why Strategy Execution Unravels, HBR - 2015
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