The building blocks of holacracy’s organizational structure are roles. Holacracy distinguishes between roles and the people who “energize” them in order to express certain capacities or potentials, perform certain functions, and/or pursue certain results on behalf of the organization.
A role is not a job description, as one individual can hold multiple roles at any given time.
Holacracy structures the various roles in an organization in a system of self-organizing circles. Each circle has the authority to create, execute, and measure its own processes in achieving its aims. Circles conduct their own governance meetings, elect members to fill roles, and take responsibility for carrying out work within their domain of authority.
Circles are connected by roles known as links, which sit in multiple circles and ensure alignment with the broader organization’s mission and strategy.
Each circle uses a defined governance process to create its own roles and policies. Holacracy specifies a structured process known as integrative decision making for proposing changes in governance and amending or objecting to proposals.
This is not a consensus-based system but one that integrates relevant input from all parties.
Holacracy specifies processes for aligning teams around operational needs, and requires that each member of a circle fulfill certain duties in order to work efficiently and effectively together.