16. Review: 10 Things You Already Know

This page is part of the Holacracy Habits series.

Congratulations! Compliments! Felicitations!

You've made it through several habits so far. How is it going? What is working well? What isn't?

The point of this program is to experiment. To encourage you to try some new things. To get out of your comfort zone at least occasionally.

You'll get out of this what you put into it. So, keep what works for you and drop what doesn't. You don't need to be perfect.

As you continue to focus on the habit, “be a Ferrari,” let's take a moment to review the key points so far.

1. Tensions are a gap between the current reality and a potential you sense. Even if no one else agrees. A “low fuel” light doesn't wait for other warning lights to agree with it. You are the low fuel light for your organization. The issues and opportunities you sense have tremendous value. Your voice needs to be heard.

2. Unless a decision isn’t easily reversible, it’s safe enough to try. Tensions are sensed through individuals' direct experience rather than predictions about the future. It makes sense to prevent tensions when they are hard to process, but having pathways means we spend time responding to reality rather than fighting the phantoms of our imagination.

3. There are 5 basic pathways for processing a tension during Tacticals. If a tactical item ever feels stuck, just come back to these pathways. Which one of these do you need?

• Request a Next Action

• Request a Project

• Request Information or Help

• Share Information

• Try to Set a New Expectation (this often shows up in Tacticals, but these need to be processed in Governance meetings)

4. Day-to-day it should be obvious which roles make certain decisions. If it's not clear, check your governance here in GlassFrog. Governance isn't aspirational. It should include the full range of current agreements, expectations, and authorities. If the governance isn't clear? Record a tension for a Governance meeting.

5. Record tensions when you feel them. The trick to recording a tension for governance is to write it down the moment you become aware of it. Send yourself an email, scribble it in your calendar, or use the “Inbox” function in GlassFrog.

6. In Governance meetings, always err on the side of bringing an agenda item. Anything can be a starting proposal (the process acts like a “sausage grinder”). What if the proposal isn’t a valid output? (e.g. “My proposal is... I'd like to be in the Marketing role.”) Others will help you out by raising an objection. Then, you can fix it together in integration. Having objections and integration doesn’t mean something went wrong—that’s how the process is intended to work.

7. You can always ask for discussion during the Present Proposal section. As a unique sensor for your circle, you are responsible for proposing solutions to your own tensions. That said, you can always ask for discussion if you have no idea what would solve your tension. Word of warning: Don't get into the habit of using discussion to prevent objections. Instead, go with whatever would resolve your tension, but encourage others to object (e.g. “This solves my tension, but if others have an issue, please raise an objection”).

8. Notice and clarify references to “we”. Remember, “we” isn’t good at doing things. “We” often indicates an unclear authority. The clarifying question to ask is, “Which role makes that decision?” If it’s not clear, bring it up in a Governance meeting.

9. Beware the diffusion of responsibility. If no single individual feels personally responsible then stuff falls through the cracks. Trust the governance records in GlassFrog to provide explicit responsibilities. If a role is accountable, don't bring it to the whole group. Go straight to the role and trust them to gather any information they need.

10. Be a Ferrari. Drive fast and don’t worry about creating tensions for others. Trust them. If they feel tension, they'll process it. Of course, this doesn't mean be a jerk or make rash decisions. Distinguish for yourself when you're seeking input so that you can make a decision and when you're needlessly seeking consensus.

11. You have the power to constrain other roles. If other “Ferraris” are driving recklessly and impacting your work, propose some speed limits. Domains. Policies. Accountabilities. Anything is a step forward. So, don't just suck it up. Propose something in Governance and trust your team to raise objections.

Remember that the goal of this program is NOT to learn about Holacracy. It's to get so good at practicing it, you’ll rarely think about it.