holacracy meeting

What you can learn from this fantastic holacracy meeting

We did it!

We recorded the most effective meeting we’ve ever seen. On May 5th, we brought our camera’s and binoculars to Amsterdam and joined Springest for a little holacracy safari.

Whether you’re a fan of holacracy or not; there are 3 lessons you can learn from this meeting. Lessons which are of the greatest importance when you want to improve any of your meetings.

Watch the Springest holacracy meeting below. We filmed a so-called Tactical Meeting, which usually takes approximately 45 minutes. We’ve cut out 15 minutes for brevity and added some explanations here and there.

Lesson 1: Set the rules before the game starts

To have an effective meeting, it should be extremely clear by what rules the game is played. You may have good intentions, but if you don’t discuss the rules, nothing extraordinary will happen. No rules generally means more injuries.

At Springest, the rules are clear cut to the finest details. They use the holacracy meeting rules for every part of the meeting. For example, of the Facilitator’s sentences are even scripted: everything is clear before the meeting takes off.

There’s no time for chit chat (but it’s good to see there’s plenty of room for a laugh). Chatting and talking to your colleagues is for after the meeting only, at the coffee corner.

When someone doesn’t play by the rules, he or she will be addressed regarding that matter. Rules are rules, and everyone knows it, because the rules were made before the game started. That’s how it works.

Lesson 2: Reach your meeting goal by using the right tools

As far as we can confirm, Springest’s ultimate meeting goals are:

  • All meeting attendees know what’s happening in the company;
  • Triage any issues that arise;
  • Decide what is necessary to solve the issues to make Springest more successful.

It’s odd to see that, at a holacracy meeting like this, there is no agenda when the meeting starts. The agenda is composed during the meeting, based on tensions which are experienced by attendees. Each tension needs a next action to be solved.

Meeting without an agenda doesn’t mean that only random subjects are discussed.

Springest uses the tool Asana as the guiding tool for all subjects that are discussed. All projects in the company are visible and are commented on. Everything is focused on creating Next Actions (based on the book Getting Things Done by David Allen).

Every next action is added as a task in Asana immediately, and assigned to the attendee who has to execute it. (Check the movie at 4:28 to see how that happens)

Lesson 3: Evaluate the process

At the end of every meeting no one leaves before a quick evaluation and reflection is held to discuss the quality of the meeting. All attendees reflect on how they’ve experienced the meeting.

You’ll hear things like:

“I felt it was good, but I didn’t like the energy at the start. Maybe it was because of the camera’s, but it felt a bit dampened.”

“I feel the tension that I report and create a lot of status updates instead of changes. So, I have to be more conscious about that”

“What I do sometimes miss now – and I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing – is that we can’t really ask anything anymore, because we immediately need to make it a next action for Slack while sometimes I’d just like to quickly explain something.”

In short: reflecting and evaluating is the only way to keep your meeting at a high level. And to be complete: each evaluation needs a next action to adjust the rules of the (meeting) game when necessary.

These are the lessons we’ve learned. But more importantly: what did you get out of the video? Let us know in the comment section below!