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Filtering by Category: OrgBuilders News

Bullfrog: attention points in GlassFrog

Pieter Wijkstra

If you practice self-organization, you'll recognize that allocating time across responsibilities can be challenging. Whether for your roles or other roles in the circle, having guidelines on how much time to spend on ongoing duties can help divide time and set priorities. This blog introduces a solution to organize this as well as a software tool to support it. 

Little over a year ago we supported The Mobile Company, an Amsterdam based developer of mobile apps, in implementing Holacracy. They are picking up speed, a testimony of which is an in-house developed app that connects to GlassFrog. One of the tensions TMC wanted to process is the allocation of resources. We shared the concept of 'Attention Points' which allows Lead Links to allocate attention points to roles, acting as a guideline on how much 'effort' Partners should spend on each role. See below example (part of OB governance) of such a policy.

The TMC tool connects to the Glassfrog API to download all People, Circles, and Roles. A web interface allows logged in users to administer and review Attention Points per RoleFiller and Sub-Circle. As GlassFrog does not foresee in this functionality, and manual administration is cumbersome, this tool is the perfect solution. The tool is available from GitHub where installation instructions are also listed.

OrganizationBuilders Attention Points policy

This policy defines a new type of currency for the organization, called "Attention Points" (or AP's for short). Attention Points will ultimately get allocated to a role, to "fund" the role with partner attention. A role allocated 100 Attention Points indicates the ideal attention for that role equals one full-focus partner in total; 200 AP's means the ideal attention is that of two full-focus partners, while 50 means the ideal is half of a full-focus partner's attention. 1 point is equivalent to roughly 1-2 hours per month.

No partner may dedicate more focus to a role on a sustained, ongoing basis than is called for by the allocated Attention Points and is requested to signal the difference to the circle's Lead Link. 

Only the Lead Link of the circle adopting this policy may create new Attention Points, and once created they become a resource of the circle, similar to a cash budget. The partner or role that owns/controls Attention Points may allocate them to a role to fund desired attention within the role or may transfer them to another partner or role to so allocate. Once allocated to a role/circle, Attention Points may be unallocated and reallocated by whatever role/partner allocated them in the first place.

Holacracy Forum: Koen's takeaways

Koen Veltman


Amsterdam was the scene of the first ever Holacracy forum. A 100+ Holacracy pioneers from across the globe joining for a 3 days to exchange expertise and share their organization passions. And at the same time celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Holacracy. OrganizationBuilders founder Koen Veltman reflects on his main takeaways:

The diversity of Organizations applying Holacracy is incredible

This three-day event really strengthened the sense of community between Holacracy practitioners. Most of us have been exchanging ideas and messages online or haven’t seen each other since the first training.

Expertise is emerging AND there is so much more to experiment with

To just name a couple of examples: we had presentations on different compensation models, on onboarding new employees, on how to align resource allocation supported by great technology integrations and on links with well-known approaches like GTD.

At the same time this still feels like we are only at the start of all the possibilities there are to tailor solutions on top of the Holacracy operating system. We recognize we are all still pioneering and experimenting with developing the supportive “system” for a full self-organized organizational ecosystem. Sometimes this task feels a bit daunting, but most of the time its excited to tension-by-tension evolve our understanding of self-organization.

Implementation is my personal passion

Holacracy is a well defined model. Of course its just version 4.1 and 5.0 is already in the making. What attracts me the most is the approaches to make the transition from a traditional to a self-organized system. So many different organizations are on this path. And each organization taking a different approach to implementation. From the first meetings to how you anchor your formal processes into Holacracy as well and beyond.

David Allen: Getting Things Done in Amsterdam

Pieter Wijkstra

On Monday we attended a presentation by David Allen at the Municipality of Amsterdam, for a group of 80 employees from the engineering division. David introduced the five key elements behind his Getting-Things-Done framework:

  • Capture everything that has your attention
  • Clarify what this means and whether it is actionable
  • Organize all items to where they belong
  • Reflect on what you are doing/have to do on a frequent basis
  • Engage trust the above leads you to the right things to right now - and do them!
David introducing Getting Things Done

David introducing Getting Things Done

David is an extremely engaging speaker

David is an extremely engaging speaker

Hearing David reflect on his own framework was great: he is inspring, brings many examples and with a few quotes broadens your understanding, even if you're an active practitioner. A few examples:

Organizing is about meaning matching location: you need to decide on a place for the spices and then you need to put them there. If they are not, you're distracted and if they are you know things are right because if feels right:

"In my kitchen, spices are organized when they are where spices go."

In David's experience, reflecting is one of the most important aspects of Getting-Things-Done. Keep doing it on a regular basis in particular is essential, people often choose for weekly intervals but this is subjective:

 "Review as often as necessary to get it off your mind"

When David learnt the City of Amsterdam was experimenting with Holacracry, he offered to support 'his town' by introducing Getting-Things-Done: David and his wife moved to Amsterdam three years ago from Santa Barbara, California. They are very happy with their new home; David is even learning Dutch and he's recently launched a new Dutch edition of his book. We strongly suggest getting your hands on a copy! 

Copies of the new Dutch edition

Copies of the new Dutch edition

David Allen signing books.png

Celebrating our first anniversary

Pieter Wijkstra

In may 2016 OrganizationBuilders was founded by Koen Veltman, with the support organisations in making successful self-organisation journeys. Starting from scratch as a one-man company, we are now a collective of six.

We have welcomed the support from many diverse clients in the Netherlands and are proud that, over the course of one year, we have also had the opportunity to work with organisations in Switzerland, Denmark and the UK. We realize these organisations have taken a huge step by adopting self-organisation and are committed to supporting them for the foreseeable future.

In addition to our implementation services, we have setup regular taster workshops which offers an opportunity to experience self-organisation hands-on and discuss any issues or questions that arise. Our newsletter offers insights, interesting reads and event notifications to both practicing and orienting professionals. And this summer, we will host the first series of our in-depth Academy modules for practitioners. 

Our first anniversary is reason to celebrate but also to express our gratitude to all of those who made it possible: we hope this is the start to a self-organizing future for both of us: thank your for your confidence and support!

OrganizationBuilders partners.png

Holacracy supports growth at Web1on1

Pieter Wijkstra

Over the last months of 2016 we've supported Web1on1 implement Holacracy. Web1on1 is a fast growing web development company based in Amsterdam. Web1on1 develops technology that allows website owners to discuss with website visitors right inside the browser.

The company is undergoing a strong growth in customers which also implies its employee base is growing. To ensure their organizational structure remains on par with the ever evolving reality, they turned to Holacracry. After a full Holacracy implementation supported by OrganizationBuilders they are now confident their organisational structure is ready for the future.

Find the case of Web1on1's Holacracy journey here