Teams and other Circles

Circles (a term from Sociocracy 3.0) are self-governing and semi-autonomous groups of equivalent people who collaborate to account for a Domain.

Each Circle organizes itself and has its own methodology and rhythms, usually following agile principles. Most of the teams follow a Kanban approach to project/task management (operational backlog) and some kind of governance backlog to track continuous improvement and changes on how they work. They adapt to the requirements of their domain they’re accountable for in real time and communicate in the team every day about the current events going on.

Circles at VSHN

  • Teams - The most natural group of people, you’re usually working in a team with the job you were hired for.

  • Work Groups - A group of people, who usually also work in another team, accountable for one or multiple domains.

  • Delegate Circles - A group of people with the Delegate Role, accountable for one or multiple domains. They represent their teams.

  • Interest Groups - A loosely formed group of people to share experience and information or drive forward a specific topic at VSHN.

Special Circles

In addition there are special circles which are about making governance decisions affecting one or multiple Domains consisting of members that carry a specific role. These circles are needed for legal reasons.

The Board and Management might use Democratic Decision Making (majority voting) instead of Consent Decision Making.


Board members elected by the shareholders are accountable for the overall domain of VSHN.

A Representative of the Management joins Board meetings and asynchronous communication without voting rights to ensure the flow of information.


VSHNeers having the Management Member role form the Management Circle and are accountable for the domain Business Operations, which basically includes all other domains at VSHN.

A Representative of the Board joins Management meetings and asynchronous communication without voting rights to ensure the flow of information.

Circle Accountability

Accountability means that Circles (often Teams) can be autonomous in how they fullfil their purpose as long as they take responsibility for their domain at VSHN (for example their customers or products) under the defined constraints and align their efforts with the higher level company or product goals, which come from our Alignment Framework.

Teams make their work transparent to all VSHNeers and participate in decision making of organizational topics that go beyond their team and that affect them.

How Circles are created

Circles are created through VSHN Improvement Proposals, when we need people being accountable for a Domain. The initial setup is coordinated by Organizational Development.