by Adam Banko
At Lab.Coop1 we not only have our governance open source, but we actually use GitHub to do so. Software people experimented decades to figure out ways of collaboration and github is one of the state of art solutions. We used glassfrog for the first few months as a learning tool, but as many of us in the orgaization use github we saw all the ways glassfrog was lacking compared to a collection of version-controled text files. So we moved to github.
Glassfrog didn’t support async governance back then, this was the biggest reason for our transition.
Soon everyone learned how to create pull requests, and the whole thing, the versions, the tensions, the discussions, it’s all on github for everyone in the organization and in the wold to see.
Our organization has a fork button. Check it out at https://github.com/lab-coop/lab-governance/1
The author has originally posted this note on the Reinventing Organizations community platform http://discourse.reinventingorganizations.com.
The information about their software-enabled open source governance is hosted on GitHub.
Below are some excerpt from their open source governance document.
Full text is here: https://github.com/lab-coop/lab-governance/blob/master/README.md
- Sharing resources & risks to build ventures, learn, and get money.
- Sharing risk & resources between entrepreneurs to learn & improve through building ventures.
- Doing what you are good at while learning from those who are better than you.
- A community of A class partners to learn from and build tech ventures with while having fun in an innovative organization.
- A community that lets partners experiment, learn & build by sharing risks and resources.
- Learning new technologies from professional people.
- An entrepreneur community where you share risk, earn money, learn, build ventures & have fun.
- A fun way how partners are sharing risks and working towards building ventures.
- An entrepreneurial community of A class partners building tech ventures and providing each other a stable, motivating & challenging work environment.
- Risk & resource community of entrepreneurs aiming to build scalable tech ventures, learn, and have fun in order to create financial wealth together.
- A constantly evolving community of constantly evolving partners.
Secretary – Dani
- Merging the Async pull request if there are no objections in the given period. (See Policy: Async governance process (TLC))
- Run the company operations
- Managing Partner data (birth, name, tax number …).
- Pre-filling admin forms with all known data before sending it to Partners.
- Keeping internal administration on track
- HR admin
- Client admin
- Financial admin
- Send and pick up post
- Clarity on our commitments and available resources
- Tracking allocation information for sales
- Giving info to biz for return calibaration
- Financial stability
- Creating and keeping the business plan
- Planning and keeping cash-flow
- Deciding about non-human insurance plans
- Making business model
- Business plan and model
- Every budget in the company
- Good business relations with other companies
- Strong partnerships
- Managing the consurtium
- Establishing business partnership
- Financial clarity and stability
- Tax planning and paying
- Working with the accountant
- Optimizing financial processes
- Tracking cash-flow
- Managing every financial issue
- Making transactions
- Settling SplitWise balances between Company and Partners.
- Handling Paypal, Transferwise and any other online payment system in use
- Financial best practices
- Keep the company safe
- Well written contracts
- Making sure that accounting and financial practices are legal
- Reviewing, writing legal documents
- Text of contracts (both internal and external)
- Match business needs and legal documentation
- Final reviewing and signing contracts
- Working with the corporate lawyer
- Choose corporate lawyer
- Signatory right
- Improve clients’ organizations
- Generating new clients
Venture builder – Peták
- Building Scaleable Tech Ventures
- Facilitating idea pitches and hackathons
- Helping the product team: to validate ideas, build MVP tests, make business model, find resources
- Making spin-off business modell
- Go-no-go of spin-offs through advising process
- Clear strategy for the organization
- Keeping in touch with advisors
- Following market trends
- Exploring market opportunities
- Keeping shareholders in the loop
- Setting up mid and long run plans
- Seeing the big picture
- Presenting KPIs and strategic changes monthly to the whole company
- Long term goals
- To start and stop branches
- Buying food, office equipment to the office (Tesco)
- Managing the office’s daily operations
- Fixing broken things in the office (except tech equipment)
- Landloard realtions
Tech Support – Jeszi
- Fixing tech stuff around office: TV, wifi, printer, updateing computers
- Ordering tech devices and services
- Calling Dell waranty service
- Ownership system and Employee/Partner compensation
- Salary system and peer-reviews
- Having continuous good reputation and reach
- Inbound leads through good reputation
- Strong brand (business, emloyer, professional branding)
- Company image, design, brand
- Marketing communication
- Proposals are announced and written down in English in the beginning
- Again at the end
- Put your proposal in words before the governance meeting in a Pull Request.
- Create a pull request from your proposal. Put your tension in the description of the pull request.
- Members of the circle have 3 workdays to ask Clarifying Questions, give Reactions, voice Objections. Every pull request is automatically posted to Slack’s #governance.
- You can show your support with ( that is colon + “+1” + colon )
- If you have a Clarifying Question and it block you from deciding if you have an Objection mark your question with ( that is colon + “question” + colon ). This blocks the proposal until the proposer clarifies.
- Mark your Objections with ( that is colon + “exclamation” + colon ). This signs to the proposer that the current from of the proposal would degrade the capacity of the Circle to express its Purpose or enact its Accountabilities. (See the Constitution for the criteria for valid objections)
- If you don’t read the proposal in this time it’s like when you don’t attend the governance meeting. If the accepted proposal created tensions in your roles, please bring the tension and your proposal for the next governance meeting or create a new pull request.
- You can amend and clarify your proposal, integrate objections by adding changes to the pull request. The time window for Clarifying Questions, Reactions and Objections restart with each amendment or clarification.
- Any core circle member can merge the pull request if there are no objections in the given period.
Policy proposals longer than 10 sentences must be shared at least 48h before the governance meeting to enable the circle to prepare properly for the governance meeting. If the policy if complex than pre-governance discussions are preferable.
Policy: Penatly for being late from TLC stad-ups and meetings
Who’s late from TLC stand-ups and meetings owes one beer/chocolate/one third of a bottle of wine for the team, there’s a paper on the door where we follow this Except when someone lets the others know that s/he is not coming at least 1h before the meeting, and the meeting should be started without them Facilitator keeps the log Old Brickflow beer debts are brought to the Brickflow farewell party Postponing a meeting is OK if all parties agreed
Use Asana for top level circle boards
- All costs during a business travel should be covered, including food, transportation, accommodation, representation costs.
- Preferably paid by a company bank card. Always provide invoices.
- Costs of business meeting (coffees / lunches / dinnerrs / beers etc.) and beer dates can be fully reimbursed.
- All costs must be within a common sense limit. No ***** hotel, no luxury.
- Up to 2000 EUR + VAT / person / year (incl. travel costs)
- Get an invoice for the the company. Pay by company card/transfer if possible.
- This includes travel and related costs as defined in Policy: Business cost reimbursement so that all these costs count against your learning budget.
- Make it transparent at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1n1xfIGBuBe1IAIjhP-SUL0LrzrLgYIjZm2XaaFaV-rY/edit#gid=0
- Make a brownbag talk if possible.
- sparkling water aka szóda
- Dinner if working after 8pm
- Uber home of working later than 10pm
- Risk (kockázati) life insurance for everyone for about the same amount. Some cost difference is ok.
- Personal income tax report filed by the company’s accountant. NOT available for part time or during probation time. (If you are part time than the company can not oversee all your major activities so we can not take responsibility for filing your report. You only get your first divident after the end of your probation time, so this is why we won’t file your report until being at the company for the long run.) We file the employees’ report only about fiscal years she he worked at the company. We do not file the report if you don’t work at the company at the time of filing the report.
- Company cell phone plan, not restricting the employees in-land voice or data usage. Unlimited roaming only for business purposes.
- VOIP to make cheaper calls abroad. Above ones are NOT available for part time or during probation time.
- Travel insurance for business trips (worldwide, basic sport included, charged / day). You have to send a notification email to email@example.com at least one workday before your trip with this sheet, filled out https://goo.gl/Yxujc1. You have to travel with your insurance plastic card, which you can get from the Admin role. Details of the insurance: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B6JxQVzWxgy4dEJJWGhuRElUZms
- Cell phone up to 400 EUR + VAT. iPhone (as it is more expensive) can only be paid, if the person is an iOS developer or if it is a must have for his or her work for another reason. If the employee wants to buy a more expensive device then the difference must be reimbursed. In case the employee would leave the company, he or she should buy that phone from the company on the market price. Only on request. Above ones are NOT available for part time or during probation time.
- Laptop. Preferably with 3 year, on site warranty. Due price-value balance and short warranty, Mac only if it is worth due productivity or a must. If an employee has a good enough laptop, the company could buy it on market price, if it financially makes sense, decided case by case.
- External screen.
- Company covers all devices with an insurance plan. In case somebody: physically breaks, looses or gets stolen a device outside the office than that person needs to pay the insurance deductible. Deductible is 10% of the damage, but minimum 10k HUF / damage. Detailed insurance terms and conditions: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6JxQVzWxgy4eUdZdGJ0bkdKU1RXQTQzM1ROWHRrNEZ2azVj
Prey application has to be installed on each and every company cell phones and laptops. The responsibile person is always the user of the device. https://preyproject.com/
Probation period: 3 months. After probation time, employees gain
- access to company credit cards
- If you need to purchase some asset or service for the company (and you have passed the 3rd month of your employment) you can buy it (preferably with the company card to ease administration) up to 200 EUR/year/asset class.
- Give the invoice to the finance role and upload it to the Google Drive’s relevant subfolder (LabCoop/biz admin/accounting/incoming invoices). https://goo.gl/7QmdqK
- Partners may not combine their budgets to purchase something more expensive together
- Preferably paid by a company bank card. Always provide invoices. Give the invoice to the finance role and upload it to the Google Drive’s relevant subfolder (LabCoop/biz admin/accounting/incoming invoices). https://goo.gl/7QmdqK
- Add the newly purchased asset to the asset inventory. https://goo.gl/AzyIEF
- Before deciding on the purchase take advice from the roles/people the purchase will affect (for example: finance, office, biz).
Policy: Purchases with company invoice
You can invoice the company for the below things (service, devices):
- 1. services (taxi, flgiht ticket to London but to Mallorca, etc)
- 2. devices (anything we could potentially use in a client or internal product project, like a smart watch, but its price is below 100k HUF). Restrictions:
- If using the company card, you have to pre-validate with the finance and admin roles.
- If requested, you have to be able to bring that device to the company.
- If you leave the company, you have to consult with finance and admin roles to take it from the company inventory.
You can use the below services through the company:
- Travel insurance
To account any kinds of financial liabilities, we use Splitwise mobile app.
- You owe the company
- You paid something on behalf of the company, so the company owes you
- Someone in the team paid you something personal, like lunch
- Company and partner-to-partner reimbursment happens over 10k HUF and in 10k bulks, independently from the directon of the payment (company >>> partner, partner >>> company, partner >>> partner)
- You have to use ‘LabCoop’ group for all your payments
- Every partner has 100 EUR each year to spend on any CSR activities or charity
- Every partner has yearly one day to spend on any, freely choosen CSR activity
- Pick your cause, aim, organization as you think it is the best way to help an important aim
- Splitwise your cost with Supercluster for the reimbursment
- List your spending in CSR Cost and Time Tracking https://goo.gl/5VOOi8
- If the company due tax regulation can donate some money (beside the above personal donations), than it will be decided by the HR LL in an advising process
Policy: Calendar and meetings
Share your private calendar free-busy status publicly (or with everyone in the ContactSheet). Keep your private calendar free-busy status for work hours up to date. Pay extra attention to mark full-day events as “busy” if you’re not available. Have your calendar email address at “Personal data + Contact sheet” sheet: https://goo.gl/NTI6Dl
Keep it uptodate and notify Admin role in case of any change. https://goo.gl/NTI6Dl
Store all service user names, account emails, passwords etc. in the Logins sheet. https://goo.gl/xHOHkq This should include not only the compnay-wide accounts, but also all those personal accounts, which consist mission critical information in case of sick leave / holidays. Mission critical information can be anything, which’s lack can block the team’s / company’s work. It is the account holders call to share it until it is not blocking other.
It is key to communicate seamlessly to work together. Make it a daily priority to answer your emails, slack messages, invites, task manager comments etc. Secretaries of each circle are responsible to keep the Slack channels, Asana Boards, Google Drive folders etc. coherent (for example naming conventions) to each other and to the circle structure.
If you (re)assign a task, the assignee has to accept, otherwise you are responsible for the task. No answer means that the assignee has accepted. If the asignee cannot accept it, he or she should help finding an assignee.
There is a FedEx day (a 24 hour “hackatlon”) on the first Friday of every 3rd month. (First occasion: 2015-07-03) Every kind of project is welcomed (does not have to be Lab related). The teams have to arrive with a proposal and deliver the full project at the end of the day.
- Keep all docs on drive in the respective folder.
- Use the Drive app for synchronization.
All the policies are logged on Github.
- Let others know about your holiday plans on Slack
- Let your circles’ leadlink and your clients know 3x the length of your planned holiday (in workdays) before the start of it, but minimum 5 workdays before in writing
- Letting them know within this period doesn’t mean that it’s no allowed, but can result in decline (if your plan is not safe to fail)