Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Hi Imrane,


Difficult to answer “in theory” without a concrete case but here are some of the answers I can give:


  • Tension : I don't know who to ask to do this "thing"
    • Proposal we used to accept : Add Acc to Role X to do this "thing"
    • How we should handle this : You don't have to handle it. All you can do is ask clarifying questions during that Clarifying Questions step or use your reaction round to express your thoughts
      • Why don't you "do this thing" yourself as long as you respect domains .... ? It sounds like a reaction here. In my reaction round, I may remind the person that she can do it but if she doesn't have the competencies or if it makes sense that another role does it (because we gain some time or because it is more appropriate or...), adding an accountability to that role is the perfect move. Explicit, explicit, explicit. 
      • You want to add an Acc to another Role, have you been granted permission by the Role X to change his role ? You actually don't need the role's permission to propose to add an accountability. If it limits one of your role, than you can propose anything in governance, even if it implies modifying another role.
      • Don't you want to create a new role instead of modifiying an existing one without permission ? Again, don't need the role's permission. Te person filling the role can always object if it makes sense. Creating a new role vs adding an accountability on an existing one? Well, it really depends if it is obvious that a specific role should do it, I would add it to that role (even if not aligned with the purpose because an accountability doesn't have to be aligned on the purpose, it is another dimension). If not obvious, then let's create a new role and maybe later, we will restructure and merge it with another role but at least we can move forward.
  • Tension : I have to do "this", but I don't want to. 
    • Proposal we used to accept : Add Acc to Role X to do "this"
    • How we should handle this :
      • Same as above See my previous answers AND “I don't want to” is not a tension. The person has to give a specific and concrete example of a situation where she was limited in her role(s). If she just doesn't want to do it, she may resign from her role and inform the Lead Link but governance is not about people, it is about roles and the organization. 
  • Tension : I interpret that with your Acc you have to do this. But you said to me that my interpretation is wrong. I want to clarify the gouvernance with or without your approval
    • Proposal we used to accept : Modify Acc on Role X (without permission)
    • How we should handle this : same as above Before going to governance, you can also ask the Secretary to give his/her interpretation which will trump all of your interpretation until the next governance meeting. Then, good move to bring it to governance to clarify.
  • Tension : The name of your role is bad, I don't like it
    • Proposal we used to accept : Modify Role X name (without permission)
    • How we should handle this : 
      • Facilitator should discard this proposal The facilitator can only discard a proposal if it doesn't meet the criterias defined in the constitution. Here as a Facilitator, I may ask during the Clarifying Questions step: “could you give us a concrete situation of your tension?”, “does it limit one of your role?”. If the person fails to answer these questions (i.e. doesn't give an answer or say “no, I don't have a concrete situation” or “no, it doesn't limit one of my role”), I will discard it because she just told me it wasn't a valid proposal based on the constitution's criterias.
  • Tension : This thing is wrong and is not working
    • Proposal we used to accept : It has to change
      • We accepted it, as it allows us to go through the process until  Amend & Clarify
      • Then, a "new" proposal is made
      • Should the facilitator test proposal here all the time ? Or at the begining ?  Testing the validity of the proposal is actually to test if the tension is valid to be processed, not the result. For the result, the facilitator can always raise NVGO objection because it wouldn't be a valid result to be processed in the governance meeting. For testing the validity of the proposal, the facilitator (or anyone) doesn't have to wait for the amend & clarify step, anyone can ask questions during the Clarifying Questions step.
      • I guess, with all cases listes above, the right place to test proposals is in Amend & Clarify Nop, would be infringing the process and the Facilitator can't do that


I hope it gives you some keys to understand in more depth this part of the process. It is tricky though so if you don't understand it all, it is normal.

Please feel free to ask more questions and the more you are specific about the case, the easier it will be for us as coach to help you. There are so many scenarios in Holacracy and you never really know. The facilitator has to be neutral and not judge nor discard a proposal just because he mentally think it is not valid.

I am curious: did you attend the practitioner training or coach training? We dive in more depth during the coach training.