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

Process breakdown in an integration phase

Hello everybody!

Constitution says (3.5) that a facilitator can declare a process breakdown if the circle struggles long enough in integration. Then the facilitator gains the authority to judge the arguments for whether or not tension/objection is valid or not. I do understand that this is more like an exception to the rules, but isn't that too controlling for a facilitator? What do you think? Could you imagine any other possible ways to resolve integration deadlocks?

2 Replies

Since constitution 4.1 (or 4.0, I don't remember), there are rules to facilitate integration. Before, it was difficult for a Facilitator and he needed to heroically help the members to integrate.

With section 3.2.6., it is now very easy not to get stuck in integration:


When an Objection to a Proposal is raised, the following additional rules apply during the search for a resolution:

(a) The Facilitator must test an Objection if requested by any Core Circle Member, and discard it if it fails to meet the validity criteria described in this Section.

(b) The Objector must attempt to find an amendment to the Proposal that will resolve the Objection and still address the Proposer’s Tension. Others may help. If the Facilitator concludes that the Objector is not making a good faith effort to find a potential amendment at any point, then the Facilitator must deem the Objection abandoned and continue processing the Proposal as if the Objection had not been raised.

(c) Any Core Circle Member may ask the Proposer clarifying questions about the Tension behind the Proposal, or about any examples the Proposer shared to illustrate the Tension. If the Facilitator concludes that the Proposer is not making a good faith effort to answer those questions at any point, then the Facilitator must deem the Proposal invalid for processing and abandoned.

Gerald Mitterer

Hey Alexey,

We have come across this process breakdown and I do see it as a last resort. At that point I found it very helpful - otherwise we would have got stuck in power play showing up in back-and-forth discussions - seeking integration but not getting there because the willingness to seek integration was not there. The Facilitators judgement call cut through these dynamics and led to a decision.

Since any Circle Member could call for an election I don't see a problem in "too much power" for the Facilitator. Once I recognized the misuse of such authority I would call for an election and elect a different facilitator. So the risk involved is far less in my opinion than the benefit of not ending up in endless discussions.

- Gerald