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

Process Breakdown in the Anchor Circle

What happens if a process breakdown is declared in the anchor circle?  It seems to me that there would be no one to declare a restoration of due process because there is no super-circle facilitator.

7 Replies
Sandra Murre

Perhaps at that point the ratifier (who likely is the lead link) would have to decide if they want to continue with Holacracy and if they do to bring in a coach?

Karilen Mays

What kind of process breakdown are you talking about? The facilitator of the circle can actually declare one. Is that an option? 


David Locke


First, my apologies for the delayed response.

My question is who can restore due process if a process breakdown is declared in the anchor circle?  Section 3.5.3 implies that only the facilitator of the super-circle can do that, but the anchor circle has no super-circle.

Dennis Ross


Perhaps you can share with an example of the process you have experienced, or expect to see.... it would help if we better understand the Tension at hand.

David Locke


I'm not currently practicing Holacracy yet, so I would frame it as a potential objection to adopting the 4.1 constitution as written.

Dennis Ross

Here is my take - may not be completely accurate, but seems logical enough to my way of thinking.
According to the Constitution V. 4.1, A “Process Breakdown” occurs when a Circle shows a pattern of behavior that conflicts with the rules of this Constitution.

Two types of Process Breakdown are described in the Constitution:
3.5.1 - Breakdown from failed Governance - Facilitator may declare, or in some cases, the Proposer may declare.

3.5.2 - Breakdown from Unconstitutional behavior - this applies to sub-Circles of the Anchor Circle

So.... we should only expect to have to deal with Process Breakdown in the Anchor Circle from failed Governance.

3.5.3 - Process Restoration - provides guidance on what to do when a Process Breakdown occurs.

Whenever an authorized party declares a Process Breakdown within a Circle, the following occurs:

(a) the Facilitator of the Super-Circle gains a Project to restore due-process within the Circle; and
-- MY COMMENT: There is no Super-Circle, so there is not a Role to take a project to restore due-process .... this doesn't help in our example.
So... move to (b):

(b) the Facilitator of the Super-Circle gains the authority to take over as Facilitator or Secretary of the Circle, or to appoint someone else to do so; and
-- MY COMMENT: Same as above.... this doesn't help so move to (c):

(c) the Facilitator of the Circle gains the authority to judge the accuracy of any arguments presented to validate Tensions or Objections within the Circle’s Governance Process.
-- MY COMMENT: The Anchor Circle has an elected Facilitator. If I were Facilitator of the Anchor Circle and a Process Breakdown occurred, I would use this reference as my authority to restore due-process.

Hope this helps, or at least spawns additional input from the community.

- Dennis

Karilen Mays

I think Dennis is right - it depends on what kind of process breakdown. If from a failed Governance process then the circle facilitator declares and addresses.

I haven't seen this play out (yet) where there is a type of process breakdown and no one able to address it.

You could install an out of the box policy allowing others to also declare process breakdowns perhaps (like the Anchor Circle Secretary or any member of the Anchor Circle), or you could wait and see if it is an issue, and then propose something potentially even more relevant to address the real world case.