Decisions and Power

How Can Everyone Make Decisions?

How could it be possible for everyone in a company to be making decisions? There is too much information. People would be in meetings all day and most people don’t want all that information and won’t listen anyway.

In the sociocratic structure of interconnected decision-making circles, everyone participates in the decisions that directly affect their daily work, but only in those decisions. Unless they are the elected representative or the operational leader they don’t participate in larger decisions.

The key is making work units small enough that the decisions that need to be made are relevant to each worker in the circle. That any information they receive is relevant and necessary. People pay attention to relevant information. They need it in order to do a good job — and almost everyone wants to do a good job.

How small the unit needs to be depends on the complexity of the work. If 50 people are doing the same job, the information and decisions that affect one affect them all. If 50 people are doing 15 different jobs, they probably need smaller work units.

The principle is to empower people to be responsible for their own work. That requires also having control over how that work is done. Participation without meaning can be as oppressive as no participation.

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