Category: Getting it done
How do we implement democracy in our daily lives? What can we learn about getting it done?
Q: Discussions of consensus on cohousing discussion lists seem to be focused on or limited to facilitated, time-bound, decision-making events rather than building a culture of relationships in a community. Is this intentional?
Questions about consensus generally do focus on the technicalities and problems of using consensus to make decisions in meetings. And building community is one objective of using consensus because it ensures that the interests of everyone will be taken into consideration. However,… Read More . . . “Consensus: Community or Decision-Making” Statement from the Endenburg Elektrotechniek Website about their sociocratic governance:
The word “sociocracy” is derived from the Latin word socius, neighbor or fellow, and the Greek word kratein, to rule. As a form of governance, sociocracy is based the equivalence of individuals, but not in the sense that “the majority rules,” as in democracy. In sociocracy a decision may only be made if one has a well-founded counter-argument. (This is called the consent principle). Sociocracy… Read More . . . “Sociocracy at Endenburg Elektrotechniek” Q: How can a developing cohousing community protect itself from a member who joins and immediately wants to review all the policies?
A:This is can be very difficult for forming groups, but it doesn’t’ stop once you are moved in. Almost every new member will immediately want to start redesigning the community as soon as they have their boxes unpacked. Often they have good ideas and bring new energy, but more often they are re-walking… Read More . . . “When to Review Policies” In 1972 with a group of parents forming a cooperative school, predominantly young Yale faculty members who had moved to town to join a new college. We were committed to diversity and having a hard time recruiting people of color and from a different socio-economic class.
We were having an equally hard time finding appropriate space that we could afford. This was long before charter schools so we were funding the whole thing ourselves. We… Read More . . . “My Pivotal Consensus Experience” The purpose of leadership and decision-making structures in sociocracy is to build the maximum power for everyone. And to balance that power with harmony and fairness. It is the responsibility of each person in a sociocratic organization to develop their own power and to use it to optimize the work of the organization.
In physics, power is the rate at which work is performed or energy converted.
As people, we have personal power, the ability… Read More . . . “What Is Power?” Power over is not always about forcing, coercing, pressuring, manipulating etc. It can be as engaging as power with. In terms lazy subordination and undeveloped personal power, power over can be an engaged relationship between the autocrat and the subordinate. Some people want to be dominated and to do so is engaging them, even if it is codependence. With the possible exception of physical force, as in terrorists on a plane, power over is a… Read More . . . “Positive Power Over”