Category: Glossary

Terms that are unique to sociocracy or other related topics in governance, cybernetics, economics, etc.

Policy and Operations Decisions

A Circle Meeting at Endenburg Elektrotechniek The most viewed pages and the most searched topics on Sociocracy.info continue to be those related to policy and operations decisions. The distinction between policy and operations decisions is not unique to sociocracy, but it is one that many of us don’t understand. Most often we don’t even realize that we are following a policy — it’s just the way things are done. We also don’t recognize a policy decision as distinct from an operations… Read More . . . “Policy and Operations Decisions”

What Is Sociocracy?

Gerard Endenburg, Yukon Conference, 2010 Literally, sociocracy means the sovereignty of the socius: I myself, the next person, the alter ego, the otherness. From a structural point of view this corresponds with the definition of sociocracy as a situation where the principle of consent predominates or is socially all–determining in the sense that it governs the making of decisions at all levels of society. The sociocratic circle organization is a cybernetic means of making this possible and then, as a… Read More . . . “What Is Sociocracy?”

Consensus, Consent, and Objections

Heresy, I know, but I think Holacracy has a good point in using “objections” and not “consent.” Brian says in his Introduction to Holacracy video: “Consent has no place in Holacracy.” We want to hear objections to the proposal. Restrictions on Consent One of my criticisms of groups using full-group consensus is that first they commit to one for all, and all for one, then they begin putting restrictions on it. All for one and… Read More . . . “Consensus, Consent, and Objections”

Collaborative Collective Cooperative

Ornamental Capital Letter C Collaborative, collective, and cooperative are words often used interchangeably. When I hear them I wonder which one the speaker or writer means. I use them interchangeably too, sort of giving equal time to all of them. I have a preference for cooperative because it seems to have fewer political overtones than collective, and collaborative reminds me of clabber. It sticks in my throat. The Problem with Dictionaries The dictionary definitions of these three words don’t… Read More . . . “Collaborative Collective Cooperative”

Definition of Consensus Decision-Making

This is the standard definition of consensus used since the 1960s and 1970s, and probably before. It was published in 1981 in United Judgement: The Handbook of Consensus Decision Making by the Center for Conflict Resolution. The goal of consensus is a decision that is consented to by all members. Of course, full consent does not mean that everyone must be completely satisfied with the final outcome—in fact, total satisfaction is rare. The decision must… Read More . . . “Definition of Consensus Decision-Making”

Maximum Size for Rounds?

How large a group can effectively do rounds? The recommended maximum size for circles is 20-40 people so that would apply to the optimal maximum size for rounds as well. But rounds have been done in groups of 150 and even 400.Years ago, before I had heard of “rounds” I read the account of a round with 400 people. A mediator was working to resolve a community issue at a town hall meeting. She said… Read More . . . “Maximum Size for Rounds?”