Category: Decisions and Power

Sociocracy has specific methods and practices for ensuring  that decision-making and power are linked and shared. Democracy was originally revolutionary by allowing the common citizen to make decisions using majority vote to make decisions. But it has no structure for ensuring that those decisions are implemented. A sociocratic system of communications and control would ensure better decision-making and give more power to democratic values.

Consensus and Personal Preferences

Personally I object to the use of the word “block” as synonymous with “objection” and this entry explains some of the reasons why. What is a block? This is not a facetious question. If this is the word people want to use, what does it mean? From the accounts on the Cohousing-L email discussion list between cohousing communities that  uniformly use consent/consensus decision-making, block is used to describe an objection is more a veto. The… Read More . . . “Consensus and Personal Preferences”

Moving Objections to the Beginning

One of the ways the methods used in sociocracy that speeds up decision-making is going directly to objections instead of or before discussing the advantages of a proposal. The perceived advantages of a decision should be stated in the proposal or its presentation. The presenters will probably recount the issues and options they considered. There is usually no need to repeat the discussion that has taken place in previous meetings or to hear arguments in… Read More . . . “Moving Objections to the Beginning”

Consensus or Sociocracy?

We are 3 months into starting a cohousing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies in cohousing and other intentional communities. Which do you recommend? “Consensus or Sociocracy?” Is the Wrong Question (But there are no dumb questions. This one is a very good question and one we hear frequently.) Sociocracy and consensus are not opposite things. Consensus is… Read More . . . “Consensus or Sociocracy?”

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”

Rounds or Discussion or Free for All?

What’s the best practice ?  Is it better to have a free for all discussion, do what we do, or have complete rounds? “Better” is in the eye of the beholder. Understanding what rounds or discussion can do is a “better” question. Rounds are excellent for establishing and reestablishing equivalence in the room. They not only give each person a chance to speak they shine a spotlight on each person so everyone is aware of… Read More . . . “Rounds or Discussion or Free for All?”

Laws and Policies: The Differences

Drop Cap Letter Q Won’t the prescriptive Norms in sociocracy and the Constitution in Holacracy impose the rule of law, which will quickly devolve into the rule of lawyers? The more arcane and opaque the law is, the more tyrannical that law becomes. My response to this requires a distinction between laws and policies. Laws and policies are the same in that both govern future actions and decisions. Laws  are made by governments to govern the actions of citizens… Read More . . . “Laws and Policies: The Differences”