Stand asides are a time-honored practice in majority vote decision-making. They are used when a person wants their vote recorded, but can’t vote yes, doesn’t want to vote no, and doesn’t want to abstain. Usually it means the person disagrees but has agreed to stand aside and allow the decision to go forward. Sometimes it means that they have a conflict of interest and want the record to show that they were not voting, but … Read more “Stand Asides”
I find the word block in consensus decision-making destructive. It is particularly counter-productive when used to refer to all objections, rather than seemingly unresolvable objections.
Objections do feel like blocks when after hours of discussion a person or persons will not consent — I find myself feeling this too. And sometimes when I object, in my gut I really want to block. I don’t want to argue the point, I just want to BLOCK. The … Read more ““Blocks” & Vetos in Consensus Decision-Making”
I love rounds. They do many things but the most important to me is that they give everyone a chance to speak without raising their hand and waving it until the facilitator or discussion leader sees it, worrying about their place in the queue rather than listening, or counting to see if everyone else has had a chance to speak before you can speak again. Rounds place the focus on what is being said, not … Read more “Resistance to Rounds”
In decision-making, one consents or one objects. Consent is defined as no objections. To object means no consent It’s very simple.
Consent has no modifiers so why should objections? No one asks for paramount or principled consent.
What would paramount consent be? Would we ask, “Are you consenting because this proposed action is the most important thing in the world right now?”
Do we examine the basis on which people are consenting? No, we don’t. … Read more “Objections: Paramount, Principled, or Otherwise”
Having a vision, mission, and aim are very important in bringing coherence to your organization. You can call them by different names but combining them or collapsing them is not the best idea. It can lead to confusion and allow you to miss or avoid one or another of them. And the different names may confuse you as well.
The vision is your dream. What you want the world to be. On a grand … Read more “Vision, Mission, and Aim”
Often heard: “We don’t use sociocracy or dynamic governance; we use consensus.” Or, “We don’t use dynamic governance; we use non-violent communication (NVC).
The simple problem with these oppositions is that neither consensus nor NVC are governance methods. They don’t come with a set of principles or practices for structuring an organization, managing operations, and ensuring that the appropriate people are making the necessary decisions.
Consensus is a method for making decisions, just like … Read more “Equating Consensus and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) with Governance”
On the Endenburg Elektrotechniek site, an objection is defined as a “well-founded counter-argument”.
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”
In dynamic governance there is no option to stand aside — the only options are consent or object. If you don’t have tangible objections, ones that can be teased out and addressed, then you consent. It maybe a passive consent, “I don’t see any reason not to do this”, or an active consent, “I really think this is a good idea.” Both are consent.
We have members who insist on having a stand aside option, … Read more “Consent & Responsibility”