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.
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” 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?” 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” Translations
There is a conversation on the firstname.lastname@example.org list about the meaning of the word bezwaar, the Dutch word that has been translated as objection. The question is whether objection is a good translation and how other translations might affect understanding objections and consent. The translations into other languages and those in different Dutch/English dictionaries suggest something other than objection. In English, objection means no, “This decision can’t go forward.” In other languages it has… Read More . . . “Understanding Objections & Beheaviments” Residential communities customarily do not have board of directors members from outside the organization. Corporations normally do, but they may not be chosen by their ability to balance expertise. Non-profit organizations and independent schools often choose board members based on their ability to raise money or influence government or foundation decision-makers.
Balanced expertise on the board of directors steers the organization from multiple perspectives. Balance can be achieved with experts on larger community… Read More . . . “Outside Experts on the Board of Directors” We need to remind ourselves that meetings are not the work. Much work is done in meetings and they can be exhausting, but the focus of a meeting is action. Determining effective actions. Defining desired actions. Evaluating failed actions. Or bemoaning lack of action.
Possible Sources of Confusion
In several contexts lately it has become clear that many of us have drifted into confusing meetings with the work, and even as the substance of organizational… Read More . . . “Meetings Are Not the Work”