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.
In several contexts lately the conversations about organizing sociocratically have drifted to the problem of confusing circle meetings with the work of the circle, and even circle meetings as focus of sociocracy. Evidence of this is that we discuss process and enforcing process without discussing the quality and application of decisions in our work. The questions are more often about officers and consent than evaluating the effect of recent policy decisions on operations, worker effectiveness,… Read More . . . “Are Your Meetings Content or Process?”
Policy decisions are defined in management theory as those decisions that define the basic principles of the organization and determine how it will develop and function in the future. Policies set the limits within which operational decisions are made. Examples include: Vision, Mission, Aim
Budget and Finance Practices
Allocation of Resources
Organizational Structure Policy decisions limit the actions an organization and its members can take without changing the policy. In sociocracy, policy decisions are made… Read More . . . “Policy Decisions”
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”
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”
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This site is a resource on sociocracy and democracy and the ways they support each other. It examines the principles and practices and the ways in which together they could better achieve their objectives. How would things get done in a sociocratic democracy?
New Edition of We the People
Updated and expanded second edition is now available in paper and digital versions—and in Spanish and Portuguese translations.