Category: History and Theory

Understanding the history and theory of both democracy and sociocracy provides a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of what a sociocracy or sociocratic democracy might be, and why. Knowing the intention and development of an idea supports the meaningful application of its principles and practices in everyday life.

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”

Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership

Some successful cohousing meal programs require participation by either cooking, preparing, or cleaning once every few weeks. (No one is required to eat.) But other communities that require participation in meal support still have meals infrequently. A successful program averages 3-4 meals a week and their success is often attributed to  organization and leadership. This statement is typical of those programs: We have a “meals boss” role, the Scheduler. Meals usually a major reason for… Read More . . . “Cohousing Meal Programs and Leadership”

Addressing Emotions: Laird Schaub on Sociocracy

Emoticons Laird Schaub’s blog is Community and Consensus. In his Monday 18 August 2014 post, “Critique of Sociocracy,” he presents his “reservations” which are deep and well-stated. Some are quite justified and others misunderstandings. Just like anything else, it’s easy to get the wrong information. This is the second of several posts addressing the points I think are valid and those that are at least partly in error. Emotional Input One of Laird Schaub’s criticisms of… Read More . . . “Addressing Emotions: Laird Schaub on Sociocracy”

Consent vs Consensus : Laird Schaub on Sociocracy

Laird Schaub Laird Schaub helped found and has been living in Sandhill Farm, an intentional, income sharing community in Rutledge, Missouri since 1974. His community is very small, less than 10 adults, but his experience is very broad. He has been doing training and consulting in governance and consensus decision-making since 1987. He gives several workshops on decision-making, facilitation, proposal writing, delegation, etc., at the annual Cohousing Association Conferences. He is the Executive Secretary  and Development Coordinator… Read More . . . “Consent vs Consensus : Laird Schaub on Sociocracy”

Inclusion and Hierarchies: New Articles on Zappos

Three new articles discussing inclusion and hierarchies, and other issues raised by the Zappos adoption of Holacracy. These are real articles examining the pros and cons of the promises of Holacracy and sociocracy, not reactions or quotes from press releases. 1. Andrew Hill of The Financial Times: Zappos and the Collapse of Corporate Hierarchies. 2.  A response from Norman Pickavance of Blueprint for Better Business in Linton, N. Yorks, UK: The Four Levels of Decision-Making.… Read More . . . “Inclusion and Hierarchies: New Articles on Zappos”

Yves Morieux: Smart Simplicity

Yves Morieux speaking on stage. A wonderful discovery today, “As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify,” a TED Talk by Yves Morieux. Morieux is a senior partner in the Washington DC office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)  and director of the BCG Institute for Organization. He studies how changes in structure can improve motivation for employees. “Smart Simplicity” uses six key rules that encourage cooperation to solve long-term problems. Not by just reducing costs and increasing profit,… Read More . . . “Yves Morieux: Smart Simplicity”