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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 majority… Read More . . . “Equating Consensus and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) with Governance”
Statement from the Endenburg Elektrotechniek Website about their sociocratic governance:
The word “sociocracy” is derived from the Latin word socius, neighbor or fellow, and the Greek word kratein, to rule. As a form of governance, sociocracy is based the equivalence of individuals, but not in the sense that “the majority rules,” as in democracy. In sociocracy a decision may only be made if one has a well-founded counter-argument. (This is called the consent principle). Sociocracy… Read More . . . “Sociocracy at Endenburg Elektrotechniek”
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Sociocracy is a governance method based on collaboration, self-organization, and distributed authority. It is designed for transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability. Democracy values freedom and equality but doesn’t have a governance structure guaranteed to ensure them. A Sociocratic Democracy uses the methods of sociocracy to achieve the values of democracy creating a practical and effective way to organize. This site is about sociocracy and the ways in which it can help democracy achieve its highest goal: freedom and equality for all, finally.
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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.