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 … Read more “Understanding Objections & Beheaviments”
As is true with all governance changes, it is easier to begin with sociocracy than to switch midstream. Communities tend to stick with “the devil they know” rather than take a chance on a new one, but more and more and more communities are switching full scale or adopting some of the principles and practices.
Except for those who have switched to sociocracy, cohousing communities use full group consensus as their primary method of … Read more “Switching to Sociocracy in Cohousing Communities”
What is Sociocracy?
A quick answer to the question, What is Sociocracy? is that sociocracy is both:
- A social ideal that values equality and the rights of people to decide the conditions under which they live and work, and
- An effective method of organizing collaborative and productive organizations as associations, businesses, and governments, large and small.
In English-speaking countries, as a method of organization sociocracy is often called dynamic governance, but around the world … Read more “What Is Sociocracy and Why Do You Need it?”
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.
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”
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”
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”