A hierarchy is the arrangement of a set of entities. It is used in biology to organize trees, insects, etc., into related groupings with specific characteristics. In the governance of organizations it is used to organize decision-making, management, and production. There are many forms of hierarchies: circular, autocratic, democratic, sociocratic, horizontal, etc. The one with which most people identify as a “hierarchy” is an autocratic hierarchy.
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”
A hierarchy is very efficient. For example, during a crisis, a leader can issue life-saving orders; but it comes with inherent problems. In addition to the equitability issues involved with a hierarchical structure, innovative ideas from the bottom of the hierarchy don’t make their way to the top, creating stagnation. On the other hand, a grassroots approach, where all individuals have equal voice and power, creates a lot of great ideas, but typically lacks the… Read More . . . “Rainbow Community School, Asheville, NC”
How does equality and freedom work in a family when a child’s ability to make decisions without harming themselves or others is inherently unequal? How can a family apply sociocratic principles if children cannot consent to the decisions that affect them? Can a family be a hierarchy and still be nurturing or does it have to be a hierarchy in order to be nurturing?
Most people agree that children are not born with the ability… Read More . . . “Is a Family a Hierarchy?”
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.
What you will find here
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.
The sociocracy email discussion list was started in 2002. The list language is English, but members speak many languages if you have translation questions. We discuss anything related to sociocracy, democracy, and collaborative governance.