Please be aware that references to sociocracy are in no way related to socialism, so Dynamic Governance is our term to avoid confusion.
More About Dynamic Governance / Sociocracy
The beauty of dynamic governance/sociocracy is that it gives you the best of both worlds, the efficiency of hierarchy and the inclusion of consensus
Dynamic Governance /Sociocracy is a dynamic form of governance or management that presumes equality of individuals and is based on consent. This equality is not expressed with “one person, one vote” law of democracy, but rather by a group of individuals (the circle) reasoning together until a decision is reached that is satisfactory to each one of them.
The circle structure allows working groups to operate and make decisions in small groups which makes it easier to hear each other and allows communication to flow reliably and transparently. To ensure everyone takes time to listen, we share in rounds: one person speaks at a time, one by one. Since you know you will get your turn, you can more readily listen to everyone else.
This creates dynamic self-governance of, by, and for the People who Know and Associate with Each Other, using consent-based decision making among equal individuals based on a well-conceived organizational structure, operating system, and decision-making process that is clear, efficient, transparent, scalable, and doable.
The organizational structure
Everything that needs care in an organization is divided into domains. Each domain is taken care of by a group of people called a ‘circle’, which has all the authority and responsibility in their domain.
Purpose/Mission/Aim. Each circle has a purpose, mission, and/or aim that orients and aligns the circle. All discussions, activities, and decisions are to serve the purpose, mission, and/or aim.
Convenor of a circle
Keeps the group on task in accomplishing its aim.
Connects the wider context to the circle; links the circle from the more general circle.
Conducts the meetings.
Makes sure the circle is productive, on purpose, and inclusive.
Maintains the records of the circle.
Ensures that all is on task; Is it time to address/evaluate a project or select a new person?
Connects the circle to the wider context.
Is chosen to communicate with other circles to make sure all the related groups can keep each other informed, in the loop, connected.
This way, we know exactly which circle or individual is responsible for decisions in each domain. And we know exactly how each piece of the whole relates to the others.
The leader, facilitator, and scribe create the Agenda for the meetings.
A Dynamic Governance /sociocratic organization is based on leadership from the general to the more specific circles, and representation from the specific to the more general circles.
Dynamic Governance/sociocracy as an organizational structure can scale up to any size, including the whole nation. See https://www.sociocracyforall.org/sociocracy-for-a-country/
The decision-making process
In a well-facilitated circle of people, Dynamic Governance /Sociocracy is based on the human being's ability to communicate using reasoning and rational arguments, build individual and organizational capacities, and make decisions that serve a transcendent purpose, mission, and/or aim.
All decisions about how to accomplish the purpose, mission, and/or aim are a result of hearing from each person in rounds resulting in a policy or proposal to which each person can consent.
After a proposal is well-understood and ready for a decision, each person in the circle decides by consent.
Consent means you can work with the proposal and are willing to move forward, either because it is your preference or something you can work with; it is good enough for now.
Decisions are made when there are no remaining “paramount objections”, that is, when there is informed consent from all participants.
Decisions can be subject to an agreed method of evaluation and time frame.
Roles are filled in circles by selecting the best person for each role with a term and method of evaluation. Only when there is no objection may the person fill the role. If you want to fill a role, collaboration and listening is the new culture, (vs. polarizing behavior).
An objection is often considered a prompt to improve the proposal. It points to something in the proposal that isn’t good enough yet, for example when a new policy would have unintended negative consequences somewhere else that need to be addressed somehow. Instead of arguing, when there isn't consent for a proposal, the circle focuses on improvements to the proposal within the purpose, mission, and aim of the group. The circle improves each proposal to find the best solution that aligns with the circle's purpose, mission, and aim. This fosters well-reasoned proposals that account for the sensibility of the group and the ability of the non-consenting party to work productively toward the goals of the organization under a rubric of good enough for now safe enough to try.
In contrast, here is how we don’t make decisions: we don’t talk forever, we don’t vote, we don’t control people.
Note: Sociocracy is the opposite of socialism as it has come to be known. Do not confuse the terms!
Learning Dynamic Governance requires training and experience. Utilizing this governance method, hierarchy is thwarted and people are more individually involved and responsible as a collective for their future.
We The People, Consenting to a Deeper Democracy, A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods, How to Apply the Principles of Self-Governance to Our Workplaces, Governments, and Organizations, by John Buck and Sharon Villines
Many Voices One Song, Shared Power With Sociocracy, by Ted J. Rau and Jerry Koch-Gonzalez