|Description||Decision-making process that might be used for small or large groups. It might be used online and offline||Comprehensive practice for governing and running organizations. Its practices and process are intended to promote rapid and reliable processing of any tension sensed by anyone, anywhere in the organization.||Quaker sense of a meeting. Apprentice practice of the clerk||"Organization of the community by the community itself"|
|Best for||This tool is best used for groups that need to reach agreement about something that can be captured in a document and have some useful starting place. For example, I don’t recommend it for trying to brainstorm something from scratch, but if a group is trying to agree on a plan or strategy, ratify bylaws, or refine a policy, then this is could be the right kind of tool for you.||Purpose driven organizations.|
|Other resources||http://www.lifeblooddesign.com/content/dynamic-alignment-collaborative-decision-making-tool||Organization Evolved|
Differentiating Role and Soul
The Power of Governance
The Irony of Empowerment
Contrasting Paradigms: Holacracy & Sociocracy
|Book ''Beyond majority rule" -author Michael Sheeran http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-QuakerCI.html|
|principles||Agreement versus alignment: Alignment refers to pointing
towards the 'same direction'. No need to agree on every form to
Positionality: not about positions but about movement. No person is allowed to say “no” or stop forward movement without saying what is needed for them to say “yes.”
|1. Dynamic Steering: Mental shift from predicting how things
will or ought to be, to discovering what is needed now based on
currently known data.|
"Establishing tight feedback loops and frequent steer points throughout the company’s operations. This allows planning and decision-making processes to focus on quickly reaching a workable decision and then letting reality inform the next step, rather than agonizing about what 'might' happen in an effort to conjure up a theoretical 'best' decision that still doesn’t quite get it right." -- Organization Evolved, pg 2
2. Tension Processing: A tension is the felt-sense of a specific gap between current reality and a sensed potential. Tensions can be processed through multiple pathways, including tactical, governance, and strategy meetings.
3. Distributed Authority: All circles hold strategy, governance, and tactical meetings. Each role has the authority to autocratically make decisions related to its roles and scopes, to the extent that those decision do not conflict with the authority of other roles.
"[...] Holacracy distributes the job of evolving the organization across the entire company. This decreases the overload at the top and the disengagement found elsewhere, while instilling new capacities for learning and adaptability throughout the organization." -- Organization Evolved, pg 4
4. Circle Organization: The organization is built of a holarchy of semi-autonomous circles. Each circle has a purpose and scope, defined by its super-circle, and...
"Each circle has the autonomy and authority to define and evolve the roles, accountabilities, policies, and processes needed to organize and govern its operations in service of its purpose." -- Organization Evolved, pg 3
5. Double-Linking: Sub and super circles are linked via two roles which belong to and take part in the meeting processes of both circles. The sub-circle Lead Link role is accountable for carrying the needs of the super-circle into the sub-circle. The sub-circle's Rep Link role is accountable for carrying the sub-circle's needs into the super-circle.
"Lead Links hold the perspective and functions needed to align the sub-circle with the purpose, strategy, and needs of its broader context. Rep Links carry front-line feedback to that broader context, while guarding the autonomy and sustainability of the sub-circle within that environment." -- Organiation Evolved, pg 3
|"Sense of the meeting is a gift. It came to the Quakers through
their commitment to continuing revelation. They discovered that the
Light which had come to teach the people could lead them to
revealed corporate decisions. The Quakers cherished the gift. They
handed it down as a spiritual heirloom from generation to
generation, even as the Jews hand down their covenant with God."
"Consensus is the product of willfulness. We will ourselves to a decision. Sense of the Meeting is a product of willingness in which we allow ourselves to be led. It is the difference between reason and faith."
|1. Decision Making by Consent: Consent is a method of
decision-making whereby the arguments presented in discussing a
decision are of paramount importance, and the result of the
discussion is that no one present knows of a paramount reason to
continue discussion before proceeding with the proposed decision.
Note: this is consent, not consensus.
2. Circle Organization: The organization is built of a hierarchy of semi-autonomous circles. Each circle has its own aim, given by the higher-level circle, and has the authority and responsibility to execute, measure, and control its own processes to move towards its aim.
3. Double-Linking: A lower circle is always linked to the circle above it via at least two people who belong to and take part in the decision making of both the higher circle and the lower circle. One of these links is the person with overall accountability for the lower-level circle's results, and the other is a representative elected from within the lower-level circle.
4. Elections by Consent: People are elected to key roles exclusively by consent after open discussion (this is not a democratic majority-vote election!). Most notably, the election process applies to the representative elected from a lower-level circle to a higher-level circle.
|Distinctions||Alignment is similar to consent as it is ok to say 'no' within
Dynamic alignment is not a governance structure with 'how tos for work, procedures, organizational structure etc' it is a process for complex decision-making.
|Holacracy is a tool for purpose driven organizations. It is not a
tool for communities -- even those based on a shared interest.
The differentiation of role and soul: I am not the roles I fill for the organization. The organization is an entity in its own right, distinct from the group of people that energize roles within it.
A circle is not a group of people; it's a collection of related roles required to fulfill a purpose.
Holacracy is not a consent process; it is based on surfacing and integrating objections. In Holacracy, an objection is a reason why, based on presently known data, a proposal would limit the circle's ability to express its purpose, in a way that wasn't already present in the organization before the proposal.
Lead and rep links are not managers. They have a specific set of accountabilities related to cross-circle communication and tension processing.
|The aim of sociocracy is inclusive decision-making because it has
proven to be more effective. Both consensus and consent are
collaborative processes that result in unified, harmonious actions.
There are, however, two valuable distinctions:
(1) The cognitive difference between asking for "agreement" and asking for "no objections" is profound. Consensus facilitators are more likely to be searching for agreement. Sociocratic facilitators specifically look for objections within defined parameters. Asking for agreement affects the perception of participants, often adversely, and influences the kinds of solutions they will propose or accept. To hone a good decision, all the objections must be examined carefully.
(2) Consensus is specifically a decision-making process and as such is heavily dependent on the skills of the facilitator and the experience of the group. Groups using consensus have no predictable structure for the execution of decisions and must design their own, often building on structures designed to support majority vote decision-making and based on parliamentary procedure. The sociocratic governance structure is specifically designed to support inclusive decision-making and is based on principles derived from cybernetics, systems theory, and complexity theory from which the concept of consent is also derived. Thus the theory base of sociocratic governance and decision-making is more consistent. Good article about this distinctions at:
|Rules / Process||1. Start by outlining the framework of the decision (each major
point should be separated so that it can be considered and
responded to directly).
2. Clarification round: Before having people “vote” or voice objections, it is desirable to have people be sure they’re clear about what their reacting to. In a group, you could post the outline on the wall, or read it aloud. Online, you can have people read the document and post clarifying questions to a discussion forum.
3. Voicing reactions and objections: Safe space to share your reactions without argument. Acknowledge volatile reactions. Let people know they have been heard.
4. The Decision-making process: This involves each person saying they’re aligned with moving forward. If someone says they’re not aligned, then they need so say what they need to be able to be aligned. There are three possible unaligned states for a participant:
- I need item X to be removed (alteration). - I need item X to be modified to say Y (deletion). - I need item Z to be included (addition).
5. Alignment threshold: Even though its best to operate with 100% alignment there are cases where groups need to fragment or some particular decisions don´t need 100% in order to proceed. You can set the alignment threshold at whatever level is appropriate. When you have that percentage of people aligned, then the decision has been reached.
Tactical Meeting Process
|system" as having three rules:
"First, the interests of all members must be considered, the individual bowing to the interests of the whole.
Second, no action can be taken if there are no solutions found that everyone can accept.
Third, all members must be ready to act according to these unanimous decisions."