Sociocracy – Collaborative Governance

By John BristowComments Off on Sociocracy – Collaborative Governance

Sociocracy – Collaborative or Participative Governance for our times This is of interest to anyone interested in addressing the issues of alienating and ineffective uses of hierarchy and methods of control in organisations and groups of all sizes.  And in the question of how to have equality in being heard and having influence together with efficient decision making and action. While developed over 40 years ago in the Netherlands and then used in different sectors and contexts in the US of A and elsewhere, this is still relatively little known in the UK. It is very relevant to our times when there is a need to use information and knowledge from throughout a group or organisation to handle the complexity and speed of events and change in an increasingly inter-connected world, and when there is a demand for a voice in societies. Sociocracy combines a flexible and equal involvement of  representatives of all key stakeholders and organisational levels in decisions about direction and policy with efficient ways of organising operations to achieve the results desired by all, agree ways of working and what and how to measure results and enabling conditions – and then learning together from what worked, and did  not, back in the policy meetings. It also has guidelines for effective decision making by consent and for the systems and structures for embedding these ways of working. These principles and practices can be applied to deliberations with oneself and to all sizes of groups and organisations formal and informal – couples and families, and work groups and organisations in all sectors, including government. Here Nathaniel Whitestone gives us an introduction with examples. More information can be found in websites www.sociocracy.info and Nathaniel’s own sociocratically run business www.decisionlab.org.uk . To contact him directly, e-mail him there: nathaniel@decisionlab.org.uk .For a useful comprehensive book there is We the People: A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods by John Buck and Sharon Villines avialable on www.amazon.com or the sociocracy website above. For exchange of learning and experience there is also www.sociocracy.uk.ning.com . For those interested in community groups and enterprises there is also the website of the Fellowship of Intentional Communities www.ic.org .                         The video clips are divided into 8 separate pieces (numbered Sociocracy 1 to 8 below and published on You Tube (search on their website under Sociocracy). The sound is a bit low and they are best heard on your laptop with earphones or with extension speakers. These clips are also recorded separately on adequately loud audio accessible below through clicking on the blue titles. They follow a sequence of topics:

1. What it is and why it is relevant today 4 min 16 sec  Sociocracy 1 Nathaniel Whitestone 2. What it is and why it is relevant – (2) and its origins  8 min 41 sec   Sociocracy 2 Nathaniel Whitestone 3. How to make it work – (1) Meanings of hierarchy and its use and misuse  7 min  Sociocracy 3 Nathaniel Whitestone 4. How to make it work – (2) Circles alongside hierarchy, top down and bottom up (and lateral) communications, policy and operations phases 5 min 24 sec  Sociociocracy 4 Nathaniel Whitestone 5. How to make it work – (3) Decision making by consent  6 min 55 sec Sociocracy 5 Nathaniel Whitestone 6. How to make it work – (4) Adapting guidelines and Experimenting  3 min 22 sec Sociocracy 6 Nathaniel Whitestone 7. How to start – (1) 1st 3 steps and an example 8 min 13 sec Sociocracy 7 Nathaniel Whitestone 8. How to start – (2) Taking it further across an organisation  5 min 20 sec Sociocracy 8 Nathaniel Whitestone

1. What it is and why it is relevant today


2. What it is and why it is relevant – (2) and its origins


3. How to make it work – (1) Meanings of hierarchy and its use and misuse

4. How to make it work – (2) Circles alongside hierarchy, top down and bottom up (and lateral) communications, policy and operations phases

5. How to make it work – (3) Decision making by consent

6. How to make it work – (4) Adapting guidelines and Experimenting

7. How to start – (1) 1st 3 steps and an example

8. How to start – (2) Taking it further across an organisation

Governance & Organising
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