by Gerard Endenburg and John Buck
Summary © 2007 Lloyd Kinder
Advantages of Sociocracy
Greater effectiveness and enjoyment for any group or organization
More creativity and problem solving throughout the organization
Win-win-win for investors, management, staff
Higher quality products and services
Higher staff commitment to and identification with the organization
Fewer and better meetings
Lower sick leave
Better safety record
More awareness of costs
Improved client orientation
Much less burnout
More program self-discipline
Supportive of leadership among peers
Supportive of organizational continuity when many volunteers are present
Supportive of fund raising
Requires careful implementation planning
Necessitates training in new concepts
Sometimes arouses complex emotions during implementation (skepticism, elation, anxiety)
Sometimes uncomfortable to those not accustomed to the burden of difficult decisions ...
Sociocracy has developed most in the Netherlands with great success and has attracted interest elsewhere in Eurasia, in Latin America ... and recently in the United States.
MEETING PREPARATION & AGENDA
Before each meeting the clerk [or Facilitator or person using a similar title] should contact group members to decide on an agreed place, date and time to meet [if necessary] and ask for any proposals for group action. The clerk should write all proposals on a meeting agenda. If there is no approved clerk or reporter for the group, make their election the first proposal on the agenda. Active participants should be no more than 15 members. Divide larger groups into circles of 15 or fewer members each, with each circle having different responsibilities. Each circle should elect one member to represent the circle in meetings of each other circle.
At the meeting, the Clerk reads the meeting format. The Reporter records and reports on decisions & announcements.
A. Opening Round:
-a- Give everyone a copy of the proposed agenda and this meeting format and ask everyone to read along silently.
-b- Decide together what time the meeting should end and announce it.
-c- Decide together when and where future meetings should be held.
-d- Read the minutes of the previous meeting & ask for corrections.
-e- Everyone take turns saying briefly what and how you've been doing.
-f- Anyone who has announcements may make them now.
-g- Ask if anyone greatly wants to change the agenda order or add a proposal.
-h- Clerk read the final agenda.
For action proposals goto B;
for election proposals, goto C;
when there are no more proposals, goto D.
B. Decision-Making Process
1-State the action proposal, including:
who made the proposal,
what the proposed action is,
who is to supervise the action,
when it should be completed,
and what the clear, measurable aim of the action is.
2-Everyone who wants to, make quick comments on the proposal.
3-The proposer should then amend the proposal, if needed, based on members' comments.
4-Anyone who still has objections to the proposal, state your objections and reasons, while the Clerk writes them down on a blackboard or flipchart etc without immediate discussion.
5-When all objections are written, everyone may suggest how to modify the proposal to remove all objections.
6-Clerk should amend the proposal based on suggestions and ask everyone for consent; if anyone does not yet consent, go back to step 4, or get group consent to put the proposal on the agenda of a specified later meeting.
7-Otherwise, if all consent, record the decision and go back to h.
C. Election Process
1-State the job description and term of office for the elected position.
2-When the job description and term are decided, someone should give out ballots & everyone fill them out, writing Your Name and Your Nominee, then hand them back.
3-Everyone say why you made your nomination.
4-Anyone may change your vote after hearing others' reasons.
5-Clerk should propose a nominee based on members' comments.
6-Everyone say if you consent to the clerk's proposal and the nominee should answer last.
7-If anyone does not consent, go back to step 5.
8-When election is finished, record the decision and go back to h.
D. Closing Round: Evaluation
-Everyone may answer these and similar questions to evaluate this meeting and group progress on current action projects:
How is use of meeting time?
Did the Clerk provide equal time and power to all members?
Could the decision-making have been more efficient?
Did everyone arrive prepared?
What issues should be on the next meeting agenda?
Are group-consented tasks being done on time?
Does the group have clear goals and is it making clear, detailed plans to reach the goals?