What is Sociocracy
Sociocracy, or Dynamic Governance, is a system of governance of groups, regardless of their size, that encourages co-participation and co-responsibility of group members. The sociocratic group will behave like a living organism capable of self-organizing and self-correcting: it is a resilient system.
‘Sociocracy’ comes from the Latin socius (partners, companions, associates) and the Greek krátos (authority): the government of the partners.
In sociocracy you have to trust the process and the people involved in it
Sociocracy is guided by three values:
- Equivalence: All members are equal within the group organization.
- Effectiveness: The group’s focus is on policies and actions that help it fulfill the group’s vision, mission and objectives.
- Transparency: Everyone has access to the policies, the meeting minutes, etc. There are no secrets. This supports equivalence, effectiveness and co-leadership responsibilities.
Sociocracy is based on four principles:
- Consent decision making. In sociocracy a distinction is made between political decisions (policies that affect the functioning of the group) and operational decisions. Consent is used for political decisions. Perfection is not sought. The decisions have to be good enough for now and safe enough to try. If there are no rational, logical and valid reasons to object to a proposal, it becomes a decision. A decision always has a review date (usually after six months).
- Circle. The sociocratic structure is based on circles.
- A circle is a semi-autonomous organization that manages, executes and evaluates its processes.
- Each circle must take into account the needs of the circles above and the circles below.
- Each circle establishes its own operating rules with the consent of its members.
- Each circle elects among its members one or more people to fulfill the role of facilitator, secretary and logbook keeper.
- Each circle chooses among its members the links with the higher and lower level circles.
- Double link. Sociocracy establishes a double relationship between each circle and its higher level circle. A person with the role of Operations’ Leader, or Agent, is chosen by the highest level circle. A second person with the role of Representative, necessarily different from the previous one, is chosen by the circle to participate in the higher level circle. These two people are full members of the two circles.
- Election without candidates. The selection and assignment of people to a role occurs through a voting process without a declared candidate. The members of the circle proposes the qualities that a person needs in order to fulfill the role. Each member proposes the person they consider most suitable for the role, then justifies their choice. It is possible to name yourself. After a first round of proposals it is possible for each member to change their choice, after having heard the motivations of the other members. The circle facilitator then proposes a candidate and the group consents, or not, to the proposal. The person that has been proposed for a role can then accept or refuse the role.
This mind map is made up of bubbles, lines and arrows
- The thicker the edge of the bubble, the more important the bubble.
- The darker the color of the bubble, the more important the bubble.
The lines connect bubbles with complementary contents..
The arrows indicate the direction of the process.
The human eye is attracted to the color red, the bubble with the sharpest edge is a thick red bubble and inside it there are the words Pioneer Group in white. They are the only white words on the entire map. That’s where we started reading. From that bubble another bubble comes out, connected with a red line, which explains what is in the Pioneer Group bubble.
Four other lines of different colors also emerge from the Pioneer Group bubble that lead to four bubbles of the same color as the lines and with the edge slightly thinner than the Pioneer Group bubble:
- Vision – Mission – Aims – Green
- Circles and Double link – Red and Blue
- Elections without candidates – Purple
- Consent decision making – Orange
From these four bubbles, through lines, arrows and bubbles with a more or less thick border and more or less intense color, the four areas that make up sociocracy are developed.