Is it possible to use Sociocracy without naming it?

We discussed this topic on our Community of Practice for Facilitators (CoP-F). The “conclusion” was that the discussion will be continued …

I guess, it is possible to use Sociocracy (principles and practices) without explicitly naming or labeling it as Sociocracy.

The core principles and methods of Sociocracy can be applied and integrated into various organizational structures and decision-making processes without explicitly referencing the term.

However, I would prefer to name it as being Sociocracy. I love it and I want to share it. I’m also aware that not everybody want to accept it as it is - Sociocracy.

Perhaps there is not a “best” strategy to implement sociocracy, so I would focus on the organization’s needs as I would like to find / understand people’s needs when using NVC.

Sociocracy emphasizes consent-based decision-making, distributed authority, and circle-based organizational structure. These principles can be implemented within existing frameworks or adapted to suit the specific needs and culture of an organization.

By incorporating these principles, organizations can foster more inclusive and participatory decision-making, promote transparency and accountability, and encourage collaboration and self-management among team members.

In practice, we can adopt Sociocratic principles and techniques such as circle meetings, talk in rounds, consent decision-making, role-based governance, and feedback loops without explicitly labeling it as Sociocracy.

We can introduce these practices gradually, incorporating them into existing processes or integrating them into a new framework that aligns with your organization’s goals and values.

By focusing on the principles and benefits of Sociocracy rather than the name itself, we can implement its practices in a way that feels organic and appropriate for the organization, without requiring a formal declaration or explicit use of the term “Sociocracy”, at least for the beginning.

When I was a child and I was hungry, my grand mother used to feed me without telling me what food she gave me. She often told me: If you like the taste, you will eat more; if not, you can eat something else.

Do you think there is a useful lesson on my grandma approach?

I am looking for ideas to implement sociocracy gradually in a political party where some leaders want to use sociocracy while other told that using sociocracy or voting is “the same”. I told them that both are used to make decisions, but the continuation and the consequences are quite different …

In case you have some real life experiences with implementing sociocracy in organizations where people are divided in “pro” and “con”, please share them here.

If you would like to share your comments or personal reflections on this topic, please feel free to do so in a comment below. Thank you.

Best wishes.

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Of course it is possible to use SCM-derived processes and structures without using any naming of the “product” or “system” or “method.” In some cases this is the most effective approach.
If once comes in pushing a named “method” or “system” or “approach” that in itself can trigger resistance. Those triggered will do a lot of work to find reasons why “method X” is bad, has failed before, will cause problems, etc. and/or to say why “method Y” is better, and so on.

What we are doing is helping people design structures and processes to avoid what they experience as ‘problems’, ‘challenges’, and so on in working effectively together towards some common aim.

Finding out first what they are challenged by, struggling with, etc., and then asking if they are willing to try some different processes and/or structures to see if they get different results is a very different invitation to changing behavior than telling them they should use “method X.”

I put that in generic terms - “method X” - because it is the same issue for any method, tool, technique, system, be it NVC, Permaculture, Warm Data, Listening Circle,Transactional Analysis, Psychodrama, EST, and so on…

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John Schinnerer (@john.schinnerer),

Thank you for the comment. I appreciate your contribution by adding your own reflections and feedback to this topic.

Best regards!

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