Learning Points SIPS Session #11

SIPS #11 22nd December 2022

Topic 1. Alternatives to sociocracy selection/election processes:

A non-profit software company, starting sociocracy implementation this year, is trying out a couple of different alternatives to the traditional sociocratic selection process for their delegate selections: an open nomination round- then a selection round- whomever gets most votes becomes delegate with run-off votes as needed. They have also tried out different procedures such as google forms for each round, the planning poker technique- write down nomination and then all reveal at once, and quadratic voting (host a quadratic vote using radicalXchange) where you can weight your choices. What do other members think of the sociocracy selection process and using alternatives?

My experience of the sociocracy method of selection has been positive, connecting us more as a group and in the process learning more about each other

The full consent of everyone (versus voting and not getting your candidate) feels useful for the future support of the person in that role.

“ I like the design of the sociocratic process and have used it many times, not just for choosing roles but also for choosing between different options”.

The facilitator has some choice based on the mood/atmosphere of the room.

It feels transparent and does get quicker with practice.

Perhaps the difficulty with the above organization is that the group making the selection is too big (at approx…20) which might be why the sociocratic method is not working so well?

People find it difficult to talk about their nominations, it is a social problem- yet this is part of the issue, we would ideally like to create a new reality rather than get stopped by this barrier

I don’t like the idea of “ranking humans” (quadratic voting approach)– maybe the problem is more that the group is too large so the selection methods used are a compromise?

“Variations of selection methods will happen”, it is important to remember “the goal is to all get along and to all have a job”; being a successful organization is the top goal.

Reflecting on the urge to stick with sociocratic methods and not to use alternatives… it might be the fear that if you let too many variations into the mix, you will naturally gravitate back to business as usual

There is a tension between following the perfect model and making changes it to it and concern that if you start changing one thing then you will lose others

Topic 2: What number of people do we all think makes the best size of group for working together (and using sociocracy)?


5-6 is a nice number as somehow odd numbers feel better/more energetic; bigger groups can be less flexible but smaller ones have more responsibilities

Not more than 8

Needs to be more than 3 or 4 as this leaves the weight of responsibility on a few shoulders and there is less “team energy and benefits”

Sometimes there is a necessity for a larger group to represent more views

Topic 3 (after meeting extra discussion): Exploration of an idea for a new Community of Practice (CoP)

“ When sociocracy pinches”- exploration of a potential new CoP using Non Violent Communication/Empathy as its main theme so members could bring more painful situations/outside hurts they are facing to be recognized and acknowledged and worked through

This was part of what was envisioned for SIPS, the possibility that some problems would be painful and require a more empathetic approach to problem solving- could this become a part of this SIPS Community of Practice?

A separate group seems to make more sense to keep the emphasis on NVC and empathy

This seems like it could fill a useful need- “I would certainly come to it”


The time went really quickly!

Enjoyed the topic today a lot

Further clarification about the details and nature of the organization discussed was appreciated

Interesting talking about how we work/make decisions/build standards and how we can make it better

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