Learning Points SIPS Session #4

Hi all,

Here are the notes / learning points captured from our 4th SIPS session.
Thanks everyone who attended for making the session again inspirational, insightful, and fun! And thanks Caroline for capturing all this wisdom :smiley:

SIPS Session #4, May 26th, 2022

How to work with people who find the proposal process difficult to stick to?

  • Have 2 flip charts- use one to track progress in the proposal process- use the other for the “let’s pursue that later” ideas that are generated- but are outside of the proposal

  • If there is a significant issue that comes up in the proposal process that seems important to explore, ask, “does anyone object to us stopping the proposal process to take more time to explore and discuss this?”

  • If proposals seem to be regularly derailed, consider asking the group, “How can we fine tune our practices?” Set up some extra training on the proposal process and the importance of it for the momentum of the group.

  • As a facilitator- if the proposal is getting off track- consider saying how you feel…for e.g. “ I feel anxious/frustrated that we are not going to get through this proposal that is important for our group”

How to engage an “expert” group (with a wide range of knowledge of sociocracy) to engage in group sociocracy training and implementation?

  • Look for the people who are excited about sociocracy in the group- help to train and support them as “champions” or “mentors”- to help implement sociocracy through the group.

  • A playful approach perhaps, “Does anyone object if we tried out some sociocracy right now?”

  • Raise the concept that being “hooked on a goal” might be missing the best part of it all: the process. People might feel differently arriving at the goal if the process was sociocratic even if it took longer

  • If an agreement is made to use sociocracy it is very helpful to make the next step the development of a sociocracy governance document- SoFA has shared its own here

  • “Who Decides Who Decides” written by Ted Rau is useful for any group to implement sociocracy, whatever their level of sociocratic experience

How to introduce sociocracy in a short workshop (1.5hrs) for a large hierarchical healthcare org.?

  • Put people into smaller groups and make a decision the usual way they would- then reassemble in different groups to make another (same or different) decision using sociocracy process- reflect on how it felt and how outcomes were or weren’t different.

  • SoFA has some great resources to support training- see here for a start: Articles and videos about sociocracy - Sociocracy For All -if playing SoFA’s video’s- can also stop for questions

  • Another approach might be to start with aims- what are the aims of our department, for e.g., and look at how decisions are made at present

  • Explain the difference between consensus and consent- this is common misperception in groups practicing consensus or people who are in hierarchy but might imagine sociocracy is like consensus. Quick differences: consent=better and more efficient decisions

  • Include feedback at end of session so you can gather what people liked and didn’t

  • Reflect on decisions made in the past that are going well, or not so well- and why more inclusive decisions, as in sociocracy, might have more effectiveness and support

  • Ask the group ahead or at the session if there is something coming up that they could use sociocracy processes for- then afterwards, reflect on how it felt and also how they felt about the process(es)

  • When addressing changes to decision makers and leadership- emphasize that decisions made will be better- to help to mitigate the feelings of loss of control

  • Asking people to be open to learning something new is an important first step in implementing sociocracy- make it interesting enough for people to take on the challenge of learning something new

Recommendations for a ‘soft’ introduction of Sociocracy in your group

  • Identify together the current pain points of the group, and propose sociocracy-based solutions.
  • Ask your team members if they are willing to experiment the coming period with some new (sociocratic) ways of working you want to try out.
  • Express your need for everyone being heard.
  • Manage expectations: 1) to implement sociocracy, people need to be open for learning and practicing the tools of sociocracy, 2) human collaboration is complex and often a bit messy, don’t expect perfection and total smoothness
  • It can be useful to bring in a sociocracy expert. This will accelerate the learning process of the team and it helps to avoid disagreements around the way sociocracy is implemented.
  • Three steps to get your sociocratic group up and running: 1) Define your group’s vision, mission, and aim, 2) Agree on how to decide together, 3) Agree on how to communicate, and share information.

Closing Round Feedback

Human collaboration is hard, complex, amazing, difficult and messy

“I got more out of this than I expected”

Reminded about “the power of our collective wisdom”

“Learning to be at peace with not knowing what we are doing”

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