Learning Points SIPS Session #5

Hi all,

Every session of our Sociocratic Implementation Peer Support (SIPS) Community of Practice (CoP) we try to capture the learning points we gathered from sharing and discussing the challenges we faced with the implementation of sociocracy within our organizations, communities, and groups.

Below you can read the result.

High praise for Caroline who again captured the essence of what is shared during the SIPS session so magnificently. :pray:

All notes that are shared on the forum are anonymous and everything confidential will not be captured nor shared.

SIPS Session #5, June 23rd, 2022

Worrying about being the “Sociocracy Police” over Selections
In a larger group with several teams, it is difficult to know how much each team/circle is
adhering to sociocracy practices, especially in selections/elections. It is made harder because terms
are only a quarter in length, “selections come up before you know it”. People tend to think sociocratic
selections are time consuming and so easily revert to a quick vote. Also, people are not used to being
picky about who does what, “anyone would accept anyone to do the job”.

Reflections from SIPS members:

  • “Is the idea you might be being perceived as “the sociocracy police” an accurate one?” Others might actually be relieved someone is paying attention and keeping the teams on track. Rather than feeling negative about selections they might not feel that strongly either way. Consider saying, “hey, it’s time to do our selections” and/or reminding people that selections bring a number of benefits that voting doesn’t
  • An experienced group of 10-15 people can run a selection process for 3 roles in 20 minutes- this was timed by a SIPS member- due to the common refrain that it takes too long!
  • Having a first round and then a change round to nominate people might seem tedious, but you can get a useful “snowball” or swing for a certain candidate from the two rounds you might not get from one. This is helpful for group support for a nominee proposal
  • Sociocracy selection/elections can be considered like a poker game HIDE, REVEAL and DISCUSS. You can write down your nomination on paper, share it in order or simultaneously reveal it while discussing your reasons for your choices
  • Sociocratic selections have value, they connect people, bring a group closer together and are a more considered approach to roles or appointments
  • Some members have had also had meetings to actually discuss the selection process to openly explore this tension point

“I know this great governance system” doesn’t usually get people excited- what uniting concept could help to spread sociocracy?
How do we expand the meaning of sociocracy, to make it more than the sum of its parts? It is
obviously useful to the current sectors (categories), e.g., schools, permaculture, intentional
communities/eco-villages, cooperatives, open source communities etc., but how can we convey the
excitement of what sociocracy can do for any group or organization without a greater unifying (or
umbrella) concept?

Reflections: here were the ideas for a unifying concept from the SIPS members

  • Sociocracy is regenerative practice
  • Sociocracy is the evolution of democracy
  • Sociocracy supports equal decision making power
  • Sociocracy is Triple Loop Learning: normalizing feedback at every step and level, giving everyone a voice, respecting and appreciating all input and information to ensure the organization has the greatest chance of surviving. It is therefore the opposite of top down hierarchy/diseases of dictators or the more average avoidance of issues and feedback. Sociocracy digs deep into all of the information- like a nervous system
  • Sociocracy increases participation
  • Sociocracy provides the opportunity to hear all voices
  • Sociocracy is a set of tools for self-governance- more than a system
  • Sociocracy is a system (of governance) that improves/supports collaboration
  • Sociocracy centres the collective wisdom
  • Sociocracy is for self-managing and self-governing
  • Sociocracy is very useful for anyone wanting to do something positive for the world
  • Sociocracy allows us to lead from a task-orientated point of view
  • Sociocracy is a fair way of running any group or organization

Feedback from SIPS today:

  • Enjoying the “emergent strategy” of how SIPS runs each month
  • Having just an hour today because of the Coops and Sociocracy conference was still useful
  • Generally, people would prefer asking for advanced topics or questions by emails than on the forum
  • Looking forward to seeing how we each progress in our organizations
  • “Super-useful”