Movinmg forward with the best info you have in decision making.
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 07:30:36 -0800 (PST)
 Sharon Villines wrote:

In sociocracy, decisions are made on the basis of moving forward as best you
can because moving forward gives you new information that you can use to
evaluate and correct course. "This is the best we can do at the moment. If
everyone can live with it at the moment, then we reevaluate when
circumstances change (or we change them) and new information becomes

I would point out that this brillant statement also applies to any any
decision making process, sociocracy, consensus, voting, autocracy.  It is
this notion which makes any group collaboration function and this
re-evaluation is often key to getting unstuck.  Sometimes people are afraid
to make ANY decision and they get stuck. Being open to re-evaluation builds
confidence that the group can decide now, and change it later.  One of the
key problems in many group processess I evaluated was that groups made a
mistake in the past, and people who were originally hesitant to make the
decision felt vindicated, thus they hold up many decisions based on that
experience and fear of the group making a mistake.  I call this the, I told
you so, syndrome. There are times when this is wise, there are other times
in it unwise. 

A healthy approach is to acknowlege mistakes  (that did not turn out like we
thought it would),  and move on, having learned from the past. I often
counselled cohousing groups to create a community celebration day, most of
which was spent admiring the amazing things you do, but part of which is
used to evaluated things to work on and reconsider.  Cohousing groups can
get mired in sour grapes over unfullfilled construction desires or
construction problems. I have met people who were holding resentments about
some stupid building thing years after moving in. I think this can really
poison your group.  Also there is a huge shift between forming, building and
living together in terms of the types of decisions that you make and how
concrete they are.  

In creating a multi-million dollar real estate development there are
thousands of decisions, some of which can not be easily undone. This means
you have to get the parking lot right the first time because it would cost
thousands of dollars to tear it up and move it.  This all changes once a
group moves in and most all the rest of your decisions can easily be undone.
I have worked with groups to help them learn how to let things go, try
things ok, do things for awhile and see. This took a shift from their
thinking that everything had to be perfect the first time.  This can be a
difficult transition.  One way to evaluate decisions would be to examine how
easy is it to undo this? You might want to spent lots of time on those which
are hard to undo, and learn to let go and try out things which are easy to

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
Snohomish County, WA

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