Re: Quorums/Reopening decisions
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 05:51:53 -0700 (PDT)

On Oct 26, 2006, at 10:53 PM, Nikki Sachs wrote:

We are also
discussing the same thing in relation to reopening a previously consensed decision to new terms? How many "votes" have to be in favor of this to do

Sociocracy has a nice definition for this because it is stated in a positive instead of a negative.

1. You review all policy decisions on a regular basis to see if they are still relevant -- this means every two years or less. This way you don't end up with a lot of obsolete policies that give policies a bad name.

2. Then you revisit decisions whenever there is new information or conditions have changed.

As soon as a decision is implemented you begin getting information about how well that decision is working. This information should be "measured" in some way. For most decisions in cohousing this means simply paying attention.

The environment changes as well. Does a changed environment require revisiting a decision?

In sociocratic decisionmaking, the emphasis is on the result of the decision, not on arbitrary measures like length of time. If an arbitrary measure could be used for when the decision could be revisited, one might question whether the decision itself might be made arbitrarily so why go through consensus at all?

Decisions in sociocracy are made within an aim statement -- what is the purpose, objective, goal, reason for making this decision? What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know when we have accomplished this? Then you measure the effects of the decision within that goal. Are we achieving our goal? Is the decision producing the intended results?

Good decisions are the result of making and modifying decisions. It's important to make a decision as quickly as reasonable, see how it works, then make a better decision based on the information gained.

Hypotheticals do not make a good basis for decisions and too frequently that is what we base our decisions on, particularly when we are trying to make perfect decisions that will last forever because we don't want to go through this again. In sociocracy, the standard is a good enough decision to more forward with -- one that can begin giving us information in order to make a better decision later. Move forward, Measure results, Correct. Move forward and correct when necessary.

It's a process. A circular feedback process, to get technical. Thinking of decisions this way, I find makes them MUCH easier to make.

Sharon Villines

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