|Re Leadership & Consensus Decision-Making & Can We Live Without Hierarchy?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Diana Leafe Christian (dianaic.org)|
|Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 07:04:47 -0700 (PDT)|
Hello, Re the issue that Stephenie of La Querencia brought up, of governance as being something different from and larger than decision-making, I love what David Heimann has written about the "committees and plenary-consensus approach" at Jamaica Plain. The method they use -- each committee having a mandate of why they can do and an annual budget and autonomy within those limits (and taking issues to the plenary when needed) -- is not only an excellent way for a community to govern itself, in my opinion, but also illustrates the difference between a governance/management method for a community and it's specific decision-making method. (A point I made in a post yesterday that hasn't arrived on the digest yet.) I'd also like to address the claim that Sociocracy's consent decision-making process is the same as consensus (either "classic" consensus, which I also call "consensus-with-unanimity," or any of the consensus modifications, including the wonderful N St. Method). In my opinion, as a longtime consensus trainer and facilitator and now a Sociocracy advocate and trainer too, these are not similar decision-making methods at all. I cannot emphasize this enough. They appear to me to be in whole different paradigms, if you will -- with whole different sets of assumptions and expectations about living in an intentional community. I can explain more about this if anyone likes. And I'd like to address the claim that Sociocracy and Holacracy are the same. Egads, they're not! They only look the same at first glance, as both have a linked circles structure, a way to change implemented proposals later, a similar elections processes, and both use a bicycle analogy to explain feedback loops. I'm one of three Sociocracy trainers I know of -- each who has lived in community and each of whom has also taught Sociocracy to intentional communities -- who has also studied Holacracy. The others are Frands Frydendal in Denmark and Gina Price in Australia. Frands, Gina, and I really like Holacracy too, but do not think it's the same as Sociocracy. The two methods have a superficial resemblance until you study them both more deeply. Re hierarchy, both Sociocracy and Holacracy have what you could call a "nested hierarchy" or "circular hierarchy." The "hierarchy" part in each method has so many checks and balances that it's not autocratic (which is how we think of "hierarchy"), so no boss can make anyone do what they don't want to do. Very cool systems, both. I recommend Sociocracy instead of Holacracy because Sociocracy is accessible and affordable to cohousers and members of other kinds of intentional communities. Whereas Holacracy was designed for, marketed to, and in terms of learning it, is priced for corporations -- about $4,500-$5,000 for a 4-day workshop. I made a chart comparing the similarities and differences of Sociocracy, Holacracy, and consensus. If you'd like to see it, please let me know - diana [at] ic.org. Other workshop handouts I can email if you like: (1) Brief overview of Sociocracy as used in intentional communities. (2) "What Can Go Wrong with Consensus in Intentional Communities." (3) "The N St. Consensus Method" (4) "Misconceptions about Sociocracy" (responses to Laird Schaub's criticisms of what he characterizes as Sociocracy). Thank you for reading this post! Diana
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