How sociocratic organizations handle a crisis
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:14:37 -0700 (PDT)
Ted Rau has a wonderful ability to describe. In his most recent blog post on 
Sociocracy For All, he explains how  Pioneer Valley cohousing community reacted 
and adapted to the coronavirus threat. 

As in many other places, a group developed who were interested and concerned 
about the coronavirus as a threat to the community and its members. They 
immediately started taking action and the community responded with a desire to 
control them. That usually means a lot of decision making meeting in which 
authority is sorted out and a bureaucracy of reporting and paper is set up. Not 
good in emergencies. Since Prairie Valley had a clear governance structure, the 
spontaneously formed group was able to work within it make the necessary 
changes to manage this and the next crisis. They also identified areas that 
were not included in the governance structure.

Ted's clear characterization of how we act in emergencies and unforeseen 
circumstances: first we do what needs to be done, then we listen, analyze, and 
decide, then we act, then we listen, analyze, and decide again. Listening and 
acting balance out over time and the organization self-corrects. This process 
enables both quick action and planned action. It allows leadership as well as 
inclusive decision making.

> The General Circle [board & members] had a short moment of wanting to 
> centralize power to respond to the crisis, but as soon as working circles 
> [teams] were able to take on their domains, the General Circle was able to 
> “lean back” again. As the “shock-wave” was absorbed, power was immediately 
> distributed more evenly again, like a rubber band that was stretched but 
> quickly eased back to its regular structure.

> If we think of a resilient governance system as a natural system, it was bent 
> temporarily but it didn’t break.

It both acted as necessary and acted to develop longterm plans and necessary 

The full post is recommended reading:

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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