Re: Can We Live Without Hierarchy?
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 15:00:51 -0700 (PDT)
I think we can and do strive for openness and transparency.  For respectful 
listening, and for technologies like rounds to help encourage equivalency.  For 
faithful adherence to the good practices of the consent methodology.  Really, 
truly, we embrace these principles and animate these techniques.  And yet …

And yet, in the vast majority of groups of which I’ve been part, and especially 
for larger groups of a couple dozen people, the participation quotient falls 
into the bell-shaped curve.  In one tail there are a few people who seem to be 
a cornucopia of information, ideas, interpretations and initiatives — people 
who are always contributing something that is at least relevant, or maybe even 
decisive.  In the middle are people who rise to different occasions in 
different ways.  And in the other tail, there always seem to be some people 
waiting for the meeting to be over.

Other than to work in significantly smaller groups, I don’t know how to fix 
this.  But I suspect I’ll take much flak if I opine that the people in the 
first tail are the leaders.

R Philip Dowds
175 Harvey Street, Unit 5
Cambridge, MA 02140

land:     617.354.6094
mobile: 617.460.4549
email:   rpdowds [at] <mailto:rpdowds [at]>

> On Aug 11, 2015, at 5:04 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> 
> wrote:
> Yes, because decisions are made at the top. Although people are consenting to 
> it in a passive way. The basic tenet of sociocracy is that the group decides 
> as equals how they will proceed — who will make decisions and how on a daily 
> basis.

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