Sociocracy UK

How-to, community & developing Collaborative Governance in the UK

Thank you to John Schinnerer for this list of common mistakes made when implementing sociocracy:

Here's a few general examples of what I'll call "common mistakes." A 'mistake' is an opportunity to learn something - IF anyone notices that there's something to learn.

 

== Circle structure ==

* Having poorly defined or undefined domains of responsibility for circles.

* Having poorly defined or undefined aims for circles.

* Not respecting suitably/adequately defined domains and/or aims for circles.

* Creating circles that aren't actually necessary or useful at a given time.

* Failing to create circles that are necessary or useful at a given time. This can look like for example insufficient delegation, micromanaging, "everyone deciding about everything," etc..

 

== Elections ==

* Failing to generate clear and consented role descriptions.

* Confusing nominations with votes.

* Assuming that quantity of nominations is more important than quality of nominations.

* Reasons for nominations that are not relevant to the role description.

 

== Consent Decision Making ==

* Not using rounds consistently (rounds are not the only option, and, they are a foundational skill. Like scales in music - when I know my scales without thinking, I can improvise, and fall back on the scales if/as necessary. If I don't have that foundation, I just make noise).

* Allowing reactions in clarifying questions rounds.

* Asking for agreement instead of objections in the objection round.

* Objections that are not relevant to the proposal and/or the aims of the circle

* Addressing an objection in depth in the middle of an objection round.

 

== Proposal Generation ==

* Starting with idea generation (ideas for proposals) without first defining and consenting the nature and scope of the issue ("picture forming").

* Mixing together defining the issue ("picture forming") and generating proposal ideas to address the issue.

 

== Meetings ==

* Mixing operations work into a policy meeting

* Not preparing adequately for a meeting (no agenda, unclear agenda, unrealistic agenda, roles not identified, etc.)

* Digression away from the agenda item being processesd - that is, failing to maintain focus on the work to be done at the moment.

 

== General ==

* Failing to consent to try/use sociocracy before starting to try/use sociocracy.

* Assuming that people new to the organization with no training or support will be able to function sociocratically (especially when the organization itself is new to sociocracy).

* Facilitator taking on more responsibility than the role defines.

* Facilitator taking on more authority than is granted by the role.

* Circle members not taking responsibility for their own full participation.

 

These are a sampling of general examples of course, based on the standard principles and processes. There are always situations where one or more of these might not be a mistake at all, but just the right thing to do.

Please also review this article by Sheella Meerson, Five common facilitation mistakes.

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