Sociocracy UK

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

Supporting our co-learning; a quick 5 minute exercise. Please respond here :)

A quick 5 minute exercise, please respond below...

You might find this useful regardless of whether you feel connected in to the community, or wherever you are on your journey.

In April this year, at the end of a 2 day workshop with John Buck, co-author of 'We The People - Consenting to a deeper democracy', during
conversations about how we can support each other and meet again, Sue
Bell proposed that we prepare a simple 'personal development plan'
related to our learning in Sociocracy, so that we can best mutually
support our growth. Please take a few minutes to jot down your responses to these questions:
  • What do I know about Sociocracy? (You might know nothing at all or be a black belt)
  • What do I want to know about Sociocracy?
  • How can I find out more about Sociocracy?
  • What do I need to be able to use it where I live and work?

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1. I understand it as a form of collaborative governance. It feels that it is appropriate for the transition to inclusion of everyone and recognising the win I/ win YOU/ win THE PLANET way of moving on from competition that creates winners and losers.

2. I would like to see it working in groups and organisations.

3. My present resource is the book 'We The People' written by John Buck and Sharon Villanes, the international yahoogroup, S.E.E.D in Brighton with the present training arm of DecisionLab, Elliott Saxby associated with Findhorn and colleagues from the April training in UK with John Buck organised by Nathaniel White.

4. I would like to have colleagues to work with and create a face-to-face and virtual learning community in UK.
1) For me, Sociocracy is the future as I would like it to be. It nurtures an organisation whose emergent behaviour becomes like a living and learning organism. It unlocks creative responsibility, ownership, a sense of purpose, while lessening the burden on the 'leader', manager or boss, and 'crowd-sourcing' wisdom for more effective decisions, while promoting respect, diversity and inclusion.

2) What I would like to know, is how to develop my understanding, on a low budget, among a community of peers. What do I need to be able to advise organisations as a consultant? What about quality control? Where can I find a safe playspace to test my skills? How can I provide the training and support that organisations might need?

3) I can find out more by reading / re-reading 'We The People', by inviting John Buck or others to visit again to run another workshop, and by participating in the email groups and mentoring or peer learning communities. I can continue to practice in the sociocratic company I co-founded. Evaluate and improve.

4) What do I need? Intention, determination, regular nudges and feedback / contact with peers, like minded people who understand me, and Continuous Professional Development.

While the world faces a multitude of highly complex challenges (economic, social, inequality, environmental, interpersonal etc) largely created by ego-based leadership styles, there is a need for us to become more eco-driven and work through collobarative co-creation and decision-making based on collective wisdom.  Amidst the doom, there is also a huge opportunity to redefine our society and capitalism, i.e. a capitalism based on community and eco-system rather than investors and ego-systems.  It is a chance to re-invent organisations and corporations who largely hold the key to wealth creation, but currently with many horrible side effects.  As such Sociocracy, as I see it, is a tried and tested way to run organisations collaboratively, tapping into its collective wisdom, yet very efficiently at the same time.  The key point about sociocracy is that it is not just about conversations and engagement, but it's about collective decision-making, and until all members of a socius, an organisation, can participate in the decision-making and choice-creation process of that organisation, all 'engagement' and 'collaboration' programmes in organisations remain rather empty, indeed possibly deceitful.  Sociocracy, as I see it, offers a great way to bring all these pull collaborative engagement and wise leadership efforts into fruition in a holistic way. 


Specifically to the questions:


1. I have read the books and web-sites.  I have lived and worked 15 years in Japanese companies (in Japan) which are largely run on similar lines (consensus) - which is why Japanese are very slow in taking decisions, but super fast in actioning them and making things happen, because everybody is behind them.  I have been highly unsuccessful in trying to introduce Japanese collective decision-making processes into Western organisations, partly because it was too alien, but I hope sociocracy offers a framework which Western companies can understand - also now the time is right.


2. I don't want to know any more specifically, but I do want to hone in my facilitation and leadership skills so they are properly aligned to the sociocratic ones.  So practical skills alignment rather than knowldedge.


3. By working together with other sociocratic professionals, and possibly to developing self-sufficient learning modules on various aspects of sociocratic practices, which are more easily marketable.


4. Some formal training to consolidate my application of sociocracy, and especially collaboration with sociocratic peers and colleagues, so that together we can make this happen.

  • What do I know about Sociocracy? (You might know nothing at all or be a black belt)

I see Sociocracy as only superficially being about the four principles.  More deeply it is about equivalence of every person's voice.  But even more deeply than that, I see Sociocracy as being about systemic wholeness, i.e. integrity.  The wholeness of the individual, of the team, the organisation or community, and of the society -- each within itself and in connection with its environment.  Equivalence is important, but it is also a mean to that deeper end.  Wholeness of that kind has the same meaning as well-being, wisdom, and harmony.  Of course being an effective learning organisation is necessary to move in that direction...

  • What do I want to know about Sociocracy?

I want to know a lot more about the details of how other people adopt and practice.  I would love to have case studies from various organisations, and to go on a tour of some kind visiting existing sociocratic businesses (and schools, government departments, etc.).

  • How can I find out more about Sociocracy?

I can and will continue to train with John Buck as part of my certification process.  I can also arrange to visit with sociocratic organisations.  And of course, I can deepen my own practice, finding out how things work by putting them into action.

  • What do I need to be able to use it where I live and work?

Continued practice.  And very small steps.  I know that I easily get swept up in ideas about whole systems change, forgetting that genuine change happens one small tangible and sustainable step at a time.  Little experiments!  That is the Sociocratic way, after all.

Just to give a 'heads up' - there has now developed some interest in establishing a formal sociocratic study circle, connected to the international community. We'll share any news in due course.




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Please leave us your suggestions as a comment to this open discussion.  Your ideas would be greatly appreciated. 



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