Kategoriarkiv: Democracy

Three faces of power

I am convinced that we need to change existing power structures in order to achieve organizational democracy. An example are the struggles we see with scaling agile software development to the whole organization. This is ultimately a question of changing the power distribution.

Kenneth E. Boulding defines the three faces of power as:

  1. Threat Power – “Do something I want or I’ll do something you don’t want
  2. Exchange Power – “Give me something I want and I’ll give you something you want
  3. Integrative Power – “I’m going to do what I believe is right, something authentic, and we will end up closer

Let’s take self-organization seriously

We are in the middle of December and the days are short up here in the northern part of Europe, but it’s not only a dark time of the year. I have recently encountered musings about the darkness in the world in the books I have read.

Margaret Wheatley writes for example in her new book So Far from Home that oppositional politics cannot deal intelligently with today’s complex problems and that the already powerful will remain in power. Her call is an invitation to a warriorship for the human spirit. She invites us to fight for more life-affirming values and practices.

Another example is Otto Scharmer who writes in his bok on Theory U that our global system will probably hit the wall within the next ten years if current trends and developments continue (the book was published in 2009). This is why he focuses his time and energy on creating living examples that embody new forms of cross-institutional collaboration and innovation. He continues by saying that the pressure on front-line practitioners right now is enormous and keeps increasing. People feel trapped and don’t know how to change it or how to get out. The situation is serious!

Personally, I think we really need to take emergence and self-organization seriously. The challenges are so big and complex that we need to act intelligently and wisely together. However, self-organization doesn’t self-organize. We consciously need to setup conditions such that self-organization can happen. Dynamic governance (aka sociocracy), which is about consenting to a deeper democracy, is one very interesting and practical approach. Large group methods provide other and complementary examples, all of which can be combined in new and creative ways.

It’s time to take action – together!

John Buck explains sociocracy

John Buck, one of the authors of We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy, explains sociocracy / dynamic governance in this video. He is interviewed by Jim Rough, the originator of the wisdom council process.

Related posts:
Sociocracy requires a new mindset
Scrum vs. Sociocracy
Sociocratic principles can be implemented in many ways
Sociocracy is a method, and still it isn’t
Implementing sociocracy without sociocracy
Sociocracy as practiced by the G/wi
Policies vs. agreements
Scaling sociocracy is all about the context
Unspoken sociocratic principles
Cultural dimensions of sociocracy
A prerequisite for sociocracy is a socios

Related posts in Swedish:
Holakrati, holokrati och sociokrati
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 1)?
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 2)?
Sociokrati är som permakultur, fast för människor
Sociokrati är som en skogsträdgård
Kurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod, som bygger på att nå enighet kring beslut
En historisk tillbakablick på kväkarnas beslutsmetod
Sociokratibok: Idag publiceras boken
Några tankar om sociokrati
Min gästblogg på #skolvåren: Att organisera oss rätt

How to democratize our workplaces

Matt Alderton has a post on how to democratize your workplace. He shares what Traci Fenton, founder and CEO of WorldBlu, says on how we, employees at all levels, can improve our working lives by making our workplace more democratic.

  • Get Naked: Be as authentic, open and as transparent as possible
  • Have a Conversation: Invite people to engage in a dialogue about the issues that matter
  • Understand the Meaning of Life: Understand what your purpose and vision is for your life
  • Point Fingers: Hold yourself and others accountable
  • Realize That One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Do what you can to have a choice regarding the kind of work you do and the schedule you work
  • Say No to Pyramid Schemes: Do what you can to empower your colleagues