Indaba

“Indaba” (pronounced IN-DAR-BAH), comes from the Zulu and Xhosa people of southern Africa, and is used to simplify discussions between many parties. When things got tricky at the climate-change summit in Paris, indabas where held at all hours of the day. An indaba is designed to allow each part to speak personally and state their […]

Book Review: Beyond Majority Rule

Beyond Majority Rule: voteless decisions in the Religious Society of Friends is the publication of Michael J. Sheeran’s doctoral work in the Dept. of Politics at Princeton University. He spent two years (1973—75) conducting interviews, reading, and observing the actual decision-making of the Quakers. Sheeran is convinced that the Quakers “have something of first importance […]

How Quakers make unanimous decisions

Here is a video where Don Miller explains to Jim Rough how Quakers have been making unanimous decisions for 350 years. Don says Quakers reject the idea of consensus.1 Notes: 1 Don Miller, Quaker Process (#125) at 7:44, The Jim Rough Show, Port Townsend Television, 27 August 2010. Related post (in Swedish): Kurs i kväkarnas […]

The Tyranny of Structurelessness

Jo Freeman’s essay on The Tyranny of Structurelessness is about the tyranny of ”elites”, where an ”elite” is defined as ”a small group of people who have power over a larger group of which they are part”. The problem with these ”elites” is that they don’t have ”direct responsibility to that larger group, and often […]

Book Review: Team of Teams

Teams of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley McChrystal, with Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell, is a book about the restructuring of the Joint Special Operations Task Force from the ground up. The book is built upon the authors ”personal experiences”, together with their ”reviews” of ”published studies” […]

How will companies approach the management challenge?

Here is a visionary tweet by Kenneth Mikkelsen on how companies in the future will approach the management challenge. The businesses will: Have a higher purpose beyond making profit Hire people who are passionate about this higher purpose See all shareholders as equally important Cultivate long-term relationships with suppliers Have open doors and be transparent […]

Ackoff on consensus

I have written previously here that I am convinced that sociocratic principles can be implemented in many ways. Below is an additional example from Russel L. Ackoff on the use of consensus which sounds very sociocratic to me: “Decisions made by a majority of participants usually create a dissatisfied minority.” “Decision-making by consensus avoids such […]

What is a good decision?

Frederic Laloux makes the following distinctions in Reinventing Organizations, page 46. In the Impulsive-Red perspective, a good decision is the one that gets me what I want. In Conformist-Amber, decisions are held up to the light of conformity to social norms. In Achievement-Orange, effectiveness and success are the yardsticks by which decisions are made. In […]

Quaker decision-making principles

There are a number of principles which are characteristic of Quaker decision-making: Unanimous decisions—no voting Silent periods—at start of meeting and when conflict arises Moratorium—when agreement cannot be reached Participation by all with ideas on the subject Learning to listen—not going to meeting with mind made up Absence of leaders—the clerk steers but does not […]

Quaker-based decision-making

The principle of consent in sociocracy is derived from Quaker practices. The Quaker-based decision-making has a simple structure which allows for individual voices to be heard while moving the group towards unity (not unanimity). Key components are: The belief in a common humanity and the ability to decide together. Ensuring group members speak only once […]