Developing an Effective Sociocratic Organisation

A Two-Day Introduction to Sociocracy for Practitioners

Click HERE to register

Course Summary
Healthy organisations rely on a strong shared purpose and great relationships, where trust makes space for innovation and where passionately engaged workers can take the lead in their areas of expertise. Sociocracy is a proven way of running (and re-designing) an organisation, with forty years of accumulated practical knowledge and a clear, simple, whole-system design. In two days of experiential learning, play, and hands-on consulting sessions for the real organisations of the people who attend, we will cover the basics you need in order to apply Sociocracy to create a healthy, effective, and long-lasting organisation.

Who this course is for
If you are a founder, a leader, a director, a consultant or a passionate organiser, this course is for you. The course is designed for people who run their own businesses or charities, and want a robust system of governance and management to make growth easier, succession drama-free, and team-mates fully engaged.

When and Where
This course will take place on the 11th and 12th of April from 9.30am to 5pm.
The course will be held at Jury’s Inn Brighton, 101 Stroudley Street, Brighton, BN1 4DJ. Jury’s Inn is situated right behind Brighton Station, click HERE for map.

There will be an informal evening event on the 11th, most likely involving eating out at one of Brighton’s many restaurants, while we discuss and build on our day’s learning, and get to know one another.

How to Register
Please complete our registration form by clicking HERE. Please pay by bank transfer or cheque: payment details are on the registration form.

Pricing

Early bird prices until 28th February: Price includes course manuals with permission to reprint for internal use in your organisation, as well as coffee and tea throughout. Dinner on Saturday night not included.
Discount price for ACMAC and Aptivate members; also Early Bird price, please book before the end of February: £180
Second (third, etc.) person attending from the same organisation, paying at same time please: £120

Regular prices from 1st March: Price includes course manuals with permission to reprint for internal use in your organisation, as well as coffee and tea throughout. Dinner on Saturday night not included.
Full Price: £210
Discount price for ACMAC and Aptivate members£180
Second (third, etc.) person attending from the same organisation, paying at same time please: £150

Content will include, according to participant needs:
Overview: history, use and benefits of Sociocracy
Learn and opportunities to practice or observe the 4 fundamental ingredients: decision making by consent, elections by consent, double linking and organising via self-managing circles.
The Vision Mission and Aims statement
Required roles
Circle meeting format
Separation of Policy and Operations
Use of measuring and feedback in operations
Have the meetings you need — and only those

Sample Course Schedule
ACTUAL SCHEDULE EVOLVES BASED ON PARTICIPANT NEEDS
Saturday
9.30am Start with Coffee & Tea and informal chat
10:00am Welcome
10:15am Why are you here? [fill out intentions portion of feedback forms]
10:30am Marshmallow game
11:30am Break
11:45am Overview of Sociocracy – web of consent, rapid affordable experiments
12:15pm Consent decision-making intro
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm Elections (choosing a restaurant)
2:15pm Structure (double-links, standard structure)
3:00pm Break
3:15pm Circles (Aims & workflow)
3:45pm Facilitation & decision-making practice: design an organization that can play the marshmallow game; elect people to roles
4:45pm Q&A, Closing
5:00pm Go to dinner

Sunday
9:30am Coffee & Tea; informal chat
10:00am Discovery – what have we learned so far?
10:30am Marshmallow game
11:30am Break
11:45am Fishbowl consultancy using the long form decision-making process
1:00pm Lunch
2:00pm In small groups, list the Aims for a single circle one member actually participates in. Describe the workflow used to deliver one of those Aims.
3:00pm Break
3:15pm Small group work on applying Sociocracy to your organization – using the long-form, design an experiment for the organization of one participant in your group.
4:15pm Paired discussions on what people have actually learned, what people will actually do.
4:30pm Feed back to the group as a whole
4:45pm Fill in feedback forms
4:55pm Closing circle

The group will be kept small, to ensure all attendees get their needs met. Please register before Feb 28th to benefit from the early bird rate, and to secure your place. RegisterHERE.

What is Sociocracy?
Sociocracy is an effective way for groups to self-organise and cooperate to accomplish shared objectives. Sociocracy has been used in hundreds of organisations world-wide over the past 40 years, and provides a reliable way to increase productivity, safety, happiness, and engagement in organisations of any size.

Sociocracy is a whole-systems approach to management and governance with full array of core practices and systems needed for running most types of organisation, from cohousing communities to manufacturing firms to schools to small businesses. At its core are four principles: Consent, Circles, Feedback, and Election by Consent.

The Principle of Consent dictates that each policy decision (in which we make or change the rules by which we play) is made by Consent. Consent is not consensus — it does not mean that everyone agrees. It means that nobody is aware of a risk that we cannot afford to take. We know we have made a decision by Consent when somebody (usually the Facilitator) asks “Can you see any risks we cannot afford to take in adopting this proposal?” If each participant in the meeting indicates they do not see any risks we cannot afford to take, we have made a decision by consent to try out the experiment described in that proposal. If policies are the rules of the game, then operations are “playing the game”. While we only make policy decisions by consent, we can make operational decisions however the rules tell us to. Most often, this means very clear delegation of budgets and decisions to specific roles, and assigning people to those roles.

The Principle of Circles tells us that a sociocratic organization is made up of Circles – semi-autonomous, self-organizing teams that each make their own membership decisions, decide on their own working methods, and manage their own budgets. Each Circle defines its policy (and some policies which apply to other circles reporting to it) by Consent, and uses other decision-making methods as appropriate to its operational work. The key to the Principle of Circles is that each Circle is organized around delivering a specific type of value to a specific client (inside or outside the organization). A Circle for an orchard would include growers, truckers, sales people, and accountants — or at least the people managing sub-Circles devoted to those areas of work. Each specific type of value is known as an Aim.

The Principle of Feedback requires us to use feedback processes everywhere in our work, and especially in the power structure of the organization. While most companies have a top-down organizational structure, with managers providing links from one level of the organization down to the one below, those “single links” are often chokepoints for key information that people on the front lines know and the “top management” do not. Sociocratic organizations use “double links” to connect each Circle with the one above it. The Operational Leader role provides guidance and prioritization from the higher circle to one below it, especially during normal operations. The Representative role provides feedback and guidance from the lower circle to the one it reports to. While the Representatives may not have any operational responsibilities in the higher of their two circles, they (along with the Operational Leader) are full members of both circles for the purpose of any consent decision-making.

The Principle of Election by Consent provides an important counter-balance. While we can delegate almost any decision to operational roles or processes, using a policy decision made with Consent, the one sort of decision we cannot delegate is the election of an important role — particularly the Representative. Representatives must be chosen by Consent of the Circle which they represent. This ensures that the organization is woven together by a web of consent, and that power flows in circles through the entire organization.

You can watch videos about Sociocracy featuring several people, including Nate, HERE.

Nate’s love affair with in Sociocracy started in 1998, while organizing the Ecovillage Network of the Americas, but he didn’t create a sociocratic company until 2010, when he launched the UK’s first such company. Nate co-founded SociocracyUK; has provided numerous training events on Sociocracy; has worked with various companies to implement Sociocracy; and become the first Certified Sociocratic Expert in Britain(certified by international standards body for Sociocracy, The Sociocracy Group), serving on the global executive team of The Sociocracy Group (see http://www.sociocracy.com).

For more information on Sociocracy visit www.sociocracy.com or sociocracy.co.uk.