Is there anyone out there who isn't frustrated with government?
I would guess in this day and age the almost universal answer is "no"!
last weekend's Dynamic Governance workshop, we practiced a technique
for transcending the logjams, bickering, bitterness, and then seeming
oppression that often comes with governance--be it democratic,
autocratic, or consensus-style. John Buck led this "sociocratic" event
sponsored by Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage and the Belfast Area
The four elements that make Dynamic Governance different from other
models are subtle but important for any organization that wants to get
things done quickly while taking into account differing points of view.
Decision-Making Style is the first element.
uses the governing principal of consent as the basis for
decision-making. Unlike consensus, this is not a quest for agreement. It
is a process by which each member is able to explain their reasoned
objection to a proposal and allow the group to problem-solve to find a
solution to the objection. This system allows for a relatively quick
decision-making process while at the same time bringing in the wisdom of
the group that often majority rule voting or autocratic systems do not
Structural Organization is the second element.
Governance the organization is composed of working groups (rings), each
of which has a specific aim or task. There are different levels of
rings, and each level of ring is responsible for different degree of
abstraction of the decisions they make. Within the same level, each ring
is responsible for different types of aims or tasks.
Communication is the third element.
Different levels of rings
are interlinked by having at least two representatives that are in both
the upper ring and the lower ring. This process is called double
linking and is the way that critical information is communicated through
Election is the fourth element.
The governing principal is
that leadership is more dynamic when leaders are elected for specified
terms as opposed to volunteering. Rings elect their ring-leaders to
functions and tasks by a consent decision-making process after open
discussion. This often brings out unidentified leadership within an
organization. It also allows individuals to 'try out' a role they might
not have otherwise have taken on, and it gives them the confidence of
the group as they take on that role.
The entire process of Dynamic Governance is based on a cycle of
"lead-do-measure." Each ring reports to the rings above and below as it
introduces a task (lead), then performs that task (do), and then
evaluates the performance of that task (measure).
This basic feedback loop ties the four elements of Dynamic
Governance together such that the organization functions in a way that
excites and energizes the participants instead of promoting burnout and
depression as so many other styles of governance do.