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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Policy and Operations (with Sociocracy)

Summary: Collaborative decision-making can be fast and efficient if we have clear guidelines what decisions are made by groups, and what decisions can simply made by a designated person in a role. 

The guideline in sociocracy is that consent decisions are made by group and establish general rules. By defining and approving those basic guidelines, workflows and roles together, we establish the basic framework in which people in roles can be empowered to make decisions alone. The combination of the defined framework and empowered individuals, together with appropriate feedback and advice mechanisms, makes self-management flexible, clear and fast. How much a group wants to define as a general rule and how much will be decided on a case-by-case basis will determine how lean or structured an organization will operate.


Every day, there are decisions to make. When we’re working with others, then the decisions we make impact other people and their work. Organizational governance is all about how we can make decisions in an organization so that all of our operations run smoothly. 

In hierarchical organizations, decisions are made at the top and carried out further down in the chain of command. By contract, in extremely flat organizations, “everyone is empowered to make decisions about anything.” 

This article shows how systems of self-management with domains and shared agreements can avoid power-over hierarchy and offer more structure as well as efficiency to flat organizations.

This article is relevant for you if

  • you like the idea of flat organizations, but they seem unrealistic, inefficient, and chaotic to you.
  • you have worked in a hierarchy, and you’re looking for ways to loosen the top-down structures. 
  • you have dipped your toes into sociocracy, gathered some experience, and are ready for a more advanced understanding. 

Read the rest at Sociocracy For All


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