Clarification on roles and domains

Continuing the discussion from Page comparing to other platforms:

FYI, per our Sociocracy approaches, we don’t do consensus on everything. Design decisions are the domain of those holding the design roles (that’s @mray and @msiep), unless others have objections that relate to a problem with our core mission or a problem with their roles (e.g. a developer objecting about the challenges or costs of implementing a design)

Right, that makes sense to me (the quoted), as I’m familiar with “circles” from Holacracy (and of course, domains).

I’m not done reading through the Sociocracy website, so I guess I just don’t understand “consent decisions”. Why are they even called that? Those seem like two nouns that got stuck next to each other for no reason.

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We’re all still adapting and organizing our use of these ideas. Holacracy is really a less-human variant of Sociocracy. That’s a bit of grotesque simplification, but really Holacracy is an adaptation of Sociocracy from the perspective of a computer programmer looking for efficiency. Sociocracy 3.0 explicitly included some aspects of Holacracy and is otherwise closer to what we want.

That said, I’m also reading other Sociocracy resources. My impression at this time is that S3 is the direction we want but is less complete, more of a work-in-progress still, and so we need to fill in the gaps with our own ideas and those from other Sociocracy and compatible sources.

Oh, so that’s where we are. Good to know.

Interesting take on the evolution of Holocracy… I assumed it was the opposite (Holocracy came first, made waves, then Sociocracy came along as a non-aligned, more co-op, more socialized or “human” derivative of it) is pretty good overview. Sociocracy in today’s overall form goes back to the 1970’s, though the roots go much farther back.

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You might be familiar with decisions made by consensus: Everyone has a veto right. Decisions made by consent are slightly different in that vetos need to be reasoned objections, i.e. they need to demonstrate how the proposal would lead to unintended consequences, based on goals that have been defined before. (Called drivers in S3, or the circle’s aim in Sociocratic Circle Method.)

Note that in reality, groups doing decisions by consensus often only use their veto powers when they have reasoned objections – some are even offended by sociocracy people defining a new term and contrasting it with consensus as if there was anything wrong with it.

The term “consent decisions” is used mostly by sociocracy people, hence it also carries the connotation that decisions would not be made by the entire group, but rather circles to which the responsibility for certain domains are delegated. In effect, the idea is that decisions are made neither by “the king”, nor “the majority”, nor “everyone” (having veto rights), but by “the best argument available to the group who has been appointed to make the decision”.

For more reading, see the PDF Consent decision-making by sociocracy for all – especially the introduction (section 1), which explains consent. The other sections deal with the consent decision process as used in meetings, which might also help with understanding consent itself.

(Sorry for linking to entire websites over at Reviewing the process for consent decisions…)


A post was split to a new topic: Tracking topics vs first-posts

Similar to my recent response in another thread, just noticed that I wasn’t tracking this topic. Lots of great content, thanks for spending the time to tease the distinctions apart and explain them!

I wonder what’s causing my problem, maybe something related to splitting topics?