Sociocracy 3.0

Sociocracy 3.0 is a guide for evolving agile and resilient organizations of any size from small start-ups to large networks. There are seven principles defined.

The Principle of Effectiveness: Devote time only to what brings you closer toward achieving your objectives.

On the guide, domains are shaped to get responsibility on defined primary drivers, key responsibilities and constraints to be applied. Domains are self-managed to achieve their goals. Governance backlog lists all actions required to govern domain and operational backlog is linked to actions required on day-by-day operations to satisficy key responsabilities and agreements achieved for continuous improvement and adaptation. Under this context, many items could arise, and there is a good differenciation between fit purpose and fit need. Achieving second one is much more effective and it is customer-oriented while first one based on guessing is much more easy to create gold-plating scenarios.

Analysis should be focused on what is needed rather than aim. Source of motivation is key on this context.

The Principle of Consent: Raise, seek out and resolve objections to decisions and actions.

Transparency, and involve group of people impacted by a decision into the decision making process is key to remove resistance to change but also to arrive to much better fitting contexts. Determine whom should be on circles for this acknowledge and consent / objections process is key but also giving them opportunity to be prepared.

The Principle of Empiricism: Test all assumptions through experimentation and continuous revision.

Proof of Concepts, Pilots, control groups are key to understand whether what is established to be changed / implemented is satisfying goals and customer/investor/people satisfaction.

The Principle of Continuous Improvement: Change incrementally to accommodate steady empirical learning.

Establishing frequent feedback loops through different channels and to different stakeholders is key to avoid issues. Also evaluating and assesing proposals to go for change is key.

The Principle of Equivalence: Involve people in making and evolving decisions that affect them.

A change can be done when all people involved, understand reasons, took part on decision making process and embrace change for the best.

The Principle of Transparency: Make all information accessible to everyone in an organization, unless there is a reason for confidentiality.

Results, mission, priorities, feeback, challenges gives people possibility to align with company needs and empower then to take better decisions and act consequently.

The Principle of Accountability: Respond when something is needed, do what you agreed to do, and take ownership for the course of the organization.

Stand out and take responsibility is key for change to happen. There is a number of governance and operational changes that need to be accomplished to fullfil every need. Talent but also motivation and attitude are fundamental.

Guide establishes patterns (practices) to apply sociaocracy. Talent retention, new generations mindsets and digital transformation require to adopt new ways to interact.

What about key topics: security, enterprise architecture, quality, headcount, budgeting, …? Constraints need to be defined on circles to be proposed and agreed with different domains to be sure self-organisation is driven in sustainable patterns.

Holacracy and Sociocracy are tightly linked:

Zappos has been working in Holocracy since 2014:

A list of organisations using Holacracy:

And here a list of success cases related to Sociocracy:

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