Employees lead themselves, make decisions by consensus, take responsibility for products and services, but also for the strategy and culture of the organization. Sounds like utopia? Sociocracy maps out paths you can take to make it real. You don’t have to transform your entire organization in the process: Individual sociocratic elements can be applied regardless of the size or industry in which a company operates – even as a complement to other frameworks.
Alternative to Top-Down Control
Sociocracy offers an alternative to the top-down chain of command of conventional management. Thus, the control of the organization is largely shifted from the executives to all employees. Decisions are made in so-called circles, which in turn communicate with each other via representatives (“double coupling”). Ideally, the result of these circle processes is the participative, transparent management of the entire organization as well as faster decision-making and greater flexibility.
The Circle Principle: Decoupling of Person and Power
In sociocracy, companies are structured in self-organized circles. Each circle has its own area of responsibility (domain) and can make autonomous decisions within it. There are no personnel hierarchies, but there is a hierarchy of circles – the higher circles (e.g. a management circle) can overrule the decisions of the lower circles. Delegates and circle leaderships ensure the flow of information through the entire organization and the representation of the interests of the individual circles throughout the organization.
Participative Decision Making for the Good of the Organization.
Sociocracy is characterized by its clear processes. A decision is prepared by a circle member and made by the circle based on current information and by “consent.” According to the motto: “Good enough for now, safe enough to try.” The decision is made transparent in a logbook. After a test phase, the decision can be rolled up again in a circle. With each revision, the quality of the decision and the decision-making process grows. This improves the control of the organization from within the circles. Decisions and decision-making processes are transparent for everyone.
How Can You Use Sociocracy?
Let’s find out. Both agile and traditional business structures can be enhanced with sociocratic elements to make better decisions faster and deliver customer-centric results faster. Sound out for yourself whether and how sociocratic elements can be useful to you. We will be happy to advise you on this and support you in the introduction and implementation.