Sociocracy and Holacracy are alternative organizational models that aim to create more democratic and self-governing workplaces. Holacracy and sociocracy appear to be synonymous - a governance system for a company that seeks both effectiveness and inclusion. Sociocracy is a method of governance that emphasizes consent-based decision-making, empowering teams and individuals, and organizing in circles or nested circles. It is based on principles of transparency, equality, and effectiveness, and seeks to foster collaboration, trust, and innovation among members. Sociocracy is often used in employee-owned companies, co-operatives, and non-profits. Holacracy, on the other hand, is a specific system of organizing and running an organization that is based on the principles of self-management, distributed authority, and continuous improvement. It involves creating clear roles and accountabilities, defining decision-making processes, and using regular meetings to ensure alignment and accountability across the organization.
When to use
Sociocracy is a great tool to use when:
- You are looking to create a democratic system of governance in a business, organization, or community.
- A great way to ensure that all voices are heard and that decisions are made taking into account the needs of all involved.
- You can create a more efficient decision-making process, as it helps to limit the amount of time wasted in discussion and debate.
- Can also be used to create a more transparent decision-making process, as it requires all decisions to be documented and recorded.
- Foster a sense of collaboration between all involved, as it allows for everyone to have a say in the decision-making process.
Holacracy is a good choice when an organization is looking to:
- Foster a culture of innovation and creativity.
- Increase agility and adaptability in a fast-paced and constantly changing environment.
- Remove the traditional hierarchy and empower employees to be more self-organizing and self-managing.
- Improve efficiency and productivity by reducing bureaucracy and streamlining decision-making processes.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork among employees.
However, holacracy may not be appropriate for all organizations, and it requires a significant shift in organizational culture and mindset to implement successfully. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the unique needs and challenges of your organization before deciding to adopt holacracy.
How to use
- Establish a shared understanding of the organization’s purpose and goals.
- Create a guiding circle that is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the organization.
- Develop a system of rules and procedures for decision-making.
- Implement a system of feedback loops and a continuous improvement process.
- Make sure that all decision-making processes are documented and recorded.
- Encourage collaboration between all involved in the decision-making process.
- Monitor and review the decision-making process regularly.
By taking these steps and using sociocracy, organizations and communities can create an effective and efficient decision-making process that ensures that everyone's voice is heard and respected.
Here are some steps for using Holacracy:
- Familiarize yourself with Holacracy - Read books, blogs and attend Holacracy training workshops to learn the basics of the system.
- Define circles: Circles are small, self-governing teams that work together to achieve specific goals. Each circle has a clear purpose and a representative who participates in the organization's overall governance.
- Create roles: Within each circle, you will need to define specific roles that need to be filled. Each role has a set of accountabilities and responsibilities that are clearly defined.
- Conduct regular meetings: Regular meetings are essential to Holacracy's success. Each meeting should have a specific purpose, and each member should have an equal opportunity to contribute and raise concerns.
- Make and record decisions: Create processes for decision-making, communication, and accountability that align with Holacracy principles.
What you get
- Ensures everyone's voice is heard and respected
- Creates a more efficient decision-making process
- Results in a more transparent decision-making process
- Fosters a sense of collaboration between all involved
More info and resources
Sociocracy or Holacracy? - Sociocracy For All
We are going through a time of change and new governance systems are gaining ground. Two linked to self-management emerge, they look so alike but yet so different...Discover the differences and similarities between Sociocracy or Holacracy on the blog!
- We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy by John Buck and Sharon Villines
- Economic Democracy by David Schweickart
- Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy by James Priest
- The Principles of Sociocracy: Governance for a Changing World by John Buck
- The Principles of Sociocratic Decision Making by Jim Leckie
- Sociocracy: A Further Path for Participatory Democracy by John Buck and Sharon Villines