A conversation with Simon Mont of the Non-Profit Democracy Network
Highly structured processes like Sociocracy, Dynamic Governance and Holocracy often meet resistance
This article helps me to find words and validation for the reasoning behind the direction we’ve been going with Circle Forward, drifting away from sociocracy and any prescribed methods, and toward a framework where people are the architects of their own governance systems.We hold a container for them to consider their systems, different options, and dynamics of power; we provide guidance, and they design their systems and practices based on their values and the context, with safeguards that it can continue to evolve.
As the author says, “so long as we stay mindful…[w]e can use highly structured processes in some spaces and completely organic and fluid processes in others. We can experiment with different levels and types of structures to be able to relate in ways that meet the needs of the moment. Different groups can find the processes that work for them in relation to their tasks. With a variety of processes occurring throughout the organization, individuals will sometimes feel completely at home and other times will feel on edge. Such mixtures of safety and tension can create learning and trust.”
We are still learning all the time — the more we do this work, the more deeply humbled we are at the complexity and messiness of it, and at the same time, the more inspired we are that it is worth the effort!
Continual Experimentation and Adjustment are required as we transform culture in highly complex systems
There is no new structure within which we can operate that will magically bring us the world we want to see. We have to try different strategies, see if they fit, and make adjustments within, around, and between us in order to find what we are looking for. New models promise a lot and rarely deliver. When this happens, we have to move forward—reinventing the reinventions, not reverting to the subtle tyranny of familiarity.