Collaborative Decision-making Package

In 21st Century decision-making, we need methods that promote collaboration. Nobody has the full perspective. It’s time to move beyond the options of majority rule or consensus, away from decision-making that creates winners and losers. Now, as our culture grows much more complex in its diversity, we offer you a simple, very different framework, a third option: Consent.

This package delivers training in the the Principle of Consent; defines when to use consent for decisions and when not to; introduces tools for making decisions within a Range of Tolerance; and clarifies key leadership practices; so you can create governance systems that are inclusive AND efficient.

Not your typical training

We work with busy people and have found it very hard to get a circle of decision-makers into a training together. Yet, if you’re going to change something as fundamental as your practices for decision-making, all the members of the circle need to have a shared understanding of the new processes you’ll adopt together and why.

So we’ve developed something unique — we bring the new skills and practices into the meetings you are already having, using your agenda items as the content!

How it works

All the members of the team complete 1-2 hours of online video modules and exercises, at their convenience, to learn the basic concepts. A Circle Forward coach works with the facilitator and secretary chosen from within your group, to prepare for and conduct at least 3 consecutive meetings. You use your meeting agenda items as the content for learning and applying the new principles and processes.  You experience the results of collaborative decision-making directly as your meeting processes bring out your group’s wisdom.

You can easily orient new members. Over time, people come and go. Once you purchase the Collaborative Decision-Making Package, you have on-going access to the on-line training materials to orient new members.

This is not a “one-off” training that is quickly forgotten. Rather, these are game-changing practices that become part of your culture.

We hear from people that they not only experience profound benefits in their own circle, but that they “sneak in” the tools and practices with other groups and create more benefit there, too!

The Collaborative Decision-making Package includes:

  • At least 9 hours of experienced coaching to help your circle apply Collaborative Decision-making processes.
  • The Collaborative Decision-making video series + Step-by-Step Toolkit
  • Perpetual access to the online training materials for new members who join your circle later.
  • New!  Consent-based Leadership
    • The Consent-based Leadershp module introduces different kinds of leadership roles that work together to help members self-organize quickly and think together fluidly.

The Principle of Consent

Our organizations and networks are systems. If we want to thrive, we need conditions that meet the range of tolerance of all parts of the system. We need equitable decision-making and the ability to learn and adapt together to conditions that are constantly shifting.

The game-changing Principle of Consent is the basis for all governance decisions in the Circle Forward collaborative governance system.

Is it really possible to get consent on difficult decisions with so many different personalities in the room? The answer is “Yes.” 

Check out this video of a real-life situation:

You’ll get a taste of how the practical tools and processes can allow people with completely different points of view to find joint solutions and move forward together.

Practical Tools

Using the step-by-step process and practical practices for collaborative decision-making your team will experience the creativity and adaptability that arise within an eco-system of consent. You’ll also learn to distinguish between when to use consent (for governance in special circle meetings) and when to empower a point person or leader to make decisions independently. Clear delegation frees people from feeling they always need to make decisions together.  This is one of the ways Consent is not the same as consensus.

What Collaborative Decision-making is NOT

Circle Forward is not about running nice meetings and having no conflict. Sometimes, in fact, the best thing that can happen in a meeting is conflict, because disruption and conflict are often the rites of passage to innovation and positive change. “No conflict” is not a measure of Circle Forward’s effectiveness. The measure of Circle Forward’s usefulness is in whether groups feel confident that they have the necessary governance tools to fulfill their mission in a complex world.

Meetings are the spaces where people coordinate their efforts and recalibrate their shared plans based on feedback, to keep improving the results. What we’ve seen is that as groups find consent on decisions over and again, trust grows. Conflict is better tolerated as a disruptive moment that marks the beginning of creativity and innovation. (Check out the Primary Principles of Circle Forward)

Your first meetings might be messy. You’re learning new things. The transparency built into the system will bring the elephants out of the corners and into the middle of the room. That’s why this package includes coaching and support in real time on real issues your group is tackling.

How much does it cost?

Because we train circles of decision-makers and not individuals, the cost will depend somewhat on the size of your circle. As a social enterprise, we want to make this training available to everyone who needs it, so we will also consider your overall organizational budget and capacity to pay. Please contact us to set up a time to talk about your unique context and what you hope to achieve.

Ready to find out more about applying this to your unique context? Click here to contact us.

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