Appreciating Systems

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Do Elinor Olström’s principles to manage #Commons apply to Social Systems as well?

While reading this article here: http://evonomics.com/tragedy-of-the-commons-elinor-ostrom/ I wondered if, just like I (and others) did with Permaculture principles, her 8 core principles could be used in social systems as well (if we consider that, today, mental energy in organizations might be considered as a commons and is in danger of disappearing because of “overgrazzing”):

  1. Clearly defined boundaries;
  2. Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs;
  3. Collective choice arrangements;
  4. Monitoring;
  5. Graduated sanctions;
  6. Fast and fair conflict resolution;
  7. Local autonomy;
  8. Appropriate relations with other tiers of rule-making authority (polycentric governance)

Well, it doesn’t seem as clear cut as with permaculture. We could make the following parallels (sorry for the  crude images in what follows. Union representatives, please stay away from this unsafe zone 😉

  • workers’ mental energy is the field
  • managers are the villagers
  • work is the cows who graze in the field

There’s a first difference in that managers are both members of the group of cows and the field being grazed.

I can see how it could work to manage that (I mean, in an artificial, rigid, way with committees to monitor metrics, assemblies of managers studying the work and the health of the workforce), but nothing plausible seems to emerge.

And yet, with governance approaches (eg Sociocracy 3.0 or Holacracy or Reinvented Organizations), the problem seems to be addressed. But the distinction between cows and field has vanished (something not possible in the example of Olstrom of course). Which might have all to do with the difference between real, physical world (Olstrom) and virtual, services, mental world.

I disagree: self-organization is NOT hard (reply to @bud_caddell)

This is a reply to Bud Caddell‘s article here.

First, I’d like to say that I agree with most of the content of the article, especially the stuff on Holacracy being complicated stuff. I come from Lean management coaching, and I can say that Lean is complex too. Indeed, we see similar problems: some companies succeed in implementing it, some don’t. Most don’t by the way. Read more »

#Sociocracy and #Holacracy

May 27th, 2015 Posted in Change Tags: , , , ,

I’ve happily discovered the “new version” of Sociocracy as 3.0. Please go check there; the link with Holacracy as a past dissidence is explicited, but seems to have been integrated in the new sociocracy. I love this new version (much clearer) and probably more than Holacracy because I find it simpler to understand. I’ll seriously consider using it especially after having read that “undercover guerilla” Sociocracy for One.

Of course, version 4.x of Holacracy is just around the corner (in open-source, on Github, whoohoo!) so I’ll have to check that one too!

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