Self-governing teams through SoFA (Sociocracy for All)

Are you interested in learning more about self-management and how to share authority within an organization? Then this talk is for you! We will discuss the basic patterns and processes of sociocracy, a system of self-governance that can be used in combination with agile practices to scale self-organization across all decisions made in an organization. This interactive class will cover topics such as patterns of organizing and consent decision-making. So come prepared to learn and participate in the discussion!


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Why does governance matter? What’s the larger context? (5 minutes)

  • VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity)
    → requires organic, decentralized structure to respond
  • Governance = steering
    • How we make decisions
    • Who makes decisions
    • (we add:) How we improve over time

Breakout Room - Round in small groups (5 minutes)

  • Own experience with decision making?
  • How does it feel? Does it serve you
  • → Gather highlights (pop corn) and reflect​.

Introduction to sociocracy (5 minutes)

  • Balance effectiveness and efficiency ←→ equality (hearing everyone, no one ignored)
  • Netherlands, 1980s; Gerard Endenburg | Socio = those who associate; -cracy = governance
  • Consent for policy | principle of no objection,
  • Org structures ← natural systems | authority distributed into circles, autonomous in their domain | connected by double linking, i.e. two people are members of both related circles.
  • Continuous evolution ← cybernetics | lead - do - measure

Feedback / Self-Organization (10 minutes)
Good decisions are made over time, not all in one step → working in iterations.

  • Pixel Game or similar Demonstration (fishbowl or all)

Consent Process (8 minutes)

  • Step 1: making sure everyone understands the proposal
  • Step 2: in a round, everyone can respond to the proposal (small amendments?)
  • Step 3: in a round, everyone consents or objects
  • If there are objections,
    (1) understand the objection
    (2) explore potential integration
    (3) consent round
  • Saying yes to something (consenting) only makes sense if there is a realistic chance of saying no. → Everyone needs skills to handle objections; power dynamics have to be addressed

Fishbowl Consent Exercise (12 minutes)

Circle structure (15 minutes)

  • Decisions made in small groups where we can deliberate and build expertise and trust, psychological safety. We need all the parts to be connected so decentralized pieces can be aligned.
  • Virtual Flower Petal Exercise

Fishbowl Selection Process (20 minutes)
The selection process highlights how links are chosen but also all other roles. Selections include all the topics from above (org structure because of links, rounds, consent, feedback).

Closing (10 minutes)

  • Something to take home (​seed material​)
  • More ways to learn
  • Feedback

Learning Outcome

Learn how to make decisions using sociocracy
Articulate the path from self-organizing to self-governing

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Managers, Leaders, Consultants, HR, PMO

schedule Submitted 2 weeks ago

Public Feedback

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  • Shane Hastie
    By Shane Hastie  ~  3 days ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ahmed

    This looks like an interesting workshop.  

    I don't see a link to a video of you presenting/facilitating - is there a video we can watch?


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