Sociocracy: Agile's missing (double) link (Nick Emery and Erin Young)
Many Agile transformations settle for trading old ways of working for newer ones, but leave dysfunctional power hierarchies untouched. Businesses have mistaken agile for a delivery methodology, rather than the disruptive and emergent practice that it is supposed to be. Agile itself is part of the problem however; its strengths are not in scaling governance and policy-making - two processes that are crucial for organisational effectiveness and employee engagement.
Agile has a kindred spirit in Sociocracy - a collaborative decision-making and governance system. With shared roots in systems theory, Agile and Sociocracy have a common language, emphasise human connections, and focus on effective outcomes. By utilising its core principles of effectiveness, equivalence, and transparency, Sociocracy has the power to evolve businesses organically.
In this workshop, Erin and Nick will provide an overview of the shared goals and concerns of the agile movement and sociocracy, and introduce the audience to the concepts and practices of sociocracy in an interactive session. With this knowledge, lasting transformative and evolutionary change can be introduced at organisations, large and small. They will also explore the regenerative design of social permaculture and why it ought to be a goal of any 21st Century business.
Organisations and Leaders seeking innovation and agility should consider complimenting their agility with the processes and principles of sociocracy. We would love to share these insights with you!
Erin Young is a consultant, trainer, mediator, and facilitator. Collaborative decision-making and governance tools (Sociocracy) and holistic design for people systems (Social Permaculture) are her primary frameworks; all nature-inspired and informed.
Nick Emery is an Agile consultant and coach, Scrum Master, and Systems Thinker. His understanding of complex systems and culture has formed through experience, research, and post-grad studies in Sociology.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
Part 1 : Making connections
- Shared Perspectives
- Some Problems Agile has…
- What Sociocracy offers Agile
Part 2 : Workshops
- Circles - Domains and Aims
- Consent - Decision-making
- Feedback (Double Linking) - Elections and Org Design
We would like attendees to walk away from this session with the following:
- Understanding of why agile transformations and business agility efforts often fail
- Understanding of the future of work, self-management and self-organisation
- Understanding of a whole-systems governance model (sociocracy) that balances direction and control with self-organising distributed leadership
- Understanding of social permaculture and its philosophical relevance to the agile movement and modern business
- An enthusiasm for these ideas, an understanding of their application, and an interest in learning more about them.
People wishing for purpose in work, for their voice to be heard, and for complexity to be tamed. Leaders wishing to have purposeful and effective teams whose voices are heard and creativity engaged for greater impact.
Prerequisites for Attendees
Knowledge of complexity theory and systems thinking is important. A solid understanding of Agile values, principles and practical application of them. Also a deep belief that businesses must slow down to make great impacts.