Principles

The primary objective of sociocracy is creating a harmonious workplace, not just because harmony is nice, but because harmony is necessary for people to work together effectively. Harmony boosts success, whether that success is measured in dollars earned, medicines distributed, or lives saved. By creating harmony, sociocracy supports organizations’ success.

Sociocracy is based on three basic concepts:

Consent

To ensure that organizational policies allow everyone to do their jobs well, policy decisions are made by consent. Consent means “no paramount and argued objections.” Objections must be based on a person’s ability to do their job and clearly explained so they may be addressed and resolved.

People are elected by consent to functions and tasks. The election process ensures that the person elected to a task is accepted and supported by the circle, that the person elected understands the task requirements, and all members understand what they need from the task to be performed.

Circles

Decision-making is delegated to a structure of circles that reflects the operational structure. This allows decision-making to flow through the organization. Responsibility for leadership is distributed, so that individuals are included in the decisions that most affect their work.

Double-Linking

In the configuration of decision-making circles, the membership of circles handling more concrete work overlaps that of the circle that handles more abstract work (such as long-range planning and overall policy). This overlap — called “double-linking” is accomplished by including at least two people from the more concrete circle  as full members in the circle that focuses on more abstract work.

The “double-link” includes the operational leader elected by the more abstract circle and at least one representative elected by the more concrete circle. Double-linking ensures communication, participation, and feedback up and down the organization.

These three principles produce exceptionally strong and productive organizations. sociocracy also uses best management practices, including transparency and integral education, which are enhanced by the circle structure.