Dynamic Governance (DG) is founded on the idea of consent-based decision making and using procedures that ensure all voices are heard. It has a sociocratic structure that incorporates essential aspects of the Quaker model.
An organization instituting DG defines its working units (semi-autonomous Circles) and their hierarchical relationships as makes best sense. Figure 1 provides the structure of the Circles in PULSE.
The PULSE Fellows have coordinated much of our work via videoconferencing, and the DG process has improved meeting efficiency, effectiveness, and inclusiveness.
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Principles of Dynamic Governance
To ensure two-way communication among all Circles, there are two representatives from any Circle that are full members of the next higher Circle.
Figure 1. The PULSE Dynamic Governance structure is continuously evolving. All Fellows consent to substantive issues, but daily governance is overseen by the Fellows Council, which includes the elected All Fellows leader along with the leader and delegate from the three lower Circles. The Assessment Circle is a "helper" group working closely with the Fellows Council to assess the impact of the PULSE project.
The conduct of Circle meetings is purposefully structured, with a dedication to collegiality. Each Circle has an elected leader and delegate (the members of the next higher Circle), along with a facilitator (who runs the meetings) and secretary (who records the minutes).
During meetings, decisions are made through a deliberate process of developing and consolidating consent through entertaining objections and using them to stimulate creative amendments to proposals. The steps include presenting a proposal, a round of clarifying questions, a round of quick reactions and fine tuning of proposal, and a consent round. This cycle may be repeated as needed if proposals are amended. DG necessitates an engaged Circle membership, adherence to collegiality, and a skillful facilitator.
You can learn more about Dynamic Governance by visiting http://sociocracyconsulting.com/about/sociocracy/ .
Buck, J. A. and G. Endenburg. 2012. The creative forces of self-organization. The Sociocratic Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Creative Forces of Self-Organization Last Accessed 07/02/15
The Sociocracy Center website, Principals and Practices. http://www.sociocracy.info/principles-and-practices-of-sociocracy/. Last Accessed 07/02/15
Wikipedia entry on Sociocracy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociocracy. Last Accessed 07/02/15