Seven Principles of Sociocracy 3.0
The three super principles make up the core foundation of self-governance. To make things even easier to understand and practice, there are also seven principles from S3 that guide us in our decision making and collaboration. These are, without any specific internal order:
We devote time only to what brings us closer towards achieving our objectives. Everything else is considered waste, like a meeting without new insights or decisions. It's about focusing on and prioritising the most important things in a stormy sea of opportunities and risks
We respond when something is needed, do what we agreed to and take ownership for the course of the organisation. It's about taking responsibility for yourself as well as your team, business unit and the whole organisation. Maybe even society, if you have the courage.
We involve people in making and evolving decisions that affect them. This means that those who are affected by the decision are the right people to make the decision, or at the very least be sincerely listened to. It's also about inviting everyone who has the wisdom or an important perspective to take part in the decision making.
We do things in the absence of reasons not to. Basically, if it's "good enough for now, safe enough to try", we'll go ahead and do it. There are no reasons not so, so why not just do it then. It's not consensus – not everyone needs to agree to the perfect proposal. We may have different opinions about the details, but only reality will show us which was the right way to go. So, let's try and evaluate instead of talking for hours on end.
We make all information accessible to everyone in an organisation, unless there is a reason for confidentiality. Full transparency is the default mode which we strive to live up to in everything we do and how we build systems for documentation. We only keep things hidden if there is a clearly motivated need for it. How else could we expect everyone to contribute fully to the solution?
Assumptions are the building blocks of decision making. We must simplify and assume things, otherwise we wouldn't function. But sometimes assumptions are wrong and misleading. So, we need to pay attention to them and assess whether they are in touch with reality: We test all assumptions through experiments, continuous revision and falsification. We revise, let go and build new ones.
We change incrementally to accommodate steady empirical learning. This is the extension of empiricism – building a learning culture where we strive to learn, improve and become better over time. For this to happen, we need to document and share our learnings so that we can improve faster instead of repeating old patterns.