Governance by Design

Organizing Ourselves to Get Things Done

Good governance is no accident — we create it by design.

Benefits include greater creativity, faster adaptation, higher commitment, fewer and better meetings, and improved focus on organization vision, mission and aims.

“Dynamic Governance is an innovative model for more fully engaging my staff in achieving our mission: empowering our clients to turn data into actionable intelligence.”

Evan J Miller

CEO, Hertzler Systems

Do you want to get things done and have more fun?

Learn to:
• Have more enjoyable, efficient and productive meetings
• Make better decisions
• Enhance creativity and innovation
• Maximize effectiveness
• Increase individual and collective engagement, commitment and empowerment
• Reduce tensions around power

Facilitated by John Schinnerer, MA Whole Systems Design – founding member of The Sociocracy Consulting Group, and principal of Governance  By Design and Eco-Living Whole Systems Design.

Four Opportunities to Learn

Organizations that Work – Introduction to Sociocracy

Sunday, February 11, 1:30-4:00 pm
cost: $40 (sliding scale)

How can we organize ourselves to get things done more effectively?
How do we use group intelligence to focus on collective goals, while still valuing individual diversity and autonomy?

Enjoy an experiential introduction to the values, principles and practices of sociocracy relevant to all types of organizations. Sociocracy is a holistic system for organizational design and self-governance. Decisions are made by consent, people organize around the real work that needs to be done, and feedback loops are built in to enable individual and collective self-leadership.

Sociocracy offers practical tools for achieving an organization’s aims, based on values such as equivalence and transparency. This workshop will draw on participants’ own experiences, offering an opportunity to engage directly with issues of collaborative leadership and governance. We will explore how to use sociocratic structures and processes in real-life contexts, to create and maintain high engagement, clear decisions, and commitment to action.

Please RSVP to Phil Metzler:
Payments can be made at the event and will help cover presenter costs, but should not prevent anyone from participating.

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Foundations of Sociocracy

Monday – Tuesday, February 12 & 13, 8am-5pm
cost: $400 For-Profit / $200 Not-for-Profit (20% discounts for multiple attendees from the same group and for attending the Facilitation workshop as well)

The two-day Foundations workshop, February 12-13, will be highly experiential, drawing on participants’ own organizational needs and experiences.  We will engage directly with issues of governance structure, process, issues, and solutions and learn by doing in small and large group exercises.  Participants will receive a thorough introduction to the values, principles and practical skills of the Sociocratic Circle Method (sometimes called Dynamic Governance), a whole systems design for self-governance based on equivalence, transparency and effectiveness. Members of any kind of organization — community-based/ grassroots, for-profit, not-for-profit, educational, governmental, and more — will learn to design and facilitate for high engagement, clear decisions, and commitment to action.

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Sociocratic Tools for Congregations

Wednesday, February 14, 3-6pm
cost: free (donations to the CRG welcome)
RSVP’s requested but not required

Many participants from faith communities will quickly recognize ways that sociocracy could support healthier group processes in their congregations. To complement the other the introduction and training events, the Community Resilience Guild is pleased to host a conversation exploring how sociocracratic tools and principles can help congregations:

  • empower committees to provide more leadership
  • balance hierarchy and equality
  • “elect” leaders through more transparent and affirming processes
  • make meetings more participatory, productive, and enjoyable
  • enhance engagement and creativity by making it easier for people to propose new ideas
  • enable better feedback and communication between groups.

The session will be responsive to the needs and interests of the participants with time for questions, dialogue, and practical demonstrations. Several local congregations will share from their experience incorporating different aspects of sociocracy and some of the benefits and challenges they’ve observed.

We’ll have dinner afterwards for anyone interested in continuing the conversation.

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Facilitation Workshop

Thursday, February 15, 8am-5pm
cost: $250 For-Profit / $150 Not-for-Profit (20% discounts for multiple attendees from the same group and for attending the Foundations workshop as well)

The Facilitation workshop, February 15, will build on the Foundations content by exploring advanced facilitation skills and strategies in a sociocratic context.  We will plan and prepare for meetings and facilitate sociocratic decision-making processes, with coaching, and practice handling challenging facilitation situations in role-plays and simulations.  Successful completion of the Foundations workshop or equivalent training or experience is recommended as a prerequisite, however anyone in a facilitator role can benefit from this workshop and get a taste of the sociocratic approach as well.

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In addition to the trainings being offered, you can learn more about the Sociocratic Circle Method through this brief paper: Dynamic Governance for Nonprofit Organizations

John Schinnerer is a whole systems design consultant who has taught and facilitated Sociocracy in Hawai’i, Australia, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, and Oregon. His easygoing style and insightful approach support an optimal learning experience. The methods, tools and techniques that John offers invite maximum clarity, honesty, and integrity while enhancing efficiency and effectiveness to help you get things done and have more fun!


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