Consent for Better & Faster Decisions

While exploring governance in business over the past couple of years I encountered both Sociocracy and Holacracy.  Both of these approaches to governance have been associated with self-directed groups, and both have wrongly been identified as forms of anarchy.  I’ve read about these approaches, attended introductory workshops, and participated in discussion groups –  but I don’t claim expertise (I’m not a trained facilitator in either Sociocracy or Holacracy).   I have applied some of what I’ve learned in daily practice, particularly consent decision-making which I feel can lead to better and faster decisions.

What is Consent Decision-Making and Why Use It?

The basic idea behind consent decisions (aka formal consensus) is that the consent process splits-the-difference between autocratic decisions that are quickly mandated, and endless debate as can be encountered in group consensus decision-making:

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Is Holacracy a Dyson?

Dyson DC15
Image: vacuum-direct.com

Yeah, like the vacuum cleaner.  Let me explain.

I always have a canine companion (or two) in my home, and fur is an inevitable result.  So when I went looking for a new vacuum cleaner a few years ago, the Dyson brand caught my eye.  It appeared well designed, made an interesting pitch about easy maneuvering and never losing vacuum, and seemed to get pretty good reviews. Although there were other name-brand alternatives that were less expensive, I decided to go with the Dyson.

And the Dyson does a nice job of cleaning as I easily maneuver it around furniture and other obstacles (like my canine companions).  I like my Dyson, but here’s the thing — when all said and done, it’s a vacuum cleaner.

Yes, my Dyson pivots on a ball; other brands also pivot by different but effective means.  My Dyson doesn’t use a bag, but after having disassembled the unit to wash and dry the filters, a bag doesn’t seem so inconvenient anymore.  And my friends and family who have their own furry pets express satisfaction with the performance of their non-Dyson vacuum cleaners.  All other things being equal, it seems that any well-designed vacuum cleaner will suck up dirt and fur.

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