Sociocracy is “governance by peers”. At Baja BioSana, Sociocracy provides the organizational structure that allows for the flow of communication/information, work, finances, etc., and is also the decision making system. Sociocracy is based on the values of equivalence, transparency and effectiveness.
The Sociocracy organizational structure used at BBS is made up of a group of “circles”, that in other organizational structures may be called teams or departments. Each circle has a specific aim and its members’ task is to function within the aim of the circle and complete the necessary work to fulfill the aim.
The Sociocracy decision making system, is based on proposals that can be generated by any of the circles or an individual at any time. The approval process is what is unique to Sociocracy. The approval process has four steps that allow for clear understanding of the proposal and modification if necessary. For a proposal to be approved, first it must be in alignment with Baja BioSana’s Vision, Mission and the Aim of the Circle it concerns and second it must be “good enough for now,” or “safe enough to try.” It does not need to be “perfect” because there is an evaluation and time line included in each proposal and it can always be changed. BBS also developed and implemented an on-line system to present proposals, modify proposal when necessary, and approve proposals using a two step process. This system is used during the summer period when many of the resident members are away from BBS.
Diana Leafe Christian
The Sociocracy Consulting group