Growing Resilient Organisations
1 September 2016 - Gabrielle Bey

Everybody is talking about Sociocracy 3.0. Here’s why.

What is Sociocracy 3.0?

Sociocracy 3.0 is a method for growing effective, agile and resilient organisations of any size, from small start-ups to large international networks and nationwide, multi-agency collaboration.

It provides a collection of principles and patterns to dynamically steer and evolve organizations.

The key components are:

  • It draws on the collective intelligence of the group
  • It facilitates the development of strategies that are “good enough for now” and “safe enough to try
  • It fosters accountability and a sense of engagement
  • It is a transformational mechanism for both individuals and the whole organisation

Sociocracy as a term was first coined by August Compte in 1851. Many people have contributed towards the on-going evolution of sociocracy – Lester Frank Ward (1881), Kees Boeke (1930s/40s) and Gerard Endenburg (1970s). John Buck translated the Sociocracy practice and theory from Dutch into English in 2007.

The Principles of Sociocracy 3.0

Sociocracy 3.0 has a number of guiding principles that aim to re-distribute the power structure throughout an organisation; give every single person decision-making and leadership over their role and domain; create an extraordinary dynamic structure where people are constantly processing tensions and improving policies on a weekly basis.

If you can imagine, with Sociocracy 3.0, every person in an organisation has an ability to affect change. When they see an issue, an opportunity, a better way of doing something, there is a framework in place to process this immediately.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the Principles:

Consent – Decisions are made only in the absence of reasoned objection from those affected by them.

Effectiveness – Devote time only to that which brings you closer to achieving your objectives.

Equivalence – Everyone affected by a decision has the power to contribute towards the formulation of decisions and to withdraw consent on the basis of reasoned objection.

Transparency – All information is accessible to anyone in an organisation. Confidentiality requires consent.

Empiricism – Build knowledge on experience and constantly re-evaluated that which is believed to be known on the basis of new experience.

Continuous Improvement – Evolution is more effective than revolution (most of the time).

Accountability – The process of entering and keeping agreements, and managing expectations in any relationship. Note: with equivalence and consent in organisations, people are naturally more accountable.

If you are interested in learning more about Sociocarcy 3.0, The Kairos project is running a workshop this September in London. You can attend for one day (Introduction Sept 21st) or 3 days (Full Program Sept 21st– 23rd).  You can register online at

The event is being run by James Priest, the head of Sociocracy 3.0 – considered the leading force in this movement.