Our Organizational Structure
Our Organizational Structure: Sociocracy
In 2021, The Compassionate Listening Project transitioned to a non-hierarchical form of governance called Sociocracy. Sociocratic decision making is based on our deep value of equity. It's amazing to watch the investment and collaboration that can bloom when we know that all members of a team are equal - no-one has more authority for decision-making than anyone else.
What we call sociocracy now was first developed as the Sociocratic Circle Method by Gerard Endenburg in the Netherlands in the 1980s. Sociocracy finds inspiration in natural systems: complex organizations tend to work as decentralized, nested systems that are semi-autonomous. That means they are both autonomous and interdependent, just like the respiratory and the nervous system.
Sociocracy builds on a set of simple rules, such as how to create and function as a circle (or team). The same rule then allows any circles to form sub-circles.
Our decision-making process takes after that of the Quakers, who have a strong commitment to inclusion and egalitarian values. We do not vote; we hold rounds of discussion where we listen to each other visions and concerns and we adjust, in community. Proposals then have rounds of consent to see if we are aligned.
The graphic below shows TCLP's organizational structure at one point in our transition to sociocracy. Since we are a living organism, our "architecture" is in constant change.