Chapter 06 - Power, Decision-Making, and Governance

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Information to help you decide how you will make decisions as a group. Critical information!

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Creating a Life Together:

Creating a Life Together Chapter Six

Power, Decision –Making & Governance:

Power, Decision –Making & Governance 1. Power – The Ability to Influence 2. Focused Power, Widespread Power 3. How Consensus Works 4. What you Need to Make Consensus Work 5. “Pseudoconsensus” & Structural Conflict

Power, Decision –Making & Governance:

Power, Decision –Making & Governance 6. Agreement Seeking – When you Don’t Want to Use Full Consensus 7. Multi-winner Voting 8. Community Governance – Spreading Power Widely

Power, Decision –Making & Governance:

Power, Decision –Making & Governance 9. More than One Form of Decision Making 10. What Decision-making Method Should You Choose?

1. Power – The Ability to Influence:

1. Power – The Ability to Influence People who have power or influence in a group usually are not aware of it Power – our ability to influence one another – can benefit everyone Authoritarian power allows someone to expand their own power via punishment or ignoring Who among us makes decisions, and how?

2. Focused Power, Widespread Power:

2. Focused Power, Widespread Power Focused power: single person makes decisions Good for quick or specialized decisions Majority rule: somewhat widespread power Half of group may be dissatisfied Consensus: widespread power Everyone has a part of the truth Allows power to be spread throughout the group

3. How Consensus Works:

3. How Consensus Works Not simply voting “yes” or “no” on motions Proposals introduced, discussed, decided upon Decision may be very different than proposal 3 options: give consent, stand aside, or block Proposal passes when no one blocks - Some groups won’t pass if a few people stand aside

3. How Consensus Works (cont.):

3. How Consensus Works (cont.) No chairperson: agenda planners & a facilitator Facilitator: - Considers needs of whole group Creates an atmosphere of trust and safety Creates participation, stops domination Follows agenda, keeps group focused Assesses how well the group is agreeing Then tests for consensus

3. How Consensus Works (cont.):

3. How Consensus Works (cont.) After discussion, if no support for (modified) proposal, facilitator lays it aside for future Creates incentive to understand opposition Differences = catalysts for creative solutions Not “us and them”, or “right and wrong” Consensus empowers a group as a group

4. What you Need to Make it Work:

4. What you Need to Make it Work Willingness to learn the process Common purpose Learn to let go in the best interest of the group Trusting the process & trusting each other Humility

4. What you Need (cont.):

4. What you Need (cont.) Equal access to power Participation, & the right people present The right topics Well-crafted agendas Skilled facilitation

Pseudoconsensus & Structural Conflict:

Pseudoconsensus & Structural Conflict Big League Complex Decision by Endurance Everyone Decides Everything I block, I block! Blocks must be consistent with group’s purpose

6. Agreement-Seeking:

6. Agreement-Seeking Falls between majority-rule and consensus Super-Majority Voting: 75-95% Voting Fallback: consensus fails, use another method Agreement-Minus-One: one or two blocks ignored Sunset Clause: decisions stands for a particular time only

7. Multi-winner Voting:

7. Multi-winner Voting Find a way for greatest number to get the most of what they want Certain number of votes across range of choices Example: everyone gets play money to spend on multiple choices, each of which has budget

8. Spreading Power Widely:

8. Spreading Power Widely Use whole-group meetings in conjunction with a series of smaller committees Committees are appointed by main council, can make decisions, and announce them Community members have chance to comment Goes back to committee

9. Multiple types of Decision-making:

9. Multiple types of Decision-making Have an alternative for quick decisions Different types for different types of decisions Don’t use “fallback” when consensus fails Consensus is an inclusive method, people may leave with switch to faster method Not necessary for initially creating community

Styles of Consensus:

Styles of Consensus Quaker style Native American style “Community” style Facilitator would consider emotions valuable Prayer or meditation before meeting Formal consensus (More details on page 64)

10. Which to Choose?:

10. Which to Choose? Spread power, bond group, share wisdom Consensus, and get trained Spreading resources across choices Multi-winner voting Getting things done w/o taking everyone’s time Council and committee

Creating a Life Together:

Creating a Life Together Discussion

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