The next step: Sociocracy Academy

From not knowing to knowing

From knowing to doing

Implementation — what it really takes to transform

  1. a group of allies you invite to help you launch the transformation
  2. a personal coach
  3. a group of fellow CEOs on a similar journey.

The Sociocracy Academy

  • A group of allies:
    The Academy enrolls the 1–3 people who spearhead the implementation circle — the group of allies in the organization. There is no top-down implementation but an internal group that inspires and nourishes the internal transformation.
  • A personal coach
    The Academy matches people with a mentor who can either play of the role of a coach or of a mentor. It is the individualized part of the journey, where the concepts and skills are being narrowed down to specific, doable next steps in the organization.
  • A group of fellow travelers.
    The Academy forms communities of practice of all students to support reflection, mutual support.

The need for companionship

  1. Some preaching to the choir sharpens the message.
    We’re up against mainstream, after all — concepts of self-management will still be questioned, maybe even ridiculed. Many people who implement are still new to the world themselves and benefit for a group of allies who reassure them that they are not crazy when they give power to the workers. The words we use in talking about the why, and the how of self-management are important. We need a place to practice those.
  2. “Self-help group”
    A journey towards self-management is not something insular. Self-management requires vulnerability, and the authenticity it brings along can have big effects on the leaders’ lives (as described here). Good to have trusted companions outside of one’s own organization!
  3. Practice. Practice. Practice.
    Another aspect of learning self-management that I find underrated: you can’t practice on your own. You need others to practice it with. Who will you practice with before jumping off the cliff and introducing tools in your own organization? The communities of practice offer exactly that sandbox to play in before you get serious.
    If you are new to self-management, you can also join the mother organization Sociocracy For All (SoFA) as part of the package. Being involved in a real organization (SoFA has 60 members) will make you a more solid practitioner or consultant. There are too many trainers and consultants out there who are not themselves part of sociocratic organizations…

Advanced training in alignment with sociocratic values

  • Any sociocratic organization is a learning organization. Feedback loops within the organization make sure the design can be improved over time. Therefore, all circles on the left are double-linked so that information can flow between the different parts and feedback from one group can be passed on to the other parts. Students also have a major voice in how the Academy is run by linking a group of students (the “superpod”) to the Academy Circle where decisions about programming, enrollment and scheduling are made.
  • Certification (a badge system, see below) is built on skills, not effort. And on thorough evaluation, not an exam. The approval process for issuing badges is transparent and based on trust. Peers decide together whether they feel confident enough to approve a badge and move on to new things to learn. We are not in the business of telling others what “the true way” is. But we’re happy to share the good practices we know.
  • There is no limit to learning. Programming and the badge system are designed in a way so they can grow. Below you can see the starting set of badges. Students will have a say on what might be missing — we build the path together while we walk it together.

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