Non-domination: No participant, or group of participants should be able to dominate discussions or control decisions. That is why we avoid voting in making decisions. This doesn’t mean that all decisions need to be made by consensus or that everyone will be happy with the decisions that are made, but the process should be fair and unbiased.
Entrepreneurship equals decision-making power: Decisions should ultimately be made and led by those actively and regularly engaged in the work itself.
Subsidiarity: The ethos of our decision making is to delegate all responsibility for operational decision making to the body with the closest direct connection to the decision within our structure. This means that individual projects have a high level of autonomy over how they make decisions.
Open Communication: Participants practice open, honest communication with each other to create a transparent and trusting work environment. This allows us to make space for disagreement and not dilute more radical or strong propositions.
Apart from adding new co-owners and associates (which are more restrictive), these are the three decision models we use regularly:
Sell: Each individual considers reversibility (a decision can be easily reversed) and consequence (a decision has small consequences) before escalating to another decision-making practice. In these cases “asking for forgiveness, instead of permission” is the better option because it is fast and creates momentum.
Consult: In general, everybody is empowered to use the advice process for any decision. Everyone is encouraged to move topics forward they think are important and urgent.
Agree: Our default group decision-making type is consent a methodology with a specific meaning and practice. This does not mean everyone has to agree, but that a decision moves forward if you can live with it decision and don’t veto it.
We use loomio for making and documenting significant group decisions, if they were made during a call or meeting (meaning that want to have a physical trace of them).
Image Credit: The Gini Way, https://blog.gini.net/how-we-make-decentralized-decisions-ccd2de61b8b2
Passes as long as there are no blocks
3 working days (5 working days encouraged when possible)
This is the default option for formal decisions. Ensures that no one strongly opposes a course of action, while allowing progress to move forward. If there are a large number of “no”s, it’s strongly advised to work on another iteration to find a better solution, but the proposer may move ahead at their discretion.
Standard decisions use lazy consent, which means that by not voting you are implicitly giving consent.
Passes as long as there are no blocks and more than 50% of those stating a position agree
All co-owners must participate.
5 working days (10 working days encouraged when possible)
This option should be used for more consequential decisions, such as changes to Agreements and investing of surplus from the Core budget. Apart from the above mentioned, it is up to the discretion of the proposer to decide when they feel something should be a significant decision.
If a decision is significant, the proposer must flag it as such in the Loomio proposal.
New projects that Greaterthan Co-owners and associates work on, such as Cobudget or Academy, have high decision-making autonomy.
They have full independence in their day-to-day decision-making and a high independence on strategic decisions. Project teams and leaders use the advice process for deciding when to consult with other Greaterthan co-owners not involved in the project (when there would be an impact on the rest of GT). They are expected to share updates about their work regularly with the rest of the organization.