O p e n     F l o w     

Integrative COMPLEXITY

Complexity - Ambiguity - Uncertainty


The complexity and uncertainty of our world requires us (all of us!) to learn new skills to be able to navigate uncertainty and complexity. These new skills include perspective coordination, collaboration capacity, decision-making & processing tools and contextual thinking. These four are particularly difficult for us in the West to master, however, because they are dynamic and relational and can only be improved through community learning, which is precisely the kind of learning that our current education system discourages. Essentially to learn these skills we have to 'unlearn' many skills we learned at school!

Dynamic Co-Governance, known as 'sociocracy' in Europe, is an organisational system and structure designed to achieve participative alignment, but without the often very inefficient processes normally associated with democracy or consensus. It offers a way of organsational decision-making and choice-creating process where every voice can be heard equivalently and so ensures that no stone is left unturned and no perspective left unviewed, thus producing very rich considered collective decisions. Sociocracy was first developed in Holland 50 years ago and is now the standard approach of organisational governance in many organisations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland, Portugal, Sweden, UK, Austraila, USA and Canada. It is 'dynamic' as it enables organisations to steer fluidly in ever changing organic world.

Organisations face challenges that are so complex that solutions cannot be found or implemented by a few elite leaders at the top. What is required is full involvement, collaboration and engagement of all involved in an organisaiton. This requires a different type of decision-making, which is 'democratic' in the sense that all are involved, but not 'democratic' in the sense that it is not limited by the poor bi-polar antagonistic (adversarial) voting found in most democratic systems. Voting is fundamentally an exclusive and very impoverished form of collective thinking. DCG is a collective way of thinking which is inclusive and holistic and takes into account the diversity of perspectives, a symbiosis releasing the soul of the collective. But it does require the learning of certain skills like perspective coordination and contextual thinking to succeed.

One of the ways of learning VUCA skills is by learning the same skills which are also present in sociocracy or its derivatives (Sociocracy 3.0, Holacracy, Circle Forward, Integrative Decision-making, Neighborocracy etc.). Like sociocracy, VUCA skills can only be learned by practice in groups, hence relational communities of practice. Hence it is worth learning sociocratic processing, irrespective of whether you actually want to use sociocracy as a governance system, because it actually lets you learn the very skills required for VUCA. Consequently, we are now more focussed on teaching VUCA skills per se rather than sociocratic skills. Regardless, you will do get two for one!

Online video-conference interactive learning workshop series


Increasingly teams have to make decisions as a collective, especially in self-organised organisations. Research shows repeatedly that decisions reached collaboratively by good functioning teams are far wiser and more innovative than ones taken by an individual. While this is generally recognised, most teams actually do not know how to take decisions as a group, and often revert to competitive sometime bullying behaviour. This is not surprising as collective decision-making is not something that is generally taught. However, this needn't be so.

  • How does a team make collaborative decisions efficiently without long deliberations?
  • How do you, conversely, prevent blind group think?
  • How can an organisation uncover and tap into the inner wisdom of its introverts?

This interactive 2-hour introductory module video-call will demonstrate how colloaborative decision-making can be achieved efficiently, while also offering time for participants time to learn and practice some of the basic processes themselves.

For more information go to the Introducing Collaborative Decision-making page.

Once you have participated in this core introctory module you can delve deeper and go on to take another 6 modules of the series described in detail here. The 6 modules are:

  • Roles in Self-organising Circles
  • Running Effective Governance Meetings
  • Embracing Diversity
  • Complex Decision-making
  • Feedback and Development
  • Conflict Resolutions

You can cover the material in several ways:

  • Do all of the 6 modules one by one.
  • Do a 10-week online course covering the same material but working in a team on an actual project, i.e. experience sociocracy in action. Check SOLT out.
  • If you are in an organisation, either run the whole course as a 2-day face-to-face workshop, or through an online video course supplemented with live group coaching. Check Teams out.

Check out Collaborative Decision-Making 4 u for more detail.

Visit our sister US website at open2flow.com


Sociocracy is a holistic way to structure and govern groups & organisations which thrives on diversity and multiperspectivity. Sociocracy thereby:

  • harnesses team wisdom
  • promotes full engagement
  • manages complexitiy

Engaged creativity does not happen if creators are not also stakeholders in some form in the organisation they are participating in, hence the need to share decisions and to involve all in the decision-making process. The old command and control style is outdated and ineffective in today's world of complexity. All perspectives need to be considered, everyone should be empowered and need be involved to enable a richness of decisions and commitment to innovation. For this reason we call for:



This is in line with the principles of TQC, TPM, 'Total' referring to responsibility of all, not just quality dept, maintenance dept or in case of TIG, not just the managers and directors. All need to be involved and to participate in an integrated design kind of way.

Open structured decision-making process: Holistic, symbiotic, inclusive (diversity), equivalent and pluralistic decion-making, based on complementarity and consent (not voting or consensus), which focusses on common goals and common good.

Sociocracy in business - short video


Listen to great introduction to sociocracy in radio interview:

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio (interview 1 hour)

If you have any question or would like to discuss anything raised, please give us a call or send us an email.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7117 8648  OR  EMAIL  US

Inspiring organisations to be more innovative, engaging hearts & minds holistically, and to create great client & community value with least effort, cost and harm to ecology
Tel: (+44) 020 7117 8648
email: info@open2flow.co.uk
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