Social Contract & SCEM

Making decisions democratically is not easy. Our planning system enables us to make decentralized decisions about everyday issues, but every once in a while there's more complex situations for which a decision needs to be made and it is important to know how: Do we come to a decision by consent or consensus? Do we need to vote? is there anyone with the authority to make the decision?

Examples:

  • What's the decision making process for introducing new institutes (teams, groups, committees, etc) in the organizational space?
  • How do we decide on making changes to the organizational rhythm?
  • How do we decide on creating and assigning roles in the organizational space?

Each situation may require a different approach, so we introduced a tool we call the Social Contract where we specify how we make decisions about each situation. So, when you have a doubt, you just to go there and check what is the decision making method for the issue at hand. And if there's not an entry for your situation, then we need to get together and decide upon that.

To keep things flowing, we have the SCEM (Social Contract Evaluation Meetings), where we get together on a regular basis to decide on how to decide 🙂 and we write it down in the board for future references.

By clearly defining these decision-making powers (and fallback options), we avoid getting stuck and not knowing how to proceed if we cannot reach consensus. The social contract helps us prevent that!