Decision Making Process

(adapted from Neighborhood Anarchist Collective, Teal Organizations)

Summary

For making decisions, we use both the consensus and advice processes. The advice process is used for most day to day decisions; Consensus is used for major decisions. 

Advice Process

Any person can make any decision after seeking advice from 1) everyone who will be meaningfully affected, and 2) people with expertise in the matter.

Advice received must be taken into consideration. With the advice and perspectives the decision maker receives, they choose what they believe to be the best course of action. The point is to access collective wisdom in pursuit of a sound decision, rather than create a compromise that accommodates the wishes of all.

Advice can be sought within a team or project, or on Slack for broader group feedback.

More general info on the advice process

Consensus

Consensus is a cooperative process in which group members develop and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole. A decision may not be everyone’s personal preference, but is something that all can agree is worth trying. The wisdom of the group is synthesized through active listening, shared purpose, preparation, deliberation, and a focus on issues and solutions.

Decisions that affect LCMA structure, multiple LCMA projects, or the mission and/or principles could be considered for consensus.

Consensus is decided through the use of Consensus Check.

More general info on consensus

Proposal Process

  • Someone notices a problem or opportunity and takes the initiative, or alerts someone better placed to do so.
    • Proposals may be put forth by individuals, working groups or teams.
    • Prior to a proposal, the decision-maker may seek input to sound out perspectives before proposing action.
  • Proposals are typically sent out at least twice before the final decision is reached. This is so the proposals are clear and that everyone is informed and has a chance to participate in the decision.
    • The team/project/individual putting forth the proposal delegates a point-person to contact individuals affected by the decision but unable to access digital meeting spaces.
  • Questions, concerns, and disagreements are further discussed in a meeting.
  • The proposal is amended to reflect the advice received and is then usually sent out again with some notes about the meeting discussion to ensure that everyone is a part of the final decision.
  • When feedback has been sought and received:
    • Using consensus, a final proposal is put to the group for a consensus check;
    • Or using the advice process, a decision-maker may move forward with the advice received.
  • If someone later disagrees with a decision (whether they voted on it or not) they can submit a new proposal to make a new decision.
  • If an urgent decision is needed, reasonable adjustments to the process can be made for a faster decision, but never to purposefully exclude people.
    • The proposal point-person will encourage both digital and in-meeting participation with a clear deadline to increase perspectives on the proposal before a decision must be made.