Sharing power in community is at the heart of how we govern ourselves and make decisions together. When we work together, we learn together, which contributes to harmony, understanding and growth for all of us and for the community. These processes typically apply mainly to the staff: core team, volunteers and FIRs.

Daily Operational Meeting

Every morning the staff gathers for a brief operational meeting using the format shown below. This meeting is intended to be quick, efficient and lightly facilitated by a member or the core team. The purpose is to share information and prepare the team for the day’s collaborative work.

  • Awareness: Bringing any new information (or reminders of old information) to the awareness of the team for shared understanding. Examples include arrivals and departures, updates about the schedule or Rota board, selecting new Daily Tasks, etc.
  • Tracking: Ongoing or repeated items that require tracking for accomplishment. Examples include Rota board status, status of scheduled tasks, etc.
  • Decisions: Identify anything that requires a decision using one of the processes shown in the next section. Rapid decisions may be made during this meeting; typically more complex decisions are scheduled for a separate decision-making meeting.
  • Today’s Tasks: Review of the specific tasks to be accomplished during the day in addition to the established Daily Tasks.
  • Upcoming and Ongoing Projects: Define and review ongoing or upcoming projects that involve multiple days and/or people to accomplish.

Decision Making

We make decisions based on the principle of consent or no objection. In other words, for a proposal to pass it must be good enough for now and safe enough to try. We have several options for decision making, so members select the process corresponding to the degree of impact, complexity and risk as shown below. NOTE: the last two processes are more formal and thus less frequently used.

  • Advice Process: When an individual desires to take a particular action and assesses that there is low impact, complexity or risk in doing so, they check in with stakeholders (impacted people) and resolve any concerns before taking action. Example: someone who wants to use the lawnmower during afternoon free time would check in with people still at the center to determine the impact on them.
  • Rapid Decision: This relatively informal process is used when someone would like to make a proposal that they assess has low impact, complexity or risk AND affects more than just a few people. Example: during the morning Operational Meeting, someone wants to change the time of lunch from 13:30 to 13:00.
  • Short Format Decision: When there is an existing proposal with higher impact, complexity or risk, this more formal process allows the team to quickly and effectively receive it, improve it and consent to it. Example: changing the time of the daily sharing circle depending on the time of year.
  • Selection: We may select people for some roles and positions in the community using a consent-based selection process that is more effective, connecting and engaging than volunteering or appointing someone to a role.
  • Long Format: When we are faced with a dilemma for which there is no existing proposal, this process allows us to draw on the creativity and wisdom of the group in crafting, refining and consenting to a high-quality new proposal.

For more details about these processes, please see this document.

Learning Process (Retrospective)

Our primary learning process is the Retrospective, typically held at the end of each workshop week. In this process, team members reflect on their experience during the workshop and collectively identify themes for improvement. This process may produce operational items for Awareness, Tracking and Action, as well as items for decision making. Over time this process helps us continually improve our performance in providing a safe, comfortable and effective container for workshop leaders and participants.