Dynamic Governance

Dynamic Governance is a Collaborative Culture with Collective Intelligence

Many of our 45+ volunteer Working Members find that Open Floor’s chosen style of leadership is the most gratifying, exciting part of working for the organization.

Dynamic Governance, also known as Sociocracy, is a radically elegant business model for a rapidly changing world. While there are leaders, the power is in the group rather than any individual. Open Floor International has chosen this model as the foundation of our not-for-profit organization. It best reflects what we value in our movement practice: group creativity, inclusion, and transparency.

Table of Contents

Key Concepts in Dynamic Governance


Sociocracy vests power in the “socius” (from Latin, socius, “companion”) – companions, colleagues, people who regularly interact with one another and have a common aim.

Decisions are made in consultation with each other, in consideration of the needs of each person within the context of the aims of the group or organization.

Sociocracy is a whole systems design process for decision-making, organizational governance and action. 

Sociocracy enables an organization to manage itself as an organic whole, by giving every sub-part  a sovereign voice in the management.


  • Equivalence: Individuals function as peers in deciding how to accomplish their collective aims.
  • Effectiveness: Designing for action; continuous movement towards accomplishing aims; continual self-improvement.
  • Transparency: Direct access to all policy documents and records relating to one’s work. This supports equivalence, effectiveness and responsibilities of co-leadership.

Decision Making

Our Working Members sit on working circles according to their skills and interests, e.g., Training Design, Finance, Therapy in Motion, Membership, Technology, etc. There is a format for running meetings that allow us to efficiently collect all voices and wisdom in a circle to find our way to consented decisions. The difference between consensus decision-making and consent decision-making is:

  • Consensus: discussing the issue until everyone agrees to a final decision. This can be laborious, inefficient, and frustrating. Members can block or push a proposal for a variety of personal, power-based, or unspoken reasons that are not necessarily in the best interest of the organization. Members may capitulate for fear of objecting to someone’s proposal.
  • Consent: everyone in the circle asks questions in ordered, facilitated, rounds until the proposal is fully understood. Suggested changes may be voiced and incorporated, or not. Once the issue has been fully flushed out, there is a consent round. There are two possible responses:

  1. Consent: I consent to this proposal as is, or possibly, This is not my first preference, but it is within my window of tolerance to consent to it.
  2. Paramount Objection: I cannot consent to this proposal as it is a threat to the organization. The member must be able to explain why and how the proposal threatens the organization. If there is a legitimate Paramount Objection, the circle keeps working and adjusting until there is full consent. It yields the most creative decisions that can be made, and respects all viewpoints.

All consented decisions have a Review Date, when the circle will look back and see which have been successful and which need to be updated.

This overview of key concepts in sociocracy/dynamic governance is adapted from the work of John Schinnerer at Sociocracy Consulting and inspired by John Buck’s book: We The People.