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Governance & decision-making

Structureless networks rarely accomplish anything because, typically, they lack processes for making decisions together. Presently, OGM is like such networks, which becomes visible if we think of such questions as: Who can speak for OGM (besides our founder)? How do we decide whether to create an OGM podcast? Who can invite new members? etc.

Unless we develop a decision-making process (and exercise it by making a decision, first, about our decision-making process itself), turning our beautiful visions into action and reality will unnecessarily drag out.

Now is not the first time that this issue is coming up. @bhnelson has already addressed it in the Organization & Governance section of his Draft Vision Document, three months ago. He suggested:

OGM is governed based on principles of integration rather than control. Each team/discipline/focus area is expected to govern itself and be a master of a given domain…

That was followed by this simple diagram:

That model was based on the idea that “we have a collection of initial focus areas.” The specific focus areas (working groups?) will prolly be not predefined but emerging from where the energies of groups of at least 2-3 of us converge.

Last August, it would have been too early to sketch out a process for how proposals can be made, introduced, and voted on. IMHO, it is not too early now. That’s why I’m proposing what follows.

1. Who can make a proposal and participate in the decision-making process?

Any member of the OGM mailing list, who shows up in the live Zoom call, where the decision is on the agenda or voice hir questions/comments on a yet-to-create OGM space on Loomio.

2. Who can decide about what scope of decisions?

a. If and when we’ll have focus areas or workgroups or guilds, then decisions affecting only those entities will need to be made by their members.

b. Draft proposals affecting OGM as a whole need to evoke the advice process, before being introduced for the decision-making via Zoom or Loomio. See this 5-min vid about the latter.

3. How should decisions about the proposal be made.

Either by using the Integrative Decision-Making method or the Loomio way illustrated in the video that I pointed to above, or a combination of them.

I have introduced and facilitated successful decision-making with both processes. I offer to do the same, at least initially, for OGM too if what I described here gains some traction from your sharing your reflections about it.