Decision Making Process for Proposals that could Potentially Affect Two Circles

Date Initially Approved by the ITC Business Subcircle: January 7, 2008

Final Adopted Proposal


Northwest Compassionate Communication voted to reorganize itself and adopt sociocracy organizing principles as the foundation for reorganization and the method of decision-making in February of 2007.  At that time three circles were identified, Training Circle, Compassion University, and the Coordinating Circle. The Training Circle and Coordinating Circle became official NCC circles within the next two months.  In the fall of 2007 the Independent Training Circle officially joined the organization.

At the February meeting a proposal was adopted which specified areas of Executive Director responsibility and areas where circles would have sole responsibility (see Appendix 2).  The following items were identified as not the responsibility of the Executive Director. 

  1. NCC affiliated trainers
  2. Training content
  3. Scheduling
  4. Venue
  5. Tuition
  6. Standards for NCC Trainer affiliation, evaluation and monitoring
  7. Use of the it's NCC Website as it pertains to trainings
  8. Hiring and firing of trainers
  9. Other items affecting both circles identified in the future [added by ITC]

[There is a second set of minutes that also assigns these tasks to the Trainers Circle]

When the Independent Training Circle joined NCC in the fall of 2007 they identified these items as potentially concerning both the Training Circle and Independent Training Circle.

These items, among others (see Appendix 1) were reviewed by the Training Circle shortly before the ITC became a Circle of NCC.  During the period in which the ITC became a Circle this item was placed on the CC agenda for information, and not for a vote.

Laurel expressed concern at CC meetings about the process being used to handle policies that concern multiple circles. 

At the ITC subcircle business meeting held January 7, 2008 this history was reviewed and options for decision-making when multiple circles could be affected were discussed.  The understanding of sociocracy expressed at that meeting is that the General Circle (CC) has responsibilities for short range (and potentially long range) planning and acting on policies that affect multiple circles.  In sociocracy the links move both up and down.  The focus of the General Circle is on policies, not on how things get done.  This proposal is based on our understanding of sociocracy, and the ITC's desire to maintain the integrity of NVC and have an equal voice in NCC operation.

Adopted Proposal

  1. All proposals passed by circles will be sent to the CC and the NCCConnection Yahoo group.  The CC will review the proposal by considering the following three questions:
    a. Is the proposal consistent with the mission and vision of NCC?
    b. Is the proposal consistent with other NCC policies and agreements?
    c. Is the proposal consistent with NCC's financial policies? Will it contribute to NCC's financial viability?
    d. Does the proposal affect one or more other circles?
  2. If the answer to any of the first three questions above is no, the proposal is sent back to the Circle with comments and requested revision.
  3. If the answer to the fourth question is yes, then the CC will use a sociocracy process to develop a proposal responsive to all affected circles and vote on the proposal. [Circle representatives may request time for Circle review prior to the vote.]
  4. The above process may also be used to address policies that affect the ability of a new Circle to achieve its mission, vision, and aim in a substantial way. 

The proposal will be revisited in September of 2008.