Sociocracy 3.0 Patterns Descriptions (eBook)

For the participants of my workshops I have compiled a handout with descriptions of many of S3’s patterns. I have recently updated the documents with several of my drafts for the upcoming book The Sociocracy 3.0 Handbook” I am writing together with James Priest, and found that, while it still does not cover all of the patterns, with 89 pages, it has become too large to print as a handout.

This is why I’m putting it up for download as pdf and epub here, so participants of my workshops and other people interested in S3 can use this until the “official” Sociocracy 3.0 handbook is ready. In the mean time, I will keep on updating the document with “official” pattern descriptions as James and I finish them.


S3 for One – Applying Sociocracy 3.0 for Intentional Personal Change (eBook)

S3 for One – Applying Sociocracy 3.0 for Intentional Personal Change (eBook)

Over the past months, I have been experimenting with applying Sociocracy 3.0 (a.k.a. ’S3′) as a framework for personal development and as a method for guiding and documenting one-on-one coaching sessions. The result is an eBook called “S3 for One”, with a dedicated website at

Do you want to improve your communication skills, develop a healthier lifestyle, read more, love more, learn a new language, or get a new job? S3 for One provides you with a structured process to navigate intentional change in your life, be it just a small habit, a big change, a tricky decision or even the discovery of what you want to do with your life.

S3 for One is an adaptive process, it allows you to go as fast or as slow as you want (or can). It facilitates understanding about yourself and the situation you’re in, and helps you translate this learning into intentional and incremental change. The underlying idea is simple: you assess your situation and your needs (your driver), identify possible strategies and decide which one looks most promising, and then you create a series of small experiments to discover whether or not you can successfully implement your strategy. Each experiment will reveal new information about yourself, your situation, and your strategy, so you can easily adapt and evolve your approach. (more…)

Organizational Effectiveness, Agility and Resilience

A few days ago I had a workshop with Alexander Tornow and Volker Schad, where Alexander presented Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM), I explained S3, and then we discussed how S3’s patterns relate to systems 1-5 of VMS.

I don’t claim to understand VSM in its entirety, and I must admit I remain unconvinced that an organization follows the same basic principles as the human body, but I think VMS is an interesting and useful model, at long as you don’t confuse the map with the territory.

The workshop inspired me to create an model of the functions an organization must implement, both on an organizational level, and within its individual parts, in order to be effective, agile and resilient. It’s interesting to see how S3’s patterns can be mapped to that model: (more…)

A Model for Intentional Change in Organizations

This post is also available for download as pdf and epub.


Change in organizations is inevitable and happens naturally as organizations adapt to the various forces pulling at the organization, from the outside and from within.

However, most of the changes that take place in organizations are neither intentional nor aligned across the organization, they happen locally as a result of many small choices made by many individuals.

Lots of small and unrelated adaptive changes will lead to giving in to inertia (doing more of the same) and entropy (many independent and unaligned decisions). This is the opposite of intentional change – changing in an organized and aligned way.

All organizations benefit from building capacity for intentional change in order to become and remain effective.

This paper presents a simple model for mapping influence of internal and external forces to organizations, identifying motive for change and delegating accountability for plotting a course of action, and finally incrementally implementing the resulting change. (more…)

Tools for Virtual Teams and Online Collaboration

This is a collection of short reviews of software tools to facilitate online collaboration. The use cases I have been looking at are as follows:

  • virtual team events (like planning, reviews, retrospectives, daily standup, proposal forming, navigation meeting, trainings or topical workshops)
  • asynchronous collaboration of virtual teams
  • virtual coaching sessions
  • webinars


Introducing S3 for Distributed Teams with Trello

Introducing S3 for Distributed Teams with Trello

I am working on a guide explaining how to implement Sociocracy 3.0 using Trello with co-located and distributed teams. In the first part, which is already online, I explain the basic ideas, the general layout, and how to use the Trello boards for identifying drivers[^driver-guide], proposal forming and consent decision making.

It’s really easy to get started, I have prepared template boards for you to copy, no additional setup required. What’s more, you can use the system itself for adapting the system to your specific needs. If that isn’t too meta to you ;-).

Part 2, published in due time, will describe the processes of selecting people to roles, performance reviews, and how to review drivers, agreements and role definitions.

The guide is available at

What Is a Driver?

In this guide, you will discover the relationship between your assumptions and your achievements, and how being aware of your motivation for action – which we call a driver – can significantly improve your chance of success both at work and in your personal life. You will learn how to easily identify, understand and agree on drivers, and see how to develop projects and organize collaboration around drivers.

The Power of Assumptions

We’re used to planning and developing ventures and collaboration – products, projects, jobs, careers, teams, departments and even entire organizations around our assumptions or predictions about what constitutes a desirable and achievable future: goals, objectives, aims, strategies, purposes and visions.

Even if they often started out as a wild guess we only rationalized afterwards, the more we weave our predictions into a coherent and convincing narrative, the more they tend to take a life of their own and obscure our initial motive. But as soon as we begin confusing our assumptions with reality, the outcome is inevitably hit and miss: even if we reach our goals or realize our vision we often discover that the future we ended up with is not where we want to be. (more…)