Changing Things at VSHN

This page should give you an overview of how we change things at VSHN, because we need to react to something, or we need to proactively bring about the change to move forwards towards our objectives.


What do you do if you feel that something should be different at VSHN?

People see things that they think should be different. There are always opportunities to do new things or improve existing ones. Simply doing everything straight away will lead us into chaos, while looking away and doing nothing is likely to harm our organization or bring it to a standstill.

We need ways to capture such opportunities and respond to them appropriately and in a timely manner. In this way, those responsible can understand, decide on, and solve the problem together with the people who experience or are directly affected by it. In this way, we can do our work more effectively and in a more structured way, and achieve our goals while holding on to our values as humans.

Conflict Resolution: Navigating via Tension

At VSHN, we view conflicts or tensions not as problems, but as opportunities to uncover deeper issues. It’s entirely understandable if you feel upset or frustrated about a situation. The key is not to feel alone with the issue, but to share accountability with others who might be affected or can contribute. While this approach is particularly beneficial for issues or opportunities of the team or the wider organization, it can also be very helpful when dealing with personal ones, such as dissatisfaction with your role or tasks.

When tension arises, our first step isn’t to rush to a solution, but to pause and delve into the root cause. We seek to identify the underlying "Why", the motivation, or as we call it in S3, the Driver. Achieving a shared understanding of the driver through open discussions and active listening becomes our primary goal.

Once we accurately identify and agree upon the driver, we are then prepared to explore ways to respond. This helps keep us focused on the main issue at hand, enhancing effectiveness. Without this shared understanding, it’s all too easy to get lost in discussions and meetings, especially when many people are involved, each perceiving the problem slightly differently.

TL;DR: The actual process of finding solutions or ways to address a problem only begins after we have collectively understood and consented to the need or problem, referred to as the S3 Driver.


How do things happen that need to happen according to our higher level strategy, objectives, or to mitigate risks and attend to opportunities?

When we know that we need to create or change something in strategy, objectives, our organizational structure or policies we summarize the Why and then find out what we need, then and how we make it happen, and make a consent decision, meaning doing it, until there is a reason not to.

Governance Approach

There is a general approach or pattern for how to do Governance. While Sociocracy 3.0 makes this very explicit why it makes sense this way, it’s also mostly common sense.

Understand the need or problem, before you start finding solutions, then find solutions, and move forward with your proposal until there is reason not to. Review it after a while if it was effective, adapt and extend as needed, or drop it away if no longer needed.

governance approach.drawio
  1. Understand what the organization needs, describe it as a Driver - To have something to always refer back to: What is needed and Why in which context?

    1. Drop it and do nothing if it’s not an Organizational Driver, meaning that it’s at least indirectly a need of VSHN.

  2. Explore constraints and possibilities for possible solutions to address the Driver.

  3. Brainstorm ideas within these constraints, based on the possibilities discovered.

  4. Write a Proposal for a solution. This can be a full solution to the Driver, a first iteration that improves things, or just a next step to find out more.

  5. Make a Consent Decision: In the absence of Objections we proceed as proposed. Be sure to define who is responsible to do what.

  6. Implement and do what we agree to, try to the best of our abilities.

  7. Review the solution for effectiveness, did it address the need described in the driver as we thought? Did the need change? Start at 1. with what you learned.

This approach applies to reacting to issues, opportunities, or problems and likewise to proactively steer needed changes. The difference is often just, who leads and where the Driver comes from.