Interested in using sociocracy in organizations with volunteers and staff?

This case study features a social enterprise/working community in Scotland, Galgael, in the middle of their implementation process. Galgael supports skill development like boat-building, rural skills training, a retreat
center for recovery from alcoholism and mental health, furniture-making and timber processing. The organization offers an example of what it is like to start implementing sociocracy slowly.

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Legally, Galgael is a combination of a trust (non-profit) and a for-profit trading subsidiary which once established will support the work of the Trust. Its combination of volunteers and paid staff provide a unique challenge. Sociocracy has helped Galgael give volunteers a voice within decisions, while also ensuring that routine tasks are completed. Galgael chose sociocracy for its ability to both increase equity and diversity of thought, while also being efficient at getting things done. As program director Gehan Macleod writes “A hierarchical organization can compromise on inclusiveness, and a charity can afford to be ineffective.” A social enterprise needs both, the effectiveness as a business and the inclusiveness and equivalence to be aligned with the social values and mission of the social enterprise. 

Lessons learned

The biggest gain from using sociocracy was in the internal communication and transparency in Galgael. In order for
everyone to be equal in decision making, everyone has to know how decisions are made and who makes those decisions. Gehan observed that when people make decisions together, they are more engaged in their shared
efforts. Read the complete case study to learn more about Galgael’s implementation and lessons from sociocracy

This case study was written by Ted Rau