Decision Making Process

Simple Democratic Decision Making Process

(Wait, why no blocks?)

Guiding Principles

  • We should move forward as a group when we've given appropriate time to hear any concerns, discuss the concerns, and we're all comfortable moving forward.
  • It should be democratic, flexible, easy-to-understand, simple and clear.
  • Ideally could be used by anyone without previous experience


  1. Read proposal (ideally written)
  2. Clarifying questions about the proposal?
  3. Time for discussion as appropriate
  4. Any concerns with the proposal?
  5. If none, then can we verify with a visible indication that we all agree to move forward with this proposal as written?

If there are concerns:

  • list them out and address and try to resolve them as a group one at a time modifying the proposal as necessary. Once they are resolved re-read the modified proposal (step 4 above).

If the concerns cannot be resolved in the time given:

  • Resolve it outside the meeting: There are many outside the meeting options including, waiting to decide until a future meeting, gathering more information, delegating a small team to try to resolve the concerns, sleep on it, etc.
  • Record the concern and move forward: Another option is to record the unresolved concern as part of the notes from the decision and moving forward. The group should pay attention to that unresolved concern and learn from the experience. You can put it on the agenda for a future meeting to review how it went or try to address the concern again without preventing action. This is similar to a stand-aside in consensus process.
  • Do nothing. This makes more sense if you think of it as "well, we don't have agreement yet, so we can't take collective action." Most people who use processes similar to consensus rarely find they are unable to reach agreement.