Enablers of Co-Creation

Pattern 3.1: Artful Participation

An individual commitment to developing helpful interactions and effective collaboration:

  • actively consider and follow-up on all agreements made, in the best way possible, given the circumstances
  • develop awareness and understanding of individual and collective needs
  • grow the necessary skills to do so
  • support others in doing the same
  • bring impediments to the attention of others if necessary

Participating artfully may include interrupting, objecting or breaking agreements.

Benefits Of Artful Participation

  • enables co-creation and evolution of agreements
  • helps to grow stronger teams
  • builds self-accountability, integrity and trust
  • generates a culture of mutual support and close collaboration
  • even more powerful when embraced by many

Artful Participation: Self-Assessment

  • How will I support myself and others in participating more artfully?
  • Where are my interactions with others unhelpful or ineffective?
  • Which agreements do I find hard to keep or contribute to? What can I do to address this?
  • What skills could I develop, that would support me to participate more artfully?
  • What would artful participation mean in relation to:
    • my daily activities?
    • collaboration and interaction with others?
    • the organization? …our customers or clients?
    • the wider environment?

Pattern 3.2: Adopt The Seven Principles

  • align collaboration with the Seven Principles
  • adopting the Seven Principles reduces the number of explicit agreements required, and guides adaptation of S3 patterns to suit the organization’s context
  • an organization’s actual values need to embrace Sociocracy 3.0 principles

Pattern 3.3: Agree On Values

Intentionally shape the culture in your organization.

A value is a principle that guides behavior. Values define scope for action and ethical constraints.

  • each member brings their own values to an organization based on personal experiences and beliefs
  • a group or organization may choose to collectively adopt values to guide their collaboration

  • values offer guidance to determine appropriate action, even in the absence of explicit agreements

  • defining values is a strategy that supports effectiveness of an organization:
    • reduces potential for misunderstanding
    • aligns decision making and action
    • attracts new members, partners and customers who are aligned with the organization
  • values are an agreement and thus subject to regular review

Pattern 3.4: Governance Facilitator (Role)

A governance facilitator:

  • is accountable for ensuring governance meetings are facilitated, stay on track and are evaluated
  • is (usually) selected by a group from among it members
  • familiarizes themselves with the governance backlog
  • often invites others to facilitate some agenda items

When using S3 for governance, the facilitator familiarizes themselves with the following patterns:

  • rounds
  • proposal forming
  • consent decision making
  • role selection
  • evaluate meetings
  • resolve objections
  • peer reviews

Pattern 3.5: Breaking Agreements

  • is sometimes necessary
  • …but may come at a cost to the community
  • be accountable!
    • clean up disturbances
    • follow up ASAP with those affected or accountable
    • initiate changes instead of repeatedly breaking the same agreement

Pattern 3.6: Contracting And Accountability

When entering into formal or informal agreements with others:

  • ensure all parties understand what’s expected of them and intend to keep to the agreement
  • verify the agreement is beneficial to all parties, and that expectations are realistic

Be accountable for breaking agreements.

To preserve organizational culture, maintain self-accountability and help new members of an organization or circle have a smooth start:

  • define expectations for new members (both cultural fit and the skills required)
  • align contract with both organizational culture and legal requirements
  • consider a probationary period
  • have clear procedures for breaches of contract

Pattern 3.7: Transparent Salary

  • transparent salaries need to be fair
  • fairness has several orthogonal dimensions
  • perception of fairness is specific to organizational context
  • consider members and relevant stakeholders (e.g. investors)
  • create a salary formula:
    • fixed: subsistence guarantee
    • variable: fair distribution of gains and costs
  • consider remuneration for changing roles
  • create strategy for transitioning towards new contracts and compensation agreements

Two Ways of Opening Salaries

Pattern 3.8: Support Role

Apply the role pattern to external contractors.

  • clarify and describe driver for the role
  • create domain description
  • implement a selection process
  • limit term of the contract
  • build in regular peer reviews

Support roles may be operational only, and external contractors consent to account for their role.

Pattern 3.9: Bylaws

Secure S3 principles and patterns in your bylaws as needed to protect legal integrity and organizational culture


  • consent and equivalence in decision making
  • selection process for leadership roles
  • organizational structure, values and principles
  • influence of owners or shareholders
  • sharing gains and costs

Read next: Building Organizations

© 2017 by Bernhard Bockelbrink, James Priest and Liliana David. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0