Would you like to take control?

Posted in president; tagged with idea

What do members think about using the advice process in VECTOR to make decisions? Strong organizations use the advice process so that people who see a situation can respond to it without delays and bureaucracy. Using a simple and powerful set of ground rules. Please send me your feedback after you read about the idea below (email).

You observe a situation that needs action. What five steps do you need to work through before VECTOR will get it done?

Dear member,

How effective could you be, as a volunteer, if VECTOR better supported you acting on your knowledge?

Please send me what you think about using the advice process and about seeing how well it works for us? After the details about the process below, you may use a form for your convenience.

Advice Process - a better way to decide

Just five stages to reach a decision:

  1. Sieze the initiative or alert someone better placed to take it

  2. Gather input from other members to sound out perspectives to create a proposal

  3. Seek advice from those affected, those with expertise, those with a different perspective

  4. Take into account all advice to decide on a final path of action

  5. Inform those who have given advice

We struggle to find a way that members will use to see the growing, large back-log of things to do. Find all the following things linked into a team folder Team-Logistics-MRO ready for a team of people who like to maintain, repair and overhaul stuff.

Deciding using the advice process strengthens people and organizations who practise it.

  • teaches more people about arising issues
  • reinforces the community
  • honors other members who are sought for advice
  • creates closer bonds between members
  • teaches the initiator knowledge from the advisors
  • connects authority to act with the knowledge “in the field”
  • boosts fun, initiative and creativity like team sports does

The advice process works hand-in-hand with a peer-based conflict mechanism. Let’s explore that next time.

Learn more about the advice process from the Reinventing Organizations Wiki, or flip through some doodles and slides from Agilitrix.

We can learn from several organizations who use the advice process or the alternative consent process:

Powerful tools

I am learning how organizations made up of a network of self-managing teams are solving community needs. Some people call these amazingly impactful groups “Teal organizations”.

Teal organizations do many cool practices, including:

  • working toward a “just cause” specific to the organization

  • holding an annual “values workshop” so members can review and reinforce how well the organization lives its values

  • using the “advice process” to make decisions

  • using a 4-stage “conflict mechanism” to handle conflict

Old ways to decide

You are familiar with the two other decision processes at our disposal: top-down or consensus. You may like going to someone else to get permission. You may like holding votes and seeing how many people support your idea.

Consensus decisions improve on top-down decisions with more perspective and knowledge. Yet, often this process gives everyone a chance to stop everyone else from making decisions.

Parting thoughts

Let me share four beliefs:


  • Are creative, thoughtful, trustworthy adults, capable of making important decisions
  • Are accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions
  • Are unique
  • Want to use our talents and skills to make positive contributions to the organization and the community

First reading about these from AES resonated with me.

I believe that VECTOR must become a network of self-organizing teams to properly serve our partners. The power and resilience of a living organization will allow us to eliminate single points of failure and truly deliver on our just cause.

Please send me your thoughts about the idea of adopting the advice or consent process for making decisions, which impacts our overall effectiveness and reliability.

2020 President, VECTOR

Related: Values Workshop, Advice Process, Conflict Mechanism, Just Cause