D4CR Handbook

4 levels of Decision-Making

When making decisions, we operate on one of the following four levels. Consider which level of decision-making should be used for which case.
  • Mandate: I’ll decide myself and then inform others
  • Advice: I’ll listen to input, then I’ll decide
    • the person who works most on an issue asks advice (comments) from others. Others make suggestions. The person then reviews the comments and herself/himself finalises the issue, informed by others’ input, deciding and making last decisions ownself. As this person is taking responsibility for decision, s/he is also responsible for consequences. // A variation - is to ask advice specifically from a) people who are experts on the issue b) people who will be directly affected by the decision
  • Consent: I’ll proceed if nobody objects
    • discuss till no one has big objections (like if we do this, we would die) Is this proposal good enough? Does anyone have any major objections?
  • Consensus: I’ll proceed if everyone agrees
    • enthusiastic agreement of as many as possible.
Most often we use Consent (nobody objects), which is one of the big differentiators of Horizontal Organizations - and what makes things go fwd much faster. While Mandate makes own-decision making. Here is a video explaining about the more elaborate process of decision-making:
For example, Adding people to board - should come through enthusiastic Consensus. Work on Principles - perhaps with Consent. But e.g. detailed marketing, working on the page graphics etc - with Mandate.
Another thing to consider when making decisions - is who should be involved in the decision-making. Does the issue at hand influence only your working group? - Then use your working group's meetings and Slack channel to decide. More than your working group? The whole D4CR community? Then use #wg-all Slack channel for discussion and voting (you can e.g. share Google Docs and get Slack voting with thumbs up/down or 1-2-3 option voting)