Broke Spoke's model involves a nomination (with the permission of the nominee), then a vote by the group of 'Committed Volunteers'. Election into the Committed Volunteer group requires unanimous consent (i.e. someone can 'blackball' a nominee, or abstain if they don't know the nominee well enough). Any Committed Volunteer is considered an equal member of the decision-making group (the 'steering committee') if they choose to participate. 

The only sticky part about this model is that if a member of the shop community is nominated, they know about it in order to give permission, but then if they are not elected, they obviously also know about that. We don't have any sort of resolution process for a community member that would like to know why they weren't accepted. This hasn't really come up yet, since anyone thinking of nominating someone usually discusses it beforehand.

Within the Committed Volunteers group, there are shift managers. Formally the only distinction is that they supervise volunteers and run shifts, but they also tend to be leaders within the shop community. That group is selected in a similar way, but within the group of managers.

The intention of this structure is to try to make decision-making accessible but not mandatory for volunteers interested in further engagement in the shop. A CV can vote on the steering committee, but they don't have to; a CV can become a manager, but they don't have to.

-Andy S.

On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 2:11 AM, <> wrote:
Something I've often thought of but *have not* implemented, regarding officers within power structures, is to preclude individuals from seeking those positions themselves, filling them instead only through election. The system would only work if eligibility for election was mandatory among all members, barring of course any relevant disqualifying factors. So, mandatory among all fit members. What constitutes fitness is imagined with the creation of each position.

The way it would work is that a requirement of membership is an agreement to serve as an officer if elected. Seeking office would not happen. Voting would happen as in any election, various voting methods notwithstanding, and people would just choose who within the organization should serve in what position. Having agreed to serve if elected, any member elected must then fulfill the duties as best they can.

Basically this is something I thought of as a way to prevent power seekers from gaining power, police officers and politicians being the best examples. Those who seek power over others are often the ones who should be prevented from same.

Anyway, sorry to not have scintillating first-hand examples. In practice, I've only ever done just the plain vanilla election process, and the two positions in existence now at Recycle Ithaca's Bicycles are just a plain interview/hires from our parent organization.

Good luck Josh & co.!!


On 2017-09-18 20:09, Josh Bisker wrote:
Hello compadres! So, we're trying to go from a create squads to handle
different arenas of planning and activity -- like Shop Management,
Communications, Programming, Volunteer Coordination, Partnerships, etc.
Each squad will have a captain. *Here's the request for help: *We're
looking for your insight and experience to help us figure out how to pick
our captains, especially this first time.

   - How have you dealt with electing / selecting leaders?
   - What lessons have you learned about good ways to do this?
   - How about bad ways to do this? What should we be careful of?
   - How can we best inoculate ourselves against interpersonal conflicts
   muddying the process?
   - Are there anonymous voting systems, consensus systems, or other
   systems you recommend for this kind of thing? (FYI, our group is nascent
   enough that we don't yet have a strong consensus model in place for making
   big decisions.)

For reference about captains in specific:

   - Captains are the squad’s points-of-contact, coordinators for its
   activities, and default squad spokespeople. They’re responsible for the
   squad’s workflow, and for communicating with the collective about the
   squad’s initiatives, progress, and needs -- also for structuring how
   volunteers can participate in the squad’s activities.

   - Captains’ stated mission also includes supporting and engaging with
   ideas from their squad members and from the larger collective too -- and
   calling for extra teamwork when the squad needs it.

More about the squads model from me soon, but in the mean time some
feedback here would be grrrrrreat!



Josh Bisker
New York Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op <>
596 Acres <>
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus <>


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