My journey of finding and applying Sociocracy 3.0 (S3).

During my ongoing search to find new and improved ways to grow more human centric, high performing workplaces I was introduced to Sociocracy and Holacracy in 2012. I was immediately intrigued by the underlying principles and fundaments, especially with sociocracy and have been experimenting ever since. With the recent emergence of Sociocracy 3.0 I’ve turned my attention towards learning about and experimenting with it’s modular, optional framework of principles based patterns, with fantastic results.
S3 is a free and open, principles based framework of patterns for people wishing to collaborate more effectively and benefit from agile principles at scale, regardless of their chosen approach to product development and service delivery. It provides a rich variety of compatible options to choose from and adapt, according to unique context and needs, building on sociocratic practices and integrating principles from Agile / Lean to dynamically steer and evolve organization.

Discovering S3 workshop

As is usual when beginning to gain competence in something new, by the close of 2012 I believed I had learned a lot about sociocracy. Then in 2013 I met and began training with James Priest, an experienced sociocracy trainer and practitioner. It was then that I started to realise the depth and nuances of artfully facilitating and pulling in the various principles and practices to support teams and organizations to become more effective.

James and I developed a lasting friendship and we now collaborate regularly to bring sociocracy to the attention of a wider audience and particularly to the world of Agile.

In 2014, James discovered Sociocracy 3.0 (S3) while collaborating with Bernhard Bockelbrink, an agile coach based in Berlin. They came together to create a body of Creative Commons licenced resources to help agile teams learn about and pull in sociocracy. It soon became clear to both of them that agile had as much to offer to the evolution of sociocracy as sociocracy had to offer to agile and so S3 was born.

The S3 principles

What distinguishes James from other trainers I meet is that he fully lives and embodies the principles of S3. It is not just about understanding the practices but about being in integrity with the principles. I see how such congruence magnifies the impact you will have on your interventions. It is like being truly agile vs just understanding the mechanical steps and activities of an agile practice like Scrum. This inspired to me go on a journey of experimenting and deepening my own learning of the principles and patterns.

I will follow up this post with practical examples of how to apply different S3 patterns. Meanwhile you can check them out here.

If you want to really understand and experience S3 in practice then check out any upcoming Sociocracy 3.0 course here.


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