Making decisions in Campfire

How can we make even wiser decisions together, in support of our purpose?

In ‘horizontal’ organisations, decision making is a thing, a big important thing. If we’re not relying on the boss to decide everything, then who does it and how?


Our decision making guide has evolved over several years of practice, and so far, it has held us well. Its purpose is to support wise decision making in Campfire - and who doesn’t want that?


A key principle for our decisions is ‘safe to try’. We are not seeking perfection, but agility. Our decisions are ‘good enough for now & safe enough to try’ and can be reviewed by anyone at any time.


We have developed a decision making tree to guide us in practice. Here are our questions:

  • Does it contribute to our purpose, and align with our principles and practices?

  • Is it in the best interests of the people we serve, our members and our planet?

  • Does this decision affect my peers?

  • Have I asked for the advice of those peers who have expertise, hold important information and will be impacted by the decision?

  • Have I made this decision with good intentions and without ego?


One of the key shifts for many of us has been to a proposal mindset - that anyone shows leadership to propose something, that helps lead to a wise decision.


Our framework guides us on how to make certain decisions. Not all are equal!


Generative Decision Making 

We use this Generative Decision Making in our monthly Fireside chats (governance meetings), for decisions that affect everyone - governance, strategy, guides, major financial decisions. It comes from Percolab and has evolved from Sociocracy and Holacracy.


Integrative voting

This is for bringing in new members & supporters, changes to work teams, and project lead roles. It is an adapted form of Generative Decision Making and is too a gift from Percolab.


Advice process

We use our version of the much documented Advice process for day to day decisions. It is modelled after the one popularised by Reinventing Organizations and AES. 


The Advice Process means:

Anyone can make a decision if they have all the advice they need to make a good decision for the organisation; this includes asking those impacted or with expertise.


In practice, it’s remarkably effective. It allows anybody to seize the initiative. Everyone becomes powerful.


Wisdom Council

For tough issues or sticky situations, where there is no proposal and we are seeking a wise way forward, we come together for our Wisdom Council process, following the principles and practices of The Circle Way.


Finally, we share and record our decisions with those impacted, in a timely and appropriate way, and continually reflect and review.


Different processes work for different organisations. Some use Loomio to take decisions online. We have, and we may again as the need arises. We are always working to improve how we practise making decisions together, and learning a lot about ourselves in the process.

Curious about working or learning with us?

We'd love to have a conversation.