Peter Macfadyen in his book Flatpack democracy says it is critical for any group of people who have to work together to establish suitable ways of working. He says the key purpose of these interactive protocols is to encourage risk taking and learning from mistakes. ‘ In a fast changing world ,we need to develop the confidence to take calculated risks, learn quickly and make adjustments’. This is the opposite of the traditions of our current political system in which risk is discouraged, no-one ever admits making a mistake and making a U-turn is seen as a disaster.
His eight ways of working are:
- A willingness and ability to participate in rational debate leading to a conclusion.
- Understanding the difference between constructive debate and personal attacks.
- Avoidance of identifying ourselves so personally with any particular position that this in itself excludes constructive debate.
- Preparedness to be swayed by the arguments of others and admitting mistakes.
- Relative freedom from any overriding dogma or ideology which would preclude the views of others.
- Trust confidence and optimism in other people’s expertise and knowledge.
- Confidence in the mechanisms and processes of decision-making that we establish, accepting that the decisions of the majority are paramount.
- An acceptance that ‘you win some and you lose some’; it’s nothing personal and there’s really no point in taking defeats to heart.