May 6th, 2015 04:04

What was your "Ah-ha!" moment with Loomio?

Derek Razo
Derek Razo Public Seen by 339

Hello friends!

I'm Derek, a member of the Loomio team and I'm currently on a mission to learn as much as possible about how we can help groups be as successful as possible using Loomio.

One important thing we've noticed is that what happens early in a group's lifespan can be critical for long-term success.

So the big question on my mind is:

What was your "Ah-ha" moment with Loomio?

More specifically, when did you realise that Loomio was going to be useful for your group?

Maybe it was something around your first discussion or proposal, or something else? We want to hear your stories! Thanks so much for anything you can share with us :)


Denjello May 6th, 2015 08:58

My "ah-ha" moment with Loomio is maybe not exactly what you are expecting (or hoping) to hear. Our organization has a robust and time-tested method for making decisions, and this happens face to face at weekly meetings where consensus or majority votes determine outcomes.

There are many members of our org, who for personal reasons can never come to these meetings, and my hope was that through the introduction of Loomio, these members could make their voices / opinions heard.

Unfortunately, because of the strong language of the interface of Loomio, many stopped using the platform altogether. They thought that by casting their vote they would either:

  • undermine the traditional decision making structure
  • waste time on a system without legitimation

This meant that decisions made online didn't have any effect on the decision making process, and loomio has become a sort of "blog" for ideas where people tend to "like" or ignore things. :(

Although I do not agree with holacracy per sé, I think it would have helped our org in its adoption of Loomio to have something like the holacracy constitution to become aware of what they were getting into and how it would change the decision making process.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel May 6th, 2015 13:48

@denjello , I'm very interested in what you meant with "the strong language of the interface of Loomio". Can you clarify whether you're specifically referring to the Agree/Disagree/Abstain/Block standard? ("Block" certainly seems like the strong term there, to me.) Are you referring to anything at all outside of the four 'positions'?

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel May 6th, 2015 13:53

I'll try to offer my own views here too, after a meeting. Very valuable topic!


Denjello May 6th, 2015 16:24

@gregorycassel > our group is "sensitive" to language, and in this case when the see the word Decision (or Entscheidung in German), they feel that they are participating in a decision that has equivalence to our meetings - which it absolutely does not. Therefore it was really rather impossible to use the decision making aspect of loomio if exactly that feature is undermined...

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel May 6th, 2015 18:28

Thanks very much for that clarification @denjello ! I must admit I've never thought much about the term "Decision" per se, but I see your point. I think there is really a big understated tension, or even an "elephant in the room", with people not understanding the consequences or lack thereof for each proposal/"Decision".

Additionally, there is a core issue IMO with people not having an efficient way to draft and refine proposals together at Loomio. We've had several threads before regarding ideas such as draft proposals, amended proposals, or tools (or culture) to expedite the replacement of failing proposals with more viable ones.

I think that both challenges-- the desire to explicitly allow non-binding proposals, and the desire to cooperatively evolve better proposals-- could perhaps be solved with the same core software tool/option. Something called a "Non Binding Decision", for instance, could indicate a temperature check with a wide range of interested parties, for the sake of a smaller group of serious stakeholders who must make an important decision. It also could be a 'test run' to develop an important binding proposal.

I'm just throwing that out here for now; I will follow this discussion!