Dedocracia is a pun I learned from activists from the Dominican Republic with whom I used to work. When someone designates the person who has to carry out a particular assignment -- by pointing at him/her rather than voting or reaching consensus -- it's a case of "dedocracia" (the rule of the finger).

But I have since learned about another form of dedocracia: five finger consensus, or "fist-to-five consensus-building." You can read about it here:

The virtue of this five-finger format is that it gives all of the participants more information about how everyone is feeling about a particular proposal than a simple up or down vote (straw poll) or even the up twinkles, level twinkles and down twinkles of Occupy Wall Street.

For example, if a proposal is met with only one person raising five fingers and the rest three, consensus has been reached -- consensus is defined as everyone showing three or more fingers -- but it's probably not a good idea to move ahead (unless the proposal is for an action to be taken by one person). Why not? Because you have one enthusiastic supporter and everyone else is passive. Not a good way to organize. Better to discuss the proposal more or ask the people who brought it to rethink it and see if they can find a version that will elicit more active support (indicated by shows of four or five fingers).

Likewise, having a way to show degrees of opposition to or concern about a proposal is also helpful. If we have a large showing of one fingers -- we know the doubts/concerns are strong.

This technique is probably best used in smallish groups, where it's possible for any participant to see all the other's signs quickly.

You can practice the finger gestures by using the Simon Proposes game in this manual.