Patterns for Decentralised Organising
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Patterns for Decentralised Organising

About the Book

This is a book about working in groups, based on 8 years experience in community projects and startups.

I’m not so interested in what you’re working on together, I’m just going to focus on how you do it. To my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to build a better electric vehicle, or develop government policy, or blockade a pipeline; whenever you work with a group of people on a shared objective, there’s some stuff you’re going to deal with, some challenges. How do we decide what we’re working on? who does what? who can join our team? what are our expectations for each other? what happens when someone doesn’t fulfil those expectations? what do we do with disagreement? how do decisions get made?

I’m convinced there is not a “one size fits all” recipe, a management structure that you can take off the shelf and install in your collective or your company. But my hypothesis is that there are patterns: common design elements you can draw on as you construct a recipe that’s right for you. Each pattern in this book names a challenge that you are likely to face, and offers tools and techniques you can try in response to that challenge.

This is a book for community organisers, leaders, managers, consultants, coaches, facilitators, founders... if you work with groups of humans, these patterns apply to you.

Why publishing a work in progress?

This book is not 100% complete yet. My intention is to release it early, so I can improve it with your feedback. I'm eager to hear any comments you have after reading the book: do you have unanswered questions? are there any parts where the writing could be improved? do you want to share an insight with me? Join the conversation in our discussion group on Loomio:

A note about Patreon

Patreon is a platform where people can support authors with a regular recurring payment. If you support my Patreon campaign with a recurring contribution of at least $1 per month I will be delighted to send you everything I write for free.

I'm a blogger too

I regularly publish stories on Medium. Take a look if you want to see more of my work :)

About the Author

Richard D. Bartlett
Richard D. Bartlett

One of the co-founders of Loomio, an open source software tool for collaborative decision-making. He's also a Catalyst at Enspiral: a network of self-organising companies who have been working without bosses since 2010. Most recently he co-founded The Hum, a small consulting company to share practical guidance for decentralised organisations.

He's passionate about co-ownership, self-management, collaborative governance, and other ways of sneaking anarchism into respectable places.

Table of Contents

  • Introductions
  • Hi, I’m Rich
  • Intentionally Produce (Counter) Culture
  • Systematically Distribute Care Labour
  • Make Explicit Norms and Boundaries
  • Keep Talking About Power
  • Navigating the Communication Landscape
  • Introduce New Tools With Care
  • Make Decisions Asynchronously
  • A Toolbox For Decision-Making
  • Use Rhythm to Address Information Overload
  • Generate New Patterns Together
  • Get Unstuck With An External Peer
  • Request for Contributors

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