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Structure is the way vision, strategy, tactics and principles etc. are presented and implemented by an organization or group. - The HUB


The HUB defines 5 key elements of good structure:

  1. Lines up with the group’s purpose and resources. 
  2. Moves the group forward without exhausting members.
  3. Everyone knows how decisions are made.
  4. New members are supported and able to navigate the group.
  5. Navigates conflict generatively to encourage healthy group culture.

See The tyranny of structurelessness for more.

Examples of structure components

Working groups or committees

  • "CJTO is grouped into four central Branches: Campaigns & Mass Mobilization; Public Education & Storytelling; Community Care, Mutual Aid, & Access; Systems & Admin. Each of these branches are decentralized and [have] their own centres of power and decision-making. Branches carry the work of CJTO and are accountable to our political principles." -Climate Justice Toronto. [1]
  • A steering committee may be included in a structure as a connector to the various working groups. They act as another body to oversee that working groups are in line with the organizational principles or mission, and/or that there's some level of cohesion between working groups.

Decision-making bodies for larger structures

  • There are many students involved in 'La CEVES', thus, there are many decision making bodies. There are campus and working committees, a coordination committee with a rep from each, general assemblies, and a 'congress' for group-wide decision making.
  • Student associations have executive committees (with elected members) and general assemblies for determining mandates

Assigned roles

  • Examples of roles included in a structure might include, for example; bottom-liners, external/internal communicators, social media lead, a 'vibes' checker, brave space monitor, facilitator etc. For more on roles, attend the HUB's structure workshop!

How can we implement new group structure elements when a group is firmly set in its ways?

Reach alignment with the group first so everyone is on the same page about:

a) The need for new group structure elements and

b) What the design process will be.

It may take some time, but things can also be seen as iterations where not everything changes at once but slowly over time (sometimes that might work, sometimes it won’t).

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