The tyranny of structurelessness
The following page briefly defines what we mean by group 'structure', and discusses the importance of establishing a structure, and what can go wrong if this is not intentionally organized.Structure is the way vision, strategy, tactics and principles etc. are presented and implemented by the organization or group. - The HUB
- Lines up with the group’s purpose and resources.
- Moves the group forward without exhausting members.
- Everyone knows how decisions are made.
- New members are supported and able to navigate the group.
- Navigates conflict generatively to encourage healthy group culture.
This section is based on the text The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Joe FreemanQuotations have been freely translated.
"Any group of people, whatever their nature, who come together for a time for some purpose, inevitably structure themselves in one way or another [...] the search for an unstructured group is as useful, and as misleading, as seeking 'objective' reporting” - Jo Freeman
In other words, the idea of the structureless does not prevent the creation of informal structures, it only prevents formal structures.
“The decision-making rules are only known to a few people and the awareness of power is limited to those who know the rules. People who don't know the rules and aren't chosen to be introduced to them must be left confused or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is going on that they aren't quite aware of."
||For a group without a formal structure to "work", it must be:|
This is impossible in a larger group.
Principles of democratic structure
From The tyranny of structurelessness by Joe Freeman...
- Delegation of power through a democratic process
- Accountability of people with power to people who have delegated power to them
- Distribution of authority among as many people as possible. Prevents monopoly of power and requires consultation with others before making decisions. Also allows the development of skills.
- Rotation of tasks between individuals. Give people enough time to learn the roles so that they can be satisfied with the work done.
- Allocation of tasks according to rational criteria (skill, interest and responsibility). People should have the opportunity to learn a new role if they so choose. Some sort of learning program helps.
- Dissemination and information. Information gives power, access to information increases power. When a group disseminates ideas in a restricted way, the people who belong to it are forming an opinion without the entire group being able to participate.
- Equal access to the resources that the group requires. Knowledge, access and information are resources.
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