In a world with rapidly shifting conditions, how do people organize around a shared purpose in a way that respects their individuality without it creating barriers?
So many times I see multiple organizations or groups of people doing basically the same thing and moving towards the same reality. Should they be one organization with multiple circles of practice? How can they collaborate without disrespecting the previous work of the other? Who’s the leader if they combine forces?
We’ve been trained in the west to be incredibly individualistic, and this shows with how we create organizing entities. Companies have a founder that largely controls the vision. People support the execution of this vision. How do we shift to accommodate the complexity and need for co-creation while accepting that sometimes, there will be a single founder that has the source of an idea?
It’s an intimidating set of questions, that are haunting me personally in the projects I’m involved in. When roles aren’t clear, a lot of brainspace is used trying to figure out what is who’s responsibility. When organizations emerge in spaces that are also emergent, how do they maintain cohesion while bringing in the necessary capacity to make decisions in different spaces?
Small things — like who makes a software purchase to create team emails? To big things — who finalizes the vision statement? Are difficult when these things need to be decided, but there’s no system for deciding them. And how about when people’s focus is taken up by their main projects? Specific boundaries and roles that people co-create, systems to take care of admin. What a journey this is to figure out. Blessed and slightly overwhelmed. This perceived paradox between individual accountability and collective coordination will resolve into a beautifully elegant situation that respects both. It’s just about the patience, the systems, and the open-mindedness needed to get there.