Management (Block 9)

 This block covers two of the key areas of commons. Organizational form and governance. How do you come to agreement and how do you manage nudging people who do not follow agreements. It is better to have AN agreed method than no method at all. And better to have a formal organization than none.

The experience of Transition Towns shows that a core group, one that looks after all members’ interests and works to move the group forward is essential as the community develops. The core group do not necessarily have to be “doers” but the do need to be guardians of the energy and vision of the community. And  if they can support others more the better.

Stating with a method rather than none is advisable – you can always improve and adapt it.

You can discuss options in this block to come to  some working idea to put into the prospectus. You need something in the prospectus on this topic especially if you show it to external partners like a bank, as people want to see you have a way of organizing  yourselves and deciding on representation.

The organizational form you choose will also affect your management structure, and the roles you identify as being key. Some countries mandate identifying a chairman of the board and treasurer as well as CEO, and some insist on a formal elected board and annual general meetings.

Where management can help is to align objects with workgroups with services. The more overlaps that happen, the more energy will spent on coordination. If one workgroup has responsibility for one object it makes it much easier to plan.  it is where two share the same object, or are responsible for a service together, that coordination risks occur.

Consider using the decision system of Sociocracy 3, but again, a system is better than none.

After answering the basic questions like “what do we from a legal point of view have to have in place?” consider returning to the planning sheet for activities. It is good to have a “decision and involvement year” idea to make sure that developing decision, budgeting for them and making agreements as a group fall together in time;  you need to avoid mis-matches like determining budget before deciding on major projects.

 

MORE TO READ

How large a community – how strong the ties? This article discusses both.

Elinor Ostrom’s 8 principles

Do we need traditional firms ? Good article in Medium.

Leave a Reply