Here are the power dynamics I’m striving for in a “decentralised organisation”:
Maximise power-from-within: everyone feels empowered; they are confident to speak up, knowing their voice matters; good ideas can come from anywhere; people play to their strengths; creativity is celebrated; growth is encouraged; anyone can lead some of the time.
Make power-with transparent: we’re honest about who has influence; pathways to social power are clearly signposted; influential roles are distributed and rotated; the formal org chart maps closely to the informal influence network.
Minimise power-over: one person cannot force another to do something; we are sensitive to coercion; any restrictions on behaviour are developed with a collective mandate.
Some of the core features of anarchist organization, according to Ward, are (1) that collectives and groupings should be based on voluntary participation, (2) that they should be aimed at performing a specific function and (3) should temporarily exist only for as long as they perform that function, and (4) that they should be small and based on face-to-face contact between participants.
Decentralized work requires more trust building on the front end, but ultimately it is easier, more fluid.