The Handbook:

teams, reframing, federation, & investment


1. Get people together in teams.
2. Decide what you want from your work.
3. Agree on big ambitious goals!
4. Have the guts to own your vision.
5. “Do what you can with what you have.”
6. Planning
7. Do what you want to do.
8. Only do actions you’re great at, which also excite you.
9. Let your coworkers do actions they’re great at and also excited by.
10. If one person isn’t responsible for a specific thing, no one is responsible.
11. Ten ways people micromanage without realizing it:
12. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
13. Ready, fire, aim!
14. Guys like sports metaphors.
15. Start together, huddle at halftime, finish together.
16. List agreed-upon action items.
17. Finish what you start.
18. Teams work together in the same space.
19. Work alone on your own team if you want to.
20. Everyone on a team does hands-on work.
21. Celebrate jobs well done.


22. When you want to improve the bottom-line profits, do what it takes to measure bottom-line profits.
23. What you measure is what you get.
24. Mentor.
25. Let others lead with you.
26. Problems in “communication” are problems of responsibility.
27. Start company change with someone who feels responsible.
28. Talk to everyone as if he or she is a regular person, just like you.
29. Bond with extraverts one-on-one. Bond with introverts in groups.
30. A “needs analysis” at a company means figuring out where the group is headed and what the group wants.
31. Ask for advice.
32. Read the writing on the walls.
33. Seek out trouble early on.
34. Don’t blame, and if you do, never say “they.”
35. For a good relationship with another person:
36. Turn blame and hurt into play.
37. “Beyond our comfort zone is terror.
38. Work together to fix problems.
39. Don’t let obstacles come between you.
40. Find ways that your coworkers can be heroes.
41. Visual/auditory/kinesthetic learners
42. A shortcut to personality types
43. The organizational life cycle
44. Love.
45. Put yourself in their shoes.
46. What we draw a box around becomes what we see.
47. To control others without their awareness, frame irrelevant choices.
48. Influence


49. Draw relationships as your street map to show you who to go to.
50. Redesign responsibility traffic-jams.
51. Align your interests.
52. Back off.
53. Discover your differences to agree and transform scarcity into abundance!
54. Government is for doing what individuals can’t do on their own.
55. How many coworkers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
56. If you can’t solve your problems on your own, bring in more people who are affected by the problem.
57. Partner up for broader perspective and resources.
58. Limit your group size.
59. Divide to agree.
60. Grow the structure to fit what’s inside and keep one step ahead.
61. Coordinate teams.
62. Inspired coworkers can start their own teams.
63. “What is true of every member of the society individually, is true of them all collectively, since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of individuals.”
64. Choose your representatives.
65. Give representatives term limits.
66. Proxies give you a voice when you’re out of the room.
67. Would you rather talk about it or do something?
68. Different ways for groups to agree.
69. To represent many people, have many small groups, each with its own jurisdiction.
70. Of the 365 days in a year, 100 are weekends.
71. What makes many smarter than a few
72. Stop discrimination.
73. Put big issues to a popular vote.
74. Amendments keep a Constitution alive and fresh.
75. Representatives work together in departments which have clear and distinct responsibilities.
76. Representative departments can limit each other’s actions.
77. Departments can limit the central office.
78. Divide and prosper.
79. Independent “action teams” take initiative.
80. Kick screwups out of office.
81. Interpersonal rules


82. Use five core concerns to build better relationships.
83. “Be the change you want to see.”
84. Form new habits through regular behavior.
85. Juries solve disagreements and also educate the jurors about how the company works.
86. Everyone has desires and traits you haven’t yet seen.
87. Don’t kill the things you love.
88. “2% of a million dollars is better than 100% of nothing.”
89. Free speech.
90. Go public with your reputation at work.
91. Let people literally invest in your personal reputation.
92. “Everything secret degenerates… nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.”
93. Make information clearly available to coworkers about what each department is doing and why it’s being done that way.
94. Departments choose when to buy from other departments within your company.
95. Make your company a home base where coworkers can develop and sell their services, and their department’s services, to other buyers, inside and outside your company.
96. The company’s general accounting office becomes the bank.
97. People need to follow the rules they make.
98. Compensate representatives for being in office, but don’t give them too much control.
100. “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
101. Choice + commitment = freedom.

Get started

A bunch of months ago, maybe around August or July or earlier in 2016, I wasn’t enjoying work very much. I wasn’t asking for or making happen what I very much wanted. I’d written governance guidelines, and that was exciting, but what actionable practical things could I do? I went over to the bookshelves and found the book I’d self-published in 2007 and opened it. And these were the things that got me motivated – I remembered I very much wanted weekly organizing meetings by members, and more coordinating council members. And out of those meetings, members asked for a second location, and finally I was ready to lead that. And now each location has weekly open member meetings (my favorite thing), so I get two each week.

Click to each for an image and text.

1. Get people together in teams.
2. Decide what you want from your work.
3. Agree on big ambitious goals!
4. Have the guts to own your vision.
5. “Do what you can with what you have.”
6. Planning
7. Do what you want to do.
8. Only do actions you’re great at, which also excite you.
9. Let your coworkers do actions they’re great at and also excited by.
10. If one person isn’t responsible for a specific thing, no one is responsible.

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How Does Change Happen?

After the ’13th’ screening and panel discussion, I was inspired to get off Facebook, and to be in real life more and to listen to more speeches on YouTube. I’ve started listening to Angela Davis, younger and older. This is one of my favorites by her: ‘How Does Change Happen?’

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Oregon school success story

Lots of best practices here for any community.

(For comparison, the average Oregon high school has 5 times as many kids drop out, and kids who drop out tend to die 10 years younger on average.)

“Oregon school success story: How Oregon City High got 94 percent of students to graduation”

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Governance Guidelines

I realized that once I stopped saying that the six governance guidelines were about ‘healthy democracy’ and are about ‘healthy community’, or if I don’t say what they are about at all, then more people are into them. Here they are:

I think ‘democracy’, at least in the United States of America, is done as a word. I’ve seen people who are pro-democracy adjust their wording away from ‘democracy’ and to other words.

In the past months I’ve been enjoying the phrase ‘self-governing’: self-governing business, self-governing community, as a way to replace the word ‘democracy’. I’ll change the title of this site.

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The definition of ‘democracy’: Aristotle

Collective Agency is a workplace democracy; the way people want their city or village to be, is how we are here in our workplace.

Lately I’ve been working to define democracy, since I’d like it to be a concept and practice of more people in their day-to-day lives, at the level of personal relationships, workplaces, and traditional governments.

I think to sell healthy democracy to people, the best opening definition might be:

“Democracy is a self-governing group where members ask for or make happen what they very much want, while being considerate of what other members very much want, where:”

(and then more info)

It’s attractive to people. And I’m wondering, is that a valid way to start?

Here’s an excerpt from Theories of Democracy by Frank Cunningham (my favorite book on democracy), page 7:

“Broadly described, government might be exercised according to [Aristotle] by one person, by a few people, or by many people, and in each case such rule may be exercised properly or improperly. Proper (or ‘right’) rule is undertaken for the common good while improper rule aims to serve private interests, whether of the one, the few, or the many themselves. By ‘common good’ Aristotle did not mean the interests that people happen to share, but that which is good for their community, since a good community for him promotes the well-being of all its members by allowing them to exercise their proper potentials and to lead virtuous and successful lives.”

Governance that isn’t focused on increasing wellbeing for people overall is wrong. Governance to increase wellbeing for people overall is right.

“This yields an initial classification of six forms of rule: royalty, where one person rules in the common interest; tyranny, a ‘deviation’ of royalty, where one person rules in his private interests; aristocracy or proper rule by the few; oligarchy, which is the deviant form of aristocracy; proper rule of the many, called ‘polity‘ by Aristotle; and its deviation for which he reserved the term democracy (Aristotle 1986 [c.320 BC]). …”

So ‘polity’ (the good form of democracy) is what I like (although I don’t think that will sell as a word). And people in the polity can delegate responsibilities and roles to individuals or an individual, in which case I consider it to be not royalty but still a polity, if the people can get their power back when and if they want it.

More to come.

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