The Handbook:

teams, reframing, federation, & investment

teams:

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.
 

reframing:

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
 

federation:

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
 

investment:

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.

A montage of self-led teams in a school

This montage is from the movie “School of Rock.” When the leader, played by Jack Black, starts working there, his main motivation is money. But eventually he sees that his exciting quest of having an amazing band goes along with their musical skills.

They start out with not much appreciation about their skills. But as it starts to get better, some of them start to withdraw:  a guitarist is getting yelled at when he plays outside the group; a roadie who kept quiet about her amazing voice really wants to sing. The guitarist starts to learn how to express himself through guitar, turning his anger into fun. The roadie shares her skill and desire, and becomes a singer.

A checkbox-complaining middle-manager is taken out of her job for a day, asks for responsibility, and without any more checkboxes but now with responsibility she can make her own, starts being responsible for her interests by reading up on The Business of Music.

As you see in this montage, they work towards a common goal:  expressing themselves as individuals through the band. Each in their own way, together.

They are facilitated, and sometimes they are told what to do by the leader, but they can disagree, they can publicly not like something until they figure out how to like it, and they can make their own suggestions and do their suggestions for themselves, and within their groups, they lead themselves.

They are coordinated through common activities (watching TV and rehearsing together), sharing the same space (coworking), the feedback of free speech (expressing themselves publicly in the group, within their subcommittees, and individually outside of the group in the halls), and more.

It is not a direct democracy because they do not all share decision-making on anything. It is a representative democracy because subcommittees and representatives each make decisions and are each responsible for specific things.

Democracies rarely start as democracies, and when they do, the “start” is usually marked with a name change. The band isn’t yet called “School of Rock.” They haven’t yet figured out their name. They haven’t yet figured out what they are. They’re in transition, and it’s pretty cool.

This is what representative democracy looks like:

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One Response to A montage of self-led teams in a school

  1. Alex Linsker says:

    Susan Engel wrote a great article with amazing and specific examples: “Let Kids Rule the School” this week in the NY Times: http://nyti.ms/fRsFbT “I recently followed a group of eight public high school students, aged 15 to 17, in western Massachusetts as they designed and ran their own school within a school….”

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