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Patterns for Decentralised Organizations

Patterns for Decentralised Organising

by Richard Bartlett
Practical guidance for teams, organisations and networks to manage without hierarchy

Choose your price. 75% complete.

Commentary by TLLP
Published: 2018


This is a book about working in groups, based on 8 years experience in community projects and startups.

I’m not so interested in what you’re working on together, I’m just going to focus on how you do it. To my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to build a better electric vehicle, or develop government policy, or blockade a pipeline; whenever you work with a group of people on a shared objective, there’s some stuff you’re going to deal with, some challenges. How do we decide what we’re working on? who does what? who can join our team? what are our expectations for each other? what happens when someone doesn’t fulfil those expectations? what do we do with disagreement? how do decisions get made?

I’m convinced there is not a “one size fits all” recipe, a management structure that you can take off the shelf and install in your collective or your company. But my hypothesis is that there are patterns: common design elements you can draw on as you construct a recipe that’s right for you. Each pattern in this book names a challenge that you are likely to face, and offers tools and techniques you can try in response to that challenge.

This is a book for community organisers, leaders, managers, consultants, coaches, facilitators, founders… if you work with groups of humans, these patterns apply to you.

Why publishing a work in progress?

This book is not 100% complete yet. My intention is to release it early, so I can improve it with your feedback. I’m eager to hear any comments you have after reading the book: do you have unanswered questions? are there any parts where the writing could be improved? do you want to share an insight with me? Join the conversation in our discussion group on Loomio:


Richard Bartlett
Entrepreneur | Writer | Decentralized Organizations | Self-Management | Bottom-up Politics

From the About section on LeanPub:

Richard Bartlett is one of the co-founders of Loomio, an open-source software tool for collaborative decision-making. He’s also a Catalyst at Enspiral: a network of self-organising companies who have been working without bosses since 2010. Most recently he co-founded The Hum, a small consulting company to share practical guidance for decentralised organisations.

He’s passionate about co-ownership, self-management, collaborative governance, and other ways of sneaking anarchism into respectable places.

He is the author of the (work-in-progress) book Patterns for Decentralised Organising


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