Monday, July 4, 2011

What we learned from managing a distributed democratic organization

Our challenges have been primarily in the area of community building and management. We have found that while urban members of the community typically have better resources, they usually also have limitations on flexibility and implementation. On the flip side, while rural members have more flexibility and appetite for effort, they are usually short resources.
We have learnt to overcome this challenge by systematically improving our communication processes. By working through the paradigm that communication enables flow of resources, we have been able to connect rural grassroots activists to their counterparts in cities, enabling the urban resource availability to compliment the rural implementation skill.
The next area of challenges has been sustaining the costs of running the project.
For example, the cost of providing free callbacks as a means to improve adoption rates.
Rather than incur the cost of capital involved in raising a large monolithic investment, we have learnt to distribute our financial needs into granular components and obtained individual/independent funding for each. This has allowed us to distribute the risks of the project across many stakeholders and enabled more people to contribute with their existing resources, once again following the overall paradigm of inclusion.