best know method

Communities vs Hierarchies

via Thomas Dreller the differences in a community and hierarchy. To be honest in India it is difficult to build a community for the most part because as a society we are very feudal. This makes a peer to peer relationship extremely difficult.

The below is a very good explanation.

Recently I received feedback on reviving a starving community from one of the higher ranks:

Based on what I have seen happening, the community could be successful in establishing its identity if there is some regular communication flowing from the top, for ex. a monthly summary.

Somehow I felt there is something missing, or even wrong with this statement, and it took me some time for figuring out what it could be. I think I’ve got it now: It’s the top-down approach for establishing an identity, which I believe won’t work.

Gary Hamel once (The Future of Management) raised an interesting question:

When in your life have you felt the most joyful and the most energized by work?… I bet it involved a group of people who were bound by their devotion to a common cause, who were undeterred by a lack of resources and undaunted by a lack of expertise, and who cared more about what they could accomplish together than how credit would be apportioned.  In short, you were part of a community.

Completely agree: It’s the common cause which forms the identity of the community, not the directed information flow, not the structured meeting place, not the existence of specific roles. Looking around, I see too much hierarchy, too many policies, and too little community. And, digging further, I found this little jewel that precisely explains why I didn’t feel well about this statement. The piece positions bureaucracy versus community:

Hierarchies are good at aggregating effort.  Communities are good at mobilizing effort.

In a community, the interaction and exchange is voluntary – you give your skills, experience, bandwidth in return for the chance to make a difference, or exercise your talents. In a hierarchy, you get paid for doing what is assigned to you.  It’s a contractual exchange.

In a bureaucracy, you are a factor in production.  In a community you are a partner in cause.

Communities depend on norms, values, and gentle prodding of one’s peers. Bureaucracies rely on multiple layers of management and a web of policies.

In a bureaucracy individual contributions are circumscribed.  Financial people work on finance.  Marketing people market.  In a community, capability and disposition are more important than credentials and job descriptions.

In a bureaucracy rewards are financial.  In communities, the rewards are emotional.

Mull over it and please share your personal experiences

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