Working Together
James Adrian

      Children need to acquire competence in reasoning, memory, investigation, and imagination. Most importantly, they need to acquire a desire to used their skills to help each other.

      Since most adults have not had the benefit of such an upbringing, their more specialized skills are not being applied within this framework. That being the case, the task of forming a non-defective organization is definitely non-trivial.

      In this culture, as in many of the past, an organization is thought of as being comprised of a few leaders and many subordinates. This organizational basis is less egregious than slavery and more egregious than it needs to be. This article will describe an alternative.


      An act of leadership is a deliberate act that brings about some valued result that probably would not have occurred without that deliberate act. For example, a seemingly intractable problem may be solved with imagination, inventiveness, rare knowledge, being able to elucidate a case persuasively, and being capable of taking bold action with planning and wisdom. Good leaders are described as being efficacious and having attractive characteristics, but the net utility of leadership is the ability to bring about valued results.

      People who are extremely good leaders are sometimes called charismatic. These leaders are seen as such shining examples of the citizenry that they are held in awe. This is not always a good thing, although it can be. This is because a leader who is charismatic may succeed in appealing to emotion without offering hard evidence. Deferring to such a leader without scrutinizing the logic and the facts can permit harmful results.       Vigilance in observing, surmising and reporting in the interest of the organization should not be restrained.

Organizational Structure

      Hierarchical organizations have some number of levels which are ranked in order of authority. There is a top-level person or group who is in charge of everything that the organization does (directly or indirectly) such as a Commander in Chief or a Board of Directors. Other persons or groups are authorized by, and take orders from, a higher-level person or group. This has been the structure of military organizations throughout history. Organizational structures having these characteristics are typical of the structure of current-day military organizations, government departments, businesses and charities. Despite variations, the model will hereinafter be called the Military Model.

      Perhaps surprisingly, the private sector as a whole does not adhere to this model. Each functional entity of the private sector (whether for profit and not for profit) makes its contribution until it is dissolved. This might be called the Private Sector Model. The organization in this case is the private sector. The entities serving markets are members of the organization. Lawmakers provide the top-level control in the form of laws and regulations, but wisely refrain from specifying a whole host of choices such as what products or services entities (members) will attempt to provide, the price of goods and services, and many others. Of course, lawmakers are not part of the private sector, but some of their laws and regulations rule it.

      The organizational structure for private sector activities described below will bear a much greater resemblance to the Private Sector Model than to the Military Model. Let's call it the Private Works Model. Unlike the Private Sector Model, the Private Works Model has a regulatory person or group that is internal to the organization. The regulatory person or group serves to enforce the rules of the organization and to mediate disputes. The rules must be consistent with an Organizational Constitution agreed to by the initial members. The regulators may not manage the organization generally and is not similar to top management in the Military Model. It is contracted to enforce the rules, mediate disputes among the members and bring suit against those violating their contracts if necessary. Members do things according to contracts with each other and with entities outside of the organization. Members, including the regulators, are responsible for doing what they have agreed to do in written contracts. The regulatory person or group is a contractor of the same organizational rank as all of the other members. The initial members start the organization by agreeing to a business plan, the initial collection of contracts between members and the Organizational Constitution, which also specifies how the Constitution may be changed.

      In the Private Works Model, there is no need for the concept of subordination or the establishment of ranks. The regulatory person or group provides a specified service to the members which even though critical (as several others are) is a contracted service like those of all the other members. Workers do not come to work expecting to do anything a boss wants done. They do work that they own.

      Members (each of whom is a party to at least one contract) might be assumed to work either full time or part time, which is the prevailing custom; but in addition to full-time service and part-time service, we must add occasional service. This makes it possible for an organization to produce value intermittently, which may greatly reduce the initial commitment of resources needed to start or expand the organization.

      An organization committed to an idea can avoid corruption. An organization committed to a charismatic person cannot.