Daily Archives: 11th May 2017

On Democratisation

Bill Williamson is (of course) right that we need strategies to re-democratise our societies. These need to be practical approaches to organisation and participation. I have already stated (elsewhere) that my experience is that ‘flat’ highly-devolved organisations that can respond to local needs and set their own modes of working, are the most beneficial… but also the most efficient.

The trend towards hierarchical control has (contrary to popular belief) resulted in gross inefficiencies. This is because of the build-up of alienation, expressions of negative power, and distrust. Such elements mean that centralised control has to ever-increase its reach, threat measures, interventions, or micromanagement in order to gain a return on its efforts. This in turn leads to worsening connectivity within organisations, the collapse of productive communities of practice, and hence even more control in order to ‘put things right’.

That this doesn’t work should be plain to everyone by now, and the necessary adjustment fairly obvious: relinquish power by restructuring towards highly devolved systems. This isn’t anarchy. This is how complex systems work to their best advantage. One might say, they are a natural part of social behaviour.

The big issue is: convincing those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo that the evidence is clear cut. Tough to do, when they’d rather believe the legend than the truth.