One of the first questions most of us will ask whenever anything goes wrong in life is, who was to blame? If you get bad service at the oil change place, you want to know who is in charge. If your food arrives at your table cold, you want to speak to a manager. The list goes on and on. When it comes to politics, the man at the top is a favorite whipping boy, especially for the opposing party, even when he rarely bears sole responsibility for whatever it is you are upset about.
That is What Happens in Centralized Organizations
- Centralization leads to “top down” leadership
- Those below must wait for word from above to take action
- Consumer level “customer service” people rarely have authority to fix a problem
- This all leads to high levels of frustration
That is not how we see The OK Grassroots Project at all. We want to empower everyone to get busy, do what they see that needs doing and help others find ways to get involved using their various skills and abilities. We are striving to build a decentralized movement, where everyone can feel free to adapt and improve upon things and find the best way to reach their own community.
Welcome to the Movement, Tag You’re It!
Decentralization is the idea that every member of an organization should be just as responsible for the success, or failure, as any other member. By empowering each member to act autonomously, a decentralized movement essentially becomes a movement of leaders! Whatever level of understanding you have, that is your level of authority to do something about it! This doesn’t mean there is no “leadership”.
- Leadership is based on experience and trust, many times the one speaking is the person who had the idea, so they are “in the know”
- There is no command structure, you don’t have to worry about “breaking the rules”. People will let you know what the “norms” are and help you adjust, rather than “disciplining” you
- No one can do everything, but everyone can do something and we want that something you can do!
So How Does Anything Get Done?
It’s simple, consensus is reached and those who are on board get to work. They decide what needs to be done, divide the work by skill set and interest, choose someone to be a point person to help coordinate and if you are not going to help, you had better stand back! It’s amazing to see how much, and how fast people can accomplish things when they choose to be involved at every step and are authorized to make decisions and get things done!
- Experience and skill will generally push those with knowledge and leadership ability in a given task to the front. If not, the group will develop the process together from their collective knowledge and ability to learn.
- You are free to pitch in where you are best suited. Surprisingly, not everyone wants the same work to do, but everything can get done. There will always be “serving” types willing to pick up the slack and this is where they want to be!
- “The right way” to do things is developed as a group effort, based on what works and not always what someone else has done before. We will be informed by efforts of the past, but this is brand new territory, feel free to experiment.
No One is Going to Twist Your Arm
If you choose to be a part, you are welcome, if you choose not to, you will be welcomed back when you choose to return. No one is going to twist your arm. We don’t believe in the use of coercive tactics. People who are truly motivated out of their own desire to help will work hardest to see that everything is done with excellence. The bar will be set by example, not demand.
- Everyone is welcome and we would love you to contribute as little, or as much as you want to! Pick a project that speaks to you and jump right in. Don't feel like you will ever be asked to do things you're not interested in, someone else will be!
- Self-responsibility means that you do what you say you will do. We want everyone to find the place that they fit, but we also need to know that we can count on you finishing what you start. It's simple, let your yes be yes and your no be no and everyone can respect that.
- Specific roles will grow as groups work together, but the idea should be that people are working together to achieve agreed upon goals, rather than one person controlling another.
So, What Are We Asking You to Do?
Over the next few weeks we will be laying out our plan, in very specific detail. That does not mean we have a step by step map to success in establishing 2000 active precincts across Oklahoma. We’ll share with you what we have learned, what we think is important, and ideas that have worked in similar situations. We are asking you to take this framework and start applying it where you are!
- We would love to hear from you, but you don’t need our permission, or blessing to get started.
- If you want, or need help, we will give you everything we can. Likewise, please share the ideas and resources you develop with us, especially the ones that work!
- Allow everyone who wants to be involved to be involved. Don’t stress too much about what that looks like. Allow people to fill roles they feel called to and go with the flow.