Assemblany: Towards Democratic Corporations

Friday, May 19, 2006

Differentiating Features for Assemblanies

Some possible differentiating guidelines for assemblanies:
* Be a seed for change in the world.
* Businesses can (and should!) be profitable and ethical at the same time.
* Write down the unwritten rules.
* Flatten the hierarchy.

How and why these are specific to or valuable for assemblanies:
* Assemblanies can be not just achieving goals in themselves, but also demonstrating a better (freer, more equal) way to work and live.
* Everyone having a vote on all major decisions makes it harder to fudge an issue or bury it under the carpet: ethical problems must be faced by the whole assemblany.
* Formalising unwritten rules reduces the fear of overstepping boundaries or making mistakes (in particular, reduces the prevalence of double bind situations); openness and transparency is good in itself, as well as promoting trust and increasing effectiveness.
* By definition, assemblanies flatten the hierarchy and share power; everyone has a vote on all major decisions. Usually in the corporate world empowerment is restricted to a narrow (technical) area and doesn't apply to broader, company-wide policies; in assemblanies, empowerment would be ubiquitous and almost invisible.


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