The Secret Behind the Success of the Apache and Alcoholics Anon.
Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom wrote a book called The Starfish and the Spider. Normally a book by guys with names like that would stay in its shrink-wrapping so I could honestly tell the person who gave it to me for Christmas that it “definitely NOT collecting dust”. However, this book fascinated me. If you love sociology and enjoy learning how the world is changing, then give this a read.
So I’m not trying to plug for this book, but I was fascinated at the truth revealed on its pages. The book argues that all organizations basically fall into one of these two categories… spiders or starfish, despite sharing the trait of an awkward number of legs, these animals could not be more different.
Spiders represent the exclusive, traditional vertically integrated corporate structures. Starfish, on the other hand, are inclusive and have flat, broken-down org charts.
There are limitless possibilities presented to the decentralized your organization. Here are a few in key areas. (You’ll notice the prevalence of the internet, which has become the single most important tool to the growth of decentralization.)
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When you throw open the doors of contribution and offer community to participants, your organization’s goals and objectives could potentially become the goals and objectives of millions more. The strength of decentralizing lies not only in the contribution of many but also in the resilience of the organization. If the vision is compelling enough, long after the initiator is gone, others will continue to carry the standard. Thus the Starfish, you cut off the leg and it grows another one while the others continue to do their jobs.
Decentralization allows each part of the group individual choice. For the same reason why capitalism and free enterprise runs national economies more efficiently than centralized socialism, organizations that are decentralized run the most efficiently. In today’s world the same independent efficiency to belongs to anyone with an internet connection.This dynamic of decentralization, combined with the internet has made today’s world more efficient then ever before in history. If your organization hasn’t looked at becoming more decentralized, now is the time. Just like rain, an overwhelming amount can leave you drowing but everyone water, just ask the starfish.