In this article we explain how Activist Handbook is organised. We will talk about how we use circles and roles to work more effectively. By understanding your own role better, you will be able to contribute without continuously having to ask permission before you act.
We work together in groups of people, which we call circles. For example, we have a communication circle, which is responsible for managing our social media, recruiting volunteers and welcoming newcomers.
Within these circles, we give people specific roles. Every circle and role has a purpose, a domain and accountabilities. Below we explain what these mean.
We believe that every person, or group of people, should be able to contribute to our project in a meaningful way. We do not like bullshit jobs.
That is why every circle and role have a clearly defined purpose: a reason for existing. For example, the purpose of the finance team is to raise funds, because we need money to pay for our website hosting – among other things.
In many organisations, people feel like they have to ask permission from superiors before taking initiative. We do not think that is an efficient way of working.
Instead, we clearly define a domain for each circle and role. People are completely free to do whatever falls under their domain. For example, our localisation circle can start initiatives to set up new local communities, without having to ask others first.
We want to make sure that you understand what others can expect of you, and what you can expect from others. Instead of throwing you in the deep, letting you guess who is responsible for what, we write down clearly defined accountabilities.
These accountabilities are ongoing activities that a role or circle is responsible for. Basically, it is the work a role is supposed to do. For example, our events coordinator is responsible for organising regular social events such as movie nights.
We publicly share all roles and circles. To find our what roles and circles Activist Handbook has, check out these pages:
Organisations change over time. In many cases, a board of directors decides top-down that a reorganisation is needed. We do it differently.
Circles can define their own roles within their circle. We also regularly organise meetings where we collaboratively decide if any changes are needed. We call these meetings governance meetings.
When we started, we kinda just did whatever we felt like doing. This resulted in lots of creative ideas, but very few concrete plans. As we grew our number of volunteers, the need for change became more and more apparent.
We realised that in order to make impact, we had to organise ourselves in a more efficient way. Being inspired by movements such as Extinction Rebellion, we based our organisational structure on Holacracy.
This seems like an interesting topic to write more about. If you have the time, feel free to do so.