Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Inherent Power of an Organized Group

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The Inherent Power of an Organized Group


When a number of people gather together in the genuine spirit of cooperation and collaboration, and in the sincere interest of solving any problem or in achieving any goal, the likelihood of the Group’s success at its accomplishing its agreed mission will increase exponentially with: 1) the size of the Group; 2) the quality of the Group’s strategic plan; 3) the diversity and complementarities of the resources and skills brought to the Group by each Member; 4) the level of resources and skills brought to the Group by each Member 5) the ability of the Group’s elected or appointed leaders to keep the Group’s focus on the mission and to responsibly empower each Member (through careful delegation) to his or her highest and best skills and purposes; 6) the strength of the bonds of trust and empathy between each and all of the Members of the Group, and 7) the righteousness or goodness in the objective sought.  – Douglas Castle

This article, written for publication in The National Networker Weekly Newsletter, is part of a series of explorations into the notion of the Next Entity – the Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community (GICBC). Join us at . You’re welcome and there is no charge for Membership.

Definition of Terms

For the purposes of this discussion, the following terms are used in the following manner:

1).  The size of the Group = the total number of Members;

2).  The strategic plan = the “road map” to be used as a guide and reference for the Members of the Group to follow in order to proceed from the day of the Group’s formation to the day of accomplishment of its mission;

3).  The diversity and complementarities = the variety of skills and resources brought to the Group by each Member, and the manner in which those skills and resources can be applied to each incremental step of accomplishing the mission;

4).  The level of = the degree of competence at accessing and applying any resources of skills by a Member;

5).  The ability = the same meaning as in the term “level,” above;

6).  The strength of the bonds = the cohesiveness, pervasiveness and persistence (especially when challenged) of these critical interpersonal elements;

7).  The righteousness and goodness = While these may be seen to be subjective terms (and understandably so), a Group focused on accomplishing a mission that is in harmonious accord with the highest values and ethics of its Members will tend to follow a straighter course to completion, with less discord along the way. It is also, in essence, easier to put one’s unfettered intellectual abilities, strength and actions to something that is a matter of pride and principle. Shame and subterfuge detract from the probability of success in any individual or Group endeavor;

8).   Exponentially = in an increasing, compounding multiple. Exponential expansion is far greater and faster than simple arithmetic expansion. Two minds working collaboratively are a force far greater than the mere sum of the two minds…three minds working collaboratively are a force far greater than the product of two minds working collaboratively.

Note: I often use the term “Critical Mind Mass” to represent the number of individual (i.e., Member) minds working collaboratively to achieve a breakthrough idea or action. One of the ultimate products of exponentiality is an accelerated possibility and increased probability of a breakthrough or multiple breakthroughs.

9).   Cooperation = an interpersonal configuration in which each of the Members agrees to abide by a set of rules or principles agreed upon and set forth by the Group, and does so;

10). Collaboration = an interpersonal configuration in which each of the Members uses his or her resources and abilities to enhance the thoughts or actions (through something akin to an infinitely expanding feedback loop) of each of the other Members, and of the Group.

If a Group is to optimize the potential advantage of its power, each of the Members must perform a critical role for the benefit of the entire Group. A Group is a multi-cellular organism, with each Member comprising one of its vitally-needed, constituent cells. Non-functioning or under-functioning cells diminish the organism’s ability to survive and thrive. Agitated and dangerously conflicted cells operating contrary to the accomplishment of the organism’s mission and with a propensity to enlist or transform other cells to act similarly are analogous to cancers – not only will they diminish the organism’s ability to survive and thrive, but, if left unchecked, they will tear the organism apart, causing it to collapse upon itself, terminally disabled.

Cellular cohesion is absolutely necessary; insidious, contagious and unproductive conflict is fatal. It sounds trite, but it is true of the cells of any organism, or of the Members of any organization – “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”

Those who seek to immobilize, conquer and enslave others, deliberate seek to divide those others, and to turn them against each other. Sadly, we Humans tend to be an insecure and short-sighted lot, and we fall into this trap repeatedly…never knowing that the only victors will be those who are behind the scenes; the puppeteers seeking to rob us of power, confidence, momentum and the joy of community. 

Despite my having said this, please bear in mind that some element of conflict (emerging from within the ranks of the Members or cells) can be productive if it takes the form of reasonable analysis, reassessment, or refinement.

A question, a pause for further thought, or a suggested change (when presented in the proper spirit and forum) can be sources of conflict, but they are like the body’s own sensorial feedback – they serve the higher purposes of possible course correction and the potential acceleration of the accomplishment of the mission. In the Human experience, questioning very often fosters the creation of better solutions, or reaffirms (by testing and tempering) the validity of an existing system of belief or a chosen course of action.

An Example of Group Potential Being Actualized

QUESTION: What might a well-organized, focused, dedicated group of 100,000 persons accomplish during a single year, if each Member would contribute, on average, the sum of $10.00 per month for each of the twelve consecutive months?

Here are a few examples. This list is by no means exhaustive, and it does not include popular but notoriously historically ineffective activities, such as signing a petition, staging a demonstration, boycotting a product from any country, or other such activities. These are all means of getting attention, but “raising consciousness” is merely one of the first steps in the productive process of creation of great new things, or of changing the existing, flawed institutions or policies. To truly effect change, you must work both within and outside of the established systems, and you must take precipitous action. Our Group can:

  • Purchase a controlling stake (or at least enough of a stake to call a shareholders’ meeting and require an audit of the books or a vote on a critical issue) in one or more publicly-traded companies;

  • Start an independent credit union;

  • Start a venture capital fund and create numerous entrepreneurial “incubators”;

  • Create a branded affinity “credit card” ;

  • Negotiate deeply discounted health and business insurance plans for self-employed persons and smaller-sized (by employee count) emerging enterprises;

  • Act as a co-operative and to obtain discounts from choice vendors and service suppliers;

  • Get any website, blog site, person, product or brand to be listed in Google’s top ten ranked research results;

 This is indeed something worth thinking about. More importantly, by far --- it is something worth planning and doing.


Douglas Castle
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