I recently asked on Twitter and on a mailing list for examples of decentralised organisations that have a public, transparent, well-documented handbook that explains how they work (e.g. decision making, roles, communications tools, etc). The response was overwhelming so I’ve digested it into this page.
A Feminist Organization’s Handbook is a beautiful resource from the Women’s Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles. They explain how they work, with the expressed intention of helping others to learn from their experience.
Alcoholics Anonymous operate as an “upside-down organisation”. Their manual is an up-to-date summary of 80+ years of decentralised organising at scale.
The IETF is the principal body governing the development of the Internet. Their open, voluntary, self-organising principles are documented in the Tao of the IETF.
The Borderland a collaborative community organized around an annual participatory event. It organizes itself using two processes: Dream Prototyping and Consensual Do-ocracy, also known as the Advice Process, influenced by Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations.
Scaling Agile at Spotify: explaining how Spotify’s 250+ tech staff coordinate across tribes, squads, chapters and guilds.
Generalised lessons: toolkits, books, etc
Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux is a really influential book sharing case studies of large organisations in different sectors, successfully operating without centralised management systems. Good wiki too.