The Starfish & the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

The Starfish & the Spider was a fascinating book. It was one of the 3 books I got through on vacation.

It looked at companies like Wikipedia, eBay, eMule and asked how companies that don’t act like an organization when it comes to structure, how do they survive? What makes them work?

While it was interesting, it is tough to apply this to a church, which biblically is to have somewhat of a structure. This is the transitioning we are seeking to tackle at Revolution. How do you have a structure, but make it more flat as opposed to top-down? The bible calls for the church to have leadership, but does it always have to be a strong hierarchy? If it’s not, how does that work? I would love to hear some ideas on this.

Here are some interesting thoughts:

  • The first major principle of decentralization is when attacked, a decentralized organization tends to become even more open and decentralized
  • When we’re used to seeing something a certain way, it’s hard to imagine it being any other way. If we’re used to seeing the world through a centralized lens, decentralized organizations don’t make much sense
  • Put people into an open system and they’ll automatically want to contribute
  • When you give people freedom, you get chaos, but you also get incredible creativity. Because everyone tries to contribute to the community, you get a great variety of expression
  • If you find someone boring it’s only because you, the listener, haven’t asked the right questions or found that person’s true passions
  • When confronted with an aggressive push, most people shut down and become even less likely to change
  • When people feel hear, when they feel understood and supported, they are more likely to change
  • Great ideas come from people who are closest to the ideas
  • Everyone wants to contribute, and everyone has something to contribute somewhere
  • The best knowledge is often at the fringe of the organizatioin

You can check out the website here.