Founding Fathers of the US had something other than a pyramid
in mind when it came to organizational structure. They understood
that such a structure promotes and encourages a top-down, micro-managed,
dictating, controlling and persecution culture something from
which they were trying to escape. As the antithesis of that
mindset, they instead spoke of rights for the people that could
never be transferred or taken away. They spoke of protecting
the needs of the common man and doing right by them. They declared
their independence in terms of human rights.
the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers drafted
a constitution that was 180 degrees from the pyramid mentality,
which they had despised. What they created in its place was
a "Leaderless, No One's in Charge" society. It was a brilliantly
designed system of checks and balances that separated the powers
thing is for certain, this did not occur by happenstance. The
intention was to prevent and deny any one part of the federal
government from having too much power at the expense of the
other parts, and especially of the people the government was
to be serving.
an unstable Stealth Bomber inflight, the system of government
the Founding Fathers created would forever require tweaking
to keep it functioning. It was purposefully designed to create
a continuous condition of give and take between the parts of
the federal government as well as between the states and the
federal government. No one part of what they proposed was ever
to win all the power. Their mantra was "sovereignty for the
people" and the system they created was unprecedented.
to Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to a friend in 1820, he wrote,
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the
society, but the people themselves, and if we think them not
enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome
discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform
according to Webster is "supreme authority, complete independence
and self-government." Inalienable, as in 'inalienable rights',
according to the same source is "not capable of being transferred
other words, our Founding Fathers built a government whose purpose
was not to control the people, but one that the people controlled.
The government's purpose was not to take or usurp the people's
sovereignty, but to provide only those things that the people
could not provide for themselves. Things like a standing army
to protect them. They stipulated that the people's sovereign
rights had to remain with the people. The Founding Fathers created
an anti-pyramid structure in which no one person, entity or
party was in charge, while giving the ultimate authority to
the people, making each person partially in charge.
Alfred Sloan's book, My Years with General Motors he talks at
length of how he, as part of the anti-pyramid, anti-centralization,
anti-top-down management philosophy, went through great pains
to decentralize and create an entirely new culture throughout
problem Sloan and the rest of American Management ran into,
was that de-centralization proved to be merely another aspect
of centralization. In spite of Sloan's efforts, his decentralization
philosophy remained a top down culture. The primary difference
between the two was that instead of being told what to do and
how to do it, his people were still told what to do, but permitted
to figure out how to do it on their own.
the opposite of centralization is not decentralization but anti-centralization,
which is a far cry closer to where the Founding Fathers were
headed. Unlike decentralization, anti-centralization is more
of a leaderless, "no-one-in-charge" system. According to the
Founding Fathers, the intent of government was not to control
the people, but to exercise and carry out their sovereign authority.
The trick to making a "leaderless, no one in charge" system
work, is to create a system that minimizes and clearly defines
what everyone must agree on. To do that, the Founding Fathers
understood that they would have to create common norms and standards.
example of their brilliance can be realized at every street
corner. Let's say you are one of some thirty pedestrians standing
at a busy intersection with another thirty or so also waiting
to cross when the light changes. The walk light goes on. Do
you and 59 other pedestrians collide into one another or do
you instinctively avoid bumping into each other? It works because
the people involved in the process are cooperating enough to
make certain it works. According to political scientist Charles
Lindblom, this phenomenon is called mutual adjustment. "In a
generally understood environment of moral rules, norms, conventions
and mores, very large numbers of people watch each other, then
modify their own behavior just enough to accommodate the differing
purposes of others, but not so much that the mutual adjusters
lose sight of where they themselves want to go."
stated, rules work when nearly all those who need to abide by
the rules do so because the rules make sense to them. Take a
look at our driving rules. The light is red so you stop. The
light is green and you proceed. You are expected to drive on
the right hand side of the road and most cars are built with
left side steering to encourage you to do so. Should you not
agree with either the traffic signal or driving on the right
hand side of the road rule, you can try to drive through a red
light and drive on the left-hand side of the road. Chances are
you are likely to kill someone or be killed in the process.
Therefore, as a matter of common sense and safety, you choose
to obey the rules.
this. There are not enough police in the world to enforce these
two driving laws. It would be impossible. Therefore,
when you get right down to it, enforcement of these laws is
the prevailing sentiment of the people who all share the roads.
anti-centralization cannot happen unless there is mutual agreement
regarding the standards on whatever is central to the system.
It is a system whereby no one is in charge, yet everyone is
in charge. The Internet is another prime example of anti-centralization.
No one is in charge, yet everyone is in charge. There is worldwide,
mutual agreement on the standards central to the system.
primary reason why anti-centralization can work better today
than ever before lies in the abundance and accessibility of
data and information. With the advent of the computer and the
world-wide web it is everywhere. It moves and spreads like a
Montana wildfire. Like dust or sand in the wind, it's difficult,
if not impossible to contain. No one can own it. You can only
choose to deliver it or not deliver it. And even when you choose
not to, you can bet it will somehow make its way somewhere else,
whether you want it to or not.
understand the difference between data and information, let's
take a restaurant menu. Data is a restaurant menu when you are
not hungry. Information is that same restaurant menu when you
are. With information people can make intelligent decisions.
Without it, they can't. Therefore, from data comes information.
But it does not end there. From information comes knowledge
and from knowledge comes wisdom. What then is the successful
formula for making a "no one's in charge" system work? It's
what the Founding Fathers understood when they created The Constitution.
Itıs having a mix of informed, knowledgeable, wise and aware
implement an anti-centralized, no one's in charge system in