Chapter 8
SIMPLICITY AND ENERGY FLOW IN THE ORGANIZATION

Achieving simplicity is the key to "organizing". Trust allows simplicity. With trust, we focus our energies. For many, the word "organization" is a twelve-letter dirty word: it conjures up an image of the world of the establishment, bred of fear and distrust—a world of unnecessary, frightening, and crippling complexity, formality, depersonalization, rules, and roles.

When the critical literature looks at organizational life, one finds with disturbing frequency mention of the following diagnostic signs of organizational ineffectiveness:

From my point of view, each of the above symptoms is an expression of fear and distrust, sometimes obvious and direct, often with lineage so circuitous as to be difficult to recognize.

From 1954 to 1974, as a deliberate part of a life plan, I left the university to become a full-time, private-practice consultant to organizations. Faced with the recognition that, like it or not, organizational living was a central and dramatic fact in our culture, I deliberately accepted a wide range of organizational clients in order to learn all I could about the nature of organizational life. I wanted to see what relevance, if any, my fear-trust theory had to the essence of such living.

The Fear/Distrust Cycle

The normal, pervading fears that people bring into organizations are exacerbated by what people usually find there: ambiguity, tight controls, latent threat, depersonalized role behavior, and the other symptoms listed above. However necessary this ambiguity and control is thought to be, it does tend to call forth increased fears and hostilities that in turn cause management to increase the controls and discipline. This reciprocal-defense cycle sustains the defensive behavior of people in key managerial positions. Management is afraid that if it does not increase the coercive, manipulative, and persuasive management procedures, the already evident undisciplined behavior will escalate and get "out of control". A self-fulfilling prophecy ensues: low-trust, high-fear theories generate more fear and distrust. This alarming state of affairs seems to confirm the earlier, only tentatively accepted assumptions of the defense theory. The lesson seems to be that if we didn't have these controls—the roles and rules of defensive management—things would get even worse. What is effectively masked, in this management-myth system, is that reduced productivity, creativity, and energy were the result of the very management practices that were instituted as the remedy. The remedy is worse than the disease—it is the disease.

This vicious defense cycle occurs in organizations particularly when fears are high and at times of emergencies, poor market conditions, pressure from top management, cultural unrest, labor pressures, heightened ambiguity, or massive change of any kind. The cycle spirals and feeds upon itself; causes energy to be directed toward dysfunctional activities; mobilizes counter forces which escalate the problems; builds a general climate of constraint; creates dependent, passive, and conforming people, and brings such people into positions of visibility and influence—the Peter principle; and sets up forces and organizational structures that sustain the fear defense.

Management and non-management alike are caught in the flow of this defense-oriented cycle. The TORI discovering processes are inhibited and the TORI defending processes are fostered. The system is:

A Diagnostic Framework

People using TORI theory have found the following diagnostic framework helpful in examining an organization. For me the following ten leverage factors are the keys to organizational effectiveness. Among the innumerable factors that enter into the play, these are the ones that the TORI diagnostician can focus on with optimal use of energy.

1. Role differentiation. Classic management theory is based upon clarifying and specifying role expectations. The more clearly role prescriptions and obligations are specified, the more efficient the organization, the less the overlap, the greater the focus upon the specified task prescribed for the role. This process is the basis for the depersonalization of the system, the loss of the person, the divorce of the person from the organization and the job, and the ultimate alienation of members. It seems to me that this has always been a fundamental error in organizational theory. Increases in productivity have come in spite of this role differentiation and depersonalization. Dramatic increases in productivity are now being achieved by organizations that are turning this around and freeing the person to be the person and not the role.

2. Programmed use of fear-escalation as a management tool. Low productivity in organizations is associated with planned as well as unintentional escalation of fear as a device for managing people. "Building in a little healthy fear and respect" is a time-honored device for controlling the troops. Many managers have long used subtle procedures which heighten the fears of loss of job, loss of approval, loss of advancement, removal of benefits, isolation, reprimand, cuts in budget, or loss of emotional support. The corrosive effects of fear-induction are often difficult to see and especially difficult to associate with the fears that reduce productivity.

3. Use of covert strategies and management techniques. Strategy and technique build up distrust, latent resentment, and counter-forces that lead to lowered productivity and creativity. Energy is diverted into counter-strategies and unproductive and tangential activity. Techniques are seductive. We've all heard of the executive who prided himself on always pulling the personnel folder of a subordinate just prior to meeting or interview and then subtly injecting into the conversation a bit of personal information, such as the first name of the subordinate's child, to give the impression that the executive cared so much about his associates that he remembered such things. One of the many negatives about the use of such procedures and gimmicks is illustrated by the fact that subordinates quickly discover the gimmick and laugh among themselves at the attempted deviousness of the executive. High productivity is associated with openness, candor, honesty, directness, and simplicity in relationships.

4. Management and control of the communicative processes. To the fearing person it soon becomes apparent that communications can be dangerous. One of the hallmarks of big business is the building of huge communications empires designed to control the flow of information in the organization. The high cost of such enterprises is only a minor detriment of such programs. The builders of such communications enterprises have devised many subtle ways of controlling or attempting to control the nature and the amount of communication that flows through the system. A major cost of such manipulation is the escalation of distrust. Visible and recent examples that "news management" creates distrust occurred in the dramatic loss of trust by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan when they were seen as managing the flow of information from their offices to the public. It is difficult to learn that the way to high productivity is to allow the natural flow of feelings, perceptions, and information—all of the data. The honest person is trusted. He or she doesn't have to advertise it.

5. Manipulation of extrinsic rewards. The attempts to "motivate people" and to control the motivations of subordinates are as old as the impulse to "manage" the destinies of others. The recent popularity of behavior modification has increased the use of manipulative schedules for dispensing rewards: pats on the head, pay raises, advances in position and responsibilities, a key to the executive washroom, titles, and privileges of various kinds. Differential rewards will create temporary spurts in productivity, but the long term results are detrimental to sustained creativity and self-determined productivity. In the long run, high productivity is always associated with an atmosphere in which people have the opportunity to develop intrinsic rewards, to discover themselves and what they want to do with their lives, to determine significant and enduring internal motivations, and to make choices that get them into activities that are self-rewarding. There is no substitute for inner motivation.

6. Results orientation and the focus upon efficiency and product. It is a compelling and seductive argument that insists that productivity comes from the emphasis upon product. At first blush this seems obvious. The problem is that organizations that focus upon results, efficiency, and product tend to get lowered results and less product. It is a paradox that organizations which focus upon giving freedom to the self-determining worker tend to out-perform those organizations that emphasize results and efficiency. What is forgotten is that it is people who make the product, who do the work that is the "result", and who create their own efficiency. People who are engaged in activities they enjoy, who are turned on by what they are doing, who are proud of the products they are creating, who have a part in the total enterprise, and who are honored in the processes of work, tend to work hard and creatively. They produce. High productivity is created in atmospheres where the "discovering" processes are free to operate: where people are creating who they are, showing themselves to others, discovering and translating their own talents into productive work, and discovering their emotional and task interdependencies. Productivity is, in a way, serendipitous.

TABLE XVI. KEY DIAGNOSTIC SIGNS OF
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS

TORI factor

High-productivity focus:

Low-productivity focus:

I.
(T)

Growth and development of the person

Role differentiation

II.
(T)

Raising the trust level

Programmed use of fear as a management tool

III.
(O)

Increasing the openness and flow

Use of covert strategies and management techniques

IV.
(O)

Free flow of natural communicative processes

Management and control of the communicative processes

V.
(R)

Fostering intrinsic motivations

Manipulation of extrinsic rewards - pay, approval, power, status

VI.
(R)

Fostering the TORI discovering process

Results efficiency, and product orientation

VII.
(I)

Fostering relevant interdependencies

Use of controls, rules

VIII.
(I)

Maintaining a simplicity of structure and "job" itself

Manipulating structure of the organization (overorganization)

IX.
(I)

Holistic perspective on "big picture"

Segmented, linear, and "assembly line" oreintation

X.
(I)

Emergence of being, and the processes of joy in work

Use of management to control processes (management featherbedding)

7. Use of control and rule systems. As I consult with a variety of organizations, I find that the low-productivity organizations are those that have a wide variety of control systems and make many rules. Rules create processes of circumvention. Rules create rule-breakers. Controls are made to be circumvented. Where trust is high, controls and rules are unnecessary. The presence of tight controls is a clear sign that fear and distrust are prevalent. Productivity and creativity are high when people are highly motivated to work at self-selected and self-created tasks. A good test is this: Is the worker doing pretty much what he or she would enjoy doing, whether or not he or she were being paid for it? By and large, if the workers are working simply for the pay, the organization is in trouble.

8. Over-organization: the manipulation of organizational structure to accomplish organizational tasks. I vividly recall a statement by a vice-president of one of the world's large organizations after being fully immersed in the third large-scale reorganization of the structure of his organization. He told me, "The structure of the organization has very little to do with anything of importance to us." He went on to say to a large meeting of representatives of management from various levels and geographical centers that it was how people worked on problems and how they worked with each other that mattered, not the structure they worked in. It has certainly been my observation that restructuring organizations is largely a displacement of energy, an illusory process. If energy is high, motivation is intrinsic, trust is strong, and interdependency is authentic—then productivity is high, whatever the structure of the organization.

9. Segmented, linear, and "assembly line" orientation. For me, the key diagnostic sign has to do with how much perspective is shared by members of the organization. Productivity, creativity, and motivation are high when all or most of the members of the organization see things in a larger perspective, see how their activities are related to overall company or total-organizational goals, see what the organization is about, and are identified with the contribution the organization is making to the world picture. Perspective is a significant quality not only for the chief executive but for every participant in the organization. Tunnel vision and blind-alley work are associated with routine, high-error, and low-quality activity.

10. Management featherbedding—overmanagement of the enterprise. I have been trying to think, as I write this chapter, if I have ever seen an organization client-system that was not overmanaged. I have been unable to think of an instance. The more I got acquainted in depth with the enterprise, the more I could see how the organization would be improved in performance if the number of people in management were reduced, if the amount of supervisory control were lessened, if the number of levels of management were reduced, and if the number of what are usually thought of as "management acts" were reduced. As one executive client said to me, "The trouble with most managers is that they try to manage things."

One corporation with which I have worked for many years has a corporation-wide policy of frequent transfer of managers to new locations and new functions. One of the managers said in a training program: "For the first few months when we get a new boss everything goes fine and we work very effectively—until he learns our jobs, and then he starts telling us how to do them".

Over-management is perhaps the single most significant problem in business, education, government, church organizations. As trust increases, management becomes less and less necessary.

The Consultant, Executive, Superintendent, Minister

Though this is not a training manual for the practitioner, I want to look at the organization from the standpoint of the persons who take, or are given, the responsibility for "managing" or developing the organization. As must be clear from the thesis of the book, organizational health comes from a state in which everyone in the organization takes responsibility for the organization and its well-being. However, there are some people who are given special functions as part of their professional "role". How do they perform these functions, for which they are paid and for which they accept "special" obligations? This book is my attempt to answer this question for myself and for others who wish to use the theory.

1. Each organization is a unique organism, idiosyncratic, growing, learning, becoming, and being in its own way. The organization creates its own defense, its own fears, its special environment. As a consultant, I have learned to treat each organization as unique, just as I try to think of each person as unique and try not to lay my own matrix on the organization. I try to listen, sense what is really happening, join in as a participant, and learn with other members of the organization what must be learned in order to live fully in that organization. Starting there, it is possible to be a very effective participant.

Coming in as an outsider to impose my values on the organization or to try to make the organization what I think it should become is a violation of the uniqueness of the organization, just as it would be if I did the same to a person. I have seen high school principals, business executives, ministers, internal consultants, and government officials make the mistake of taking a stance "above and beyond" the system and the people in it, of showing a clear disdain and/or distrust of the organization and its members. Their efforts at change are resisted and are likely to cause a massive system defense that mobilizes counter-energy. This defense mobilization is then interpreted by the well intentioned official as corroborative of his or her disdain and distrust. I believe that TORI theory points a way out of this self-induced, difficult-to-see, and frustrating multiple bind.

2. Collaborative efforts directed toward environmental design are one solution to this multiple-bind problem. Environment quality is everyone's concern. Movement on the EQ scale is the enduring issue and the only significant long-range change that matters. Movement on the EQ scale is also highly correlated with the other immediate organizational goals: profit, productivity, organizational vitality, morale, and other criteria of organizational effectiveness. The most effective thing that the consultant or officer can do is to focus upon EQ level and environmental quality. This perspective enables the theorist/practitioner to transcend the tunnel focus of the fire-fighter who limits his or her effectiveness by succumbing to the attractive seductions of the "bottom line" focus and the concern with "what one does on Monday morning". It is precisely this difference in focus that points up the advantage of Trust-Level theory over a more prescriptive theory which spells out the concrete steps to follow to improve the profit picture and to devise a lesson plan for Monday morning.

3. The effective organization has a feeling of community. In Chapter IX, I will discuss the process of community building and its effect upon persons and organizations. Productivity, involvement, shared ownership, intimacy, and a feeling of participation are important aspects of the feeling that "we are living in a community".

Students of the city are saying that it is possible to create such a feeling of community even in an urban setting that has something like 7,500 people, but that it would be difficult with numbers much larger than that. This is an underdeveloped area of organizational theory. But a large organization may perhaps become a collection of overlapping small communities. These communities may be profit centers, geographically focused, and highly interdependent units where people share in as many aspects of living possible. Some of my most effective efforts in organizational consulting have occurred when I have convened a TORI Community Experience as an in-company, in-school, or in-parish experience.

4. Many seemingly "clean" and rational organizational activities are "neurotic"/defensive responses to fear and distrust and contribute little or nothing to the "work" or productivity of the organization. In fact, the direct cost of these activities and the indirect cost of hidden reactions in the organization are so great that these activities may be very damaging.

Experienced administrators and consultants will recognize the principle and be able to list many more examples than these: insatiable demands for quarterly reports of "progress" that are designed to check up on the project but usually require energy that is a drain from productive project work; multiple expense-voucher reports that encourage cheating; elaborate quality controls that encourage workers to shrug off personal responsibility to the control process; budget warfare in which subordinate managers consciously upgrade demands in anticipation of retaliatory reductions by superiors; defensive and protective multiple record keeping to ward off corporate and governmental inspections and harassment, the infamous "just-in-case" files and records; endless meetings of all manner of participants to create "involvement and participation", even though the decisions are either already made or to be made in an EQ II or III manner; and deliberate waste of paper, lights, material, and time as a "retribution" against superiors and "the organization" for intended or unintended institutional "errors".

These defensive actions arise from fears and related distrust, assumptions that then also reinforce them. From the standpoint of management, the solution to these problems is to change the defensive management practices that create the atmosphere under which these neurotic behaviors are fostered.

5. The key question is: What would this organization be like if the members were more trusting? Trust-Level theory is an idiosyncratic process. It applies specifically to each person and to each organization. It is applied by specific people and organizations, and may differ for each situation. Applying the theory is more a matter of persons deciding what would be trusting than a matter of general application of principles. The solution to each problem is created each time by the persons and organizations involved. TORI theory provides a viewpoint rather than a prescription.

6. The consultant or manager is an experimental engineer who is continually contributing to the accumulating wisdom of the organization. Among the many managers and consultants that I have encountered, the most effective ones take a scientific-engineering approach to managerial issues. The organization learns. It makes a series of provisional tries at solutions to problems as they occur, building up a store of wisdom as to what works for this organization. The more members of the organization are involved in each informal experiment, the more effective is the provisional trying process. If the whole organizational unit is involved in all of the processes, it creates an organizational climate of empiricism and excitement: in making preliminary guesses, in planning on data collection, in discussing alternative problem solutions, in collecting data, and in generalizing about the findings. This conception of management makes managing a highly professional process that is more than a job for technicians, rule-makers, fire-fighters, or prescription-followers.

7. Organizations can be changed and improved in significant and dramatic ways. I feel very positive about what is happening among contemporary organizations in North America. I have worked closely with about 300 organizations of various kinds and believe that I know many of them well. I have seen, over this twenty-year span, that organizations have become appreciably more trusting, more participative, and more open. It seems, at times, that change is awesomely slow; but the change is real and significant. And we know enough now to enable us to make great changes in how the affairs of government, education, business, and churches are conducted and goals achieved.

The TORI International Community

There are many possible avenues to creative change: new and creative organizational theory; legal action for women's rights, affirmative action, and other equal rights and opportunities reform; invention of new organizational structures; increased use of effective organizational consultants; development of the alternative and/or counter-culture organizational forms in the church, family, business, or other organizations; and the development of pilot or prototype organizations. The question remains, however: To what extent can these efforts at change succeed without fundamental reform of the political, economic, and social conditions of our culture?

TORI theorists and practitioners are active in all of these areas. I believe that the most promising approach to organizational change is in the development of the pilot or pioneering organization. For several years we have been developing a high-trust organization that is our best effort to apply TORI theory. After several years of trying out various models, we finally created in 1974 a non-profit organization, TORI Associates, Inc. We see this as a prototype of what organizations might be like in the next few decades.

We have asked the question: What would a voluntary organization look like if it were optimizing trust? We have applied the ten criteria used in Table XVI for a "high productivity" organization and, starting from "scratch", have tried to avoid the errors made by organizations that have grown under the traditional low-trust, high-fear assumptions in our culture. 1. The organization is personal and as role-free as it is possible for us to make it. There are about 5,000 members, with no role requirements, role prescriptions, formal expectations, dues, obligations, responsibilities, titles, membership classes, or formal class differences among persons. To meet formal and legal requirements, the organization has been incorporated in California and enrolled with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization. We have a Board of Directors composed of three members who have volunteered to assume legal obligations for filing reports and taking legal responsibility for money collected. They have no other formal powers within the organization. There are no paid staff members. All activity is done by volunteers as needed. Anyone is welcome to join. There is no age, race, sex, intelligence, or other criterion for membership. There are no dues, for these might create a barrier for some who might not be able to afford even minimal assessments. 2. A conscious effort is made to be aware of any activity or procedure that might change the trust level. There is, of course, no way to legislate trust level. Consciousness raising has been very effective, however. The more we learn from each other and experience living together, the more aware we are of subtle ways in which our fears and distrusts express themselves.

3. The organization is as open as we can make it. We deliberately attempt to avoid strategies and techniques of any kind. This has particular significance in our organization, because many of us have been active in the human-potential movement and in humanistic organizations and centers, where so many of the activities are technique oriented. Techniques and strategies are major determiners of distrust and depersonalization.

Persons simply join each other in any way they wish: weekends, meals, evening get-togethers, TORI "community experiences" (described in Chapter 91, joint vacations, extended families, communal living, cooperative nurseries, bartering occupational skills, small businesses, or other happenings. Activities are spontaneous, emergent, and natural. Techniques are avoided unless they happen as natural interaction. Members do not, for instance, teach each other the techniques of bioenergetics, massage, growth games, meditation, gestalt, psychodrama, or transactional analysis, but learn to be with each other in spontaneous and natural ways. Meetings, finances, publications, inventions, records, research, and other activities are open to all members and to the general public. Nothing is secret or private by formal or organizational intention. All persons are free to determine their own degree of privacy and to make whatever choices they wish.

1. There is an active and deliberate attempt to learn to communicate openly. We cannot legislate free communication, but members can learn to express feelings and perceptions openly and directly. There is no conscious or deliberate attempt to legislate restriction in communication. Communication happens. Openness enhances trust. We are attempting to learn how to communicate freely at many levels.

2. We foster self-determination, intrinsic motivations, and expression of wants. We are attempting to create an environment in which people do only those things they find self-rewarding. No formal reward or punishment system is then necessary. No one is paid, given titles, status, power, rank, or awards. If no one wants to do something, it isn't done. This, of course, takes a bit of learning. Most of us have never lived like this before.

3. It is also seen as significant that the organization engages in no activities designed to influence others to do what they don't want to do. So we have no formal persuasional or influence system such as advertising, fund raising, public relations, recruiting, promotion, selling, training, teaching, or propaganda programs. These ways of being sometimes are difficult for others to grasp. It is difficult for others to understand, for instance, that we are not soliciting memberships.

4. Because there are no "policies", directives, or formal guidelines, there may be things that members do which are persuasion-oriented. As we gain in trust, such activities are gradually discontinued. For instance, members of the organization or of the general public are simply informed of organizational activities and are added to mailing lists if they request it. The intent is informational and not persuasional.

5. Emphasis is upon the TORI discovering processes and not upon product, efficiency, competence, or results. The general atmosphere is one in which people discover who they are, show themselves to others, do what they want, and join with others in interdependent activities. The process is significant, not the product.

6. We engage in activities that raise our own consciousness about our environment and the EQ levels. Encouragingly, many of the TORI groups report an increasing number of intuitive, transcendent, and nurturing experiences that clearly fall into the EQ levels VI through IX.

7. The organization is as interdependent as we are able to make it. It is an experiment in leaderless and emergent action. In the early days we had "conveners" of the TORI community experiences. This has gradually been discontinued, and now one seldom sees any form of formal "leadership". All activities are moving into the EQ VI-X range. We have no contracts, hierarchies, rules, agreements, officers, roles, or other formal structures. This free flow has been visibly successful and is becoming more so with experience.

8. Fears and distrusts are often embedded, of course, in structures and norms, moralistic viewpoints, legal restrictions, certification, evaluation, rules and laws, agreements and contracts, and other traditional aspects of formal organizational life. For one thing, we have found that these elements in formal organizations are surprisingly expensive—in time, money, and bodily ailments. Our annual budget, for instance, is about $3,000 for a 5,000 member organization. Comparable budgets for organizations with similar numbers of members and similar nature of program run from $100,000 to $300,000. This aspect of the experiment is, in itself, an impressive discovery.

The structure is as simple as possible. One of the most exciting discoveries is that we can get along with stark simplicity. Our present mode of living in our whole social system is too complex. Much of the complexity is created as a response to fear—perhaps all of it. Most of the complexity results from what can be classified as planning, warning, supervising, disciplining, agreeing, selling, managing, controlling, preparing, cautioning, alerting, setting priorities, taking responsibilities, assigning and appraising, teaching, or helping. Such activities are engaged in largely because people are afraid that things will not go well if they don't do them. The impulse to structure comes as a response to our internal fear and distrust. Structure is an effort to control the fear.

9. The whose picture is always available to all members of the organization. That is, we do not build in processes that cloud or segment the view. Again, our fears constrict our vision. We do not, of course, reduce fear and increase wholeness-vision by deciding to do so. We can remove many structural and organizational barriers to perspective by analysis and action. The shared picture is getting broader.

10. The organization has no management group. As TORI theory has predicted, management is not only not necessary, but it reduces the effectiveness of the organization. In TORI Associates, persons do things. They have ideas, suggest actions, express ideas and opinions, respond, express wants—do whatever they wish in relation to each other. Members are proactive and get together with others to get something started. There is no officer, leader, staff, or chairman to act as initiator or coordinator.

This finding reminds me of a cartoon with two boys playing on a bed, with one saying to the other: "If Daddy doesn't come up here pretty soon and get us to go to school, we'll be late!" In TORI Associates there is no Daddy. For most of us this is a strange way of life. We are learning that it is increasingly exciting, simplifying, freeing, and rewarding lit is also frustrating, at times). The glimpse of a new world is exhilarating.

We are in the process of gathering data on our experiment with this new organizational prototype. It is encouragingly successful in many ways. How applicable the design is to all organizations, or even to all non-business organizations, is as yet unanswered, but we are engaged in experimenting with the concepts and the model in a variety of other settings.

Astron Corporation

For a number of years a few of us have been struggling with various models for a high-trust business organization. It seems to me quite obvious that there are certain aspects of the competitive economic philosophy that are incompatible with a high-trust way of living. Competition, itself, seems to be both a determiner and a result of fear and distrust. While we wait for the millennium, it seems useful to try to see if we can develop a business model based on high trust that will work in a highly competitive society. I believe that we can develop a successful one. If my analysis is correct, there may even be some advantage to developing such a model in a competitive, low-trust society. The high trust model is likely to be so effective that it would quickly out-perform low-trust models. A high-trust model would be of little use in a "practical" world if it required that the rest of the world be trusting!

Astron Corporation was created by about 90 TORI people who had explored relationships of various kinds for a few years. I will describe here the model as we see it working.

I will describe the organization in the same framework as before, the ten criteria of organizational effectiveness listed in Table XVI.

1. The emphasis is on the centrality of the person and not the role. Astron Corporation is composed of about 90 people, professionals in various fields, who have come together as persons to conduct a business initially focused upon publishing, consulting, and training. The intent is to apply TORI theory to these fields, to publish various materials and books illustrating TORI theory, to consult with a variety of organizations using TORI theory as a framework, to do managerial and human-relations training in a TORI way, and perhaps to build small businesses that create whatever product the individual finds exciting. In applying TORI theory, each of us is attempting to discover/create, first, whatever it is that we want to do with our lives, and, second, to do this in a way that will justify others paying us sufficient fees to constitute at least a comfortable living.

In effect, we have a federation of small businesses, joined together in a way that provides emotional support, stimulation, and whatever synergy the relationships produce. As interdependencies develop we will build whatever financial and economic relationships are feasible, always keeping the structure minimal.

As the business expands, each new person will have the same opportunity and freedom—freedom to determine what it is that the personal really wants to do. We will attempt to invent processes that will enable each person to do this. We see this as a challenge, and as a fundamental guideline. We will attempt to work without role requirements, contracts, titles, and membership classes. Each person will be treated as a person.

2. There is a strong, conscious effort to maintain a high-trust level. This will continue to be a central guideline.

3. We are building an open system. We attempt to work without covert strategy and tactics. Meetings, records, inventions, salaries, arrangements, processes—all are open to each other, to clients, and to the public. A great deal of "strategy and planning" occurs as a result of defensive assumptions. We believe that we can reduce considerably the energy and expense usually devoted to defensive posturing in most business organizations.

4. We are building an open communication system in all possible ways. We have all participated in many TORI community experiences and have developed attitudes and behaviors that encourage the direct and open expression of feelings, perceptions, ideas, differences, and disagreements.

5. We are fostering self-determination, intrinsic motivations, and expression of wants. We assume that the primary motivation for work in the organization is the enjoyment of the work that the person is doing. We do not use titles, ranks, status, or monetary rewards as motivating systems. At present all fees are set by each person with the client system or the publisher, and Astron itself pays no salaries or fees. As we develop programs or more complex institutional arrangements, we will either pay everyone the same salary or will invent some other noncompetitive monetary arrangement. The primary principle is that we center upon creative work as the primary motivator and the raison d’être for the organization.

All of the activities of the corporation are designed to further the TORI discovering processes, on the assumption that this way of being is producing an optimally profitable and effective business organization. As an illustration, we do not engage in formal influence or persuasional activities such as marketing, selling, promotion, public relations, or propaganda programs. We do make efforts to give out clear and direct information about services and products. The differences between information and consultation, on the one hand, and advertising and promotion, on the other hand, are subtle but very significant. Our intent is to learn, inform and consult—not to persuade and influence.

6. Our focus is upon the joys of being in the process, rather than upon results, efficiency, and product. We believe that we find fulfillment and excitement in the joys of creative work processes, solving problems, and creating interdepending, transcendent experiences. We also believe that these processes bring about effective products such as books, materials, and effective client organizations. Good products come out of good processes. It is the processes that are the center of focus in Astron. Focus upon process is humanizing. Focus upon product is de-humanizing.

7. The organization is as interdependent as we can make it. We do not force interdependence but allow it to happen. When interests and wants move in similar directions, members form teams and projects. This is now happening rather quickly.

We minimize hierarchy, rules, agreements, contracts, and legal restrictions. There is no "management", as such, and no supervision, report making, formal controls, or other conventional management "tools". We expect to keep records and controls to meet governmental and tax requirements, and to do so exactly, with no game playing and none of the usual manipulation of records in quasi-legal ways. Most management control and record systems are costly, unnecessary, and "defensive" in nature. Along with many other businesses that are doing the same thing, we intend to reduce this costly "burden".

8. We are making the structure as simple as possible. Here we can make considerable progress. The more "professional" the field of business management becomes, the more complicated the technology and the more complex the business systems. A massive process of self-justification is taking place. Management develops an arcane terminology, a mystical process, an elaborate methodology, and an elite fraternity. These processes of stratification, mystification, bureaucratization, and over-structuring are happening in labyrinthine ways in education, the government, and the church. Using business as a model, the church and education leaders are now justifying this disease of complexity by saying "The church is now becoming a big business", or "The schools are now becoming large enough to warrant our adopting a business model", to quote a church leader and a school leader that I heard recently. At least, in Astron we will look hard at any new complexity to see if it is an improvement in the enterprise. The issue, of course, is a complex one! There are advantages to centralization, computer technology, and complex methodologies. Each advance in methodology exacts a price in removing persons further and further from the simple joys of interdependent and creative work. Are the advances necessarily depersonalizing? Are the advances real in terms of increased productivity and creativity? These are central issues for our pilot organization.

9. We are taking time to establish a wide perspective, to explore alternative models, to look at our assumptions, and to become clear in what we are trying to do.

10. We hope to move into EQ levels VI-VIII. We believe that we will need no management group, as such. Maximum emphasis will be upon the joy of creativity and work, and the resulting movement into transcendence, intuition, altered states, and the integration of previously unconscious levels of being into conscious work. We believe that the business organization can be a medium for transcendence and organic creativity. Unfortunately, partly as a result of paying people to do it, "work" has become distasteful, even noxious. Work has become something we ought to do, that must be remunerated, and that we must do out of obligation. It has lost its self-rewarding quality.

I believe that we are creating an organization that will be profitable, successful economically, and effective. We are rediscovering the joy of work. Self-selected and self-rewarding work doesn't have to be "managed".

 

Go on to Chapter 9

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Home Page

1