Swift Trust

12 January 2012

…she’s trying to get a group to form a collective, with a shared set of principles and shared goals. […] To get there you have to build deep trust: a polite way to say that the folks in the collective have to sort out the politics involved. In general that can take months, even when the participants share a great deal in common in education, background, and temperament.

But why form a collective? As she points out, it’s risky. If you want to build things, you can define a small project to test some ideas, and form a Hollywood-style project team to accomplish it. Instead of trying to collaborate on a big, wholly integrated vision of the future — where everything has to be discussed and agreed on before the first thing gets done — just cooperate on something fast, small, and low risk.

The way of the future is cooperation, not collaboration.

— Stowe Boyd, Getting To Trust: Better Swift Than Deep

I think this is a pretty good summing up of my problems with consensus movements (communes, for instance, and the various Occupations), and a good description of the direction I’d rather go in. Decentralisation, looser ties, more flexibility, less permanence.