Power Dynamics

The power dynamics associated with having a choice is the energy source that gives people the impetus to organize.  When they do, they can take collective action to accomplish more together than they could separately.  And in every instance where two or more people are part of the same effort, it is the exercise of power dynamics among them that provides the driving force to move forward.

Focusing power requires the affiliates of an organization to honor the intent of established rules. These three– affiliations, rules, and compliance–set the boundary conditions by which power dynamics initially creates choices, influences decisions, and eventually drives organization structure and functionality.

  • Affiliations.  When people share a common purpose, their sense of relationship to others provides the basis upon which power dynamics can be established.
  • Rules. Participants must negotiate the rules of engagement in order to establish an organization.  An organization must keep its rules tight enough to stay focused on its missions and loose enough to assure resilience in the face of change.
  • Compliance. Whatever the rules are in the moment, the participants must honor their intent.  Such willingness on the part of participants to act in a disciplined way toward established rules is the bedrock of an effective and sustainable organization.

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