Archive for organization

25. Structure

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis

“We believe in collective process and a nonhierarchical distribution of power within our own group and in our vision of a revolutionary society.”

We know that groups and organizations today have many different structures and approaches to power and leadership. What are some of the structures that you have used in your work? What are some of the benefits or disadvantages of these structures?

For example

Project South is based in Atlanta, GA

Project South is based in Atlanta, GA

Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Genocide and Poverty

uses a “flat pay scale”

Steph Guilloud organizes with Project South and Southerners on New Ground

Steph Guilloud organizes with Project South and Southerners on New Ground

Steph Guillioud of Project South teaches and reflects on that structural choice here:

A flat pay scale means every full-time staff earns the exact same salary and receives the same benefits. Our salaries increase by about 4% cost of living  every year. We have $38,000 annual salaries in 2009 for 5 full-time staff.

Historically, Project South has always had this structure as a way to reflect a collective staff formation. We have always considered a “collective” structure to be an evolving one, that strives for as much horizontal power as possible. We strive to confront and address systemic power differences including race, class, and gender that happen in intra-organizational work. We also believe that leadership and weight is held differently across the organization based on experience and strengths in particular areas. This leadership is not recognized by salary but by division of labor and authority over different areas of the organization.

The flat pay scale  is a strategic decision and policy implemented by board and staff to reflect our principles as an organization.  In our recent transition from the founder director to a collective Executive Leadership Team, we re-visited the policy and re-affirmed it based on the same principles. The flat scale allows for deeper and more frank conversations about wages, compensation, class, and movement work.

what is a structural choice that you are working with?  how is it going? email us at