Anarchists in the Boardroom

Concrete Solutions co-founder, Liam Barrington-Bush, is currently in Oaxaca, Mexico, weaving together stories from grassroots social movements, online uprisings and forward-thinking businesses, to paint a picture of what it might mean for an organisation to be ‘more like people’.

The crisis facing social change organisations is immense; more and more of what they have traditionally done is becoming possible without organisational infrastructure. People can come together, crowd-source skills, money and information, apply pressure on those in power and organise projects and services without more than a basic digital interface separating hundreds of thousands of individuals’ resources and efforts.

On the one hand, this is a massive victory for people power. On the other, the knowledge, commitment and experience of established NGOs and charities still offer a sense of history, credibility, connections and staying-power that will always be significant as social causes progress.

But if those same organisations can’t keep up with the expectations that people have of them in 2012, it is unlikely that many will be able to maintain the costly infrastructure required to keep them going, as agile, lightweight alternatives continue to spring-up each day.

This book aims to shift the conversation of what is required of social change organisations, if they are to stay relevant in an increasingly networked world.

At a time when the DIY possibilities of social media are toppling institutions across all sectors of society, and challenging a range of basic organisational assumptions – from the value of strategic planning, to the supposed wisdom of ‘expert’ leadership – the need for management theorists to look further afield for new ideas is desperately clear.

Anarchists in the Boardroom draws organising principles from those who have been organising without organisations, and opens the conversation about how we can begin to apply those same principles to help our organisations make the transition towards a form that can survive and thrive in a deeply changed environment.