Thoughts on leadership: The Do-Ocracy

Leadership Method

  • Do-ocracy
  • Iterative development
  • Membership
  • Values
  • Conflict resolution


The ‘Do-Ocracy’ or ‘Meritocracy’.

The idea behind a do-ocracy is that those who ‘do’ the work are the ones that set the direction.

Empowerment is automatic and work completed is considered the current course. This enables those with an interest to get on and make progress, without needing to facilitate those who slow progress down by excessive deliberation without contribution.

One of the fundamental problems of the movement is chronic infighting and deliberation rather than actual ‘movement’.

However, within silos, there is significant progress on ‘Big Ticket’ items. See for example the Scottish Currency Group – without the drag of ‘everyones’ opinion, they have a considered and advanced currency proposal for an independent Scotland.

In a do-ocracy – the only way to challenge the default acceptance of this would be to out-compete the proposals, by doing the level of research, analysis and publication required to present a more concrete proposal.

Iterative development

What is more likely – is that contributors will gravitate towards existing projects and will iterate upon what has come before. Iteration and the power of a contribution is a better method for advancement than establishing new and competing organisations.

In situations where iterative contributions are not welcome or are too large of a divergence. The concept of ‘forking’ comes in – where you can go off and do as you please, however, to replace the incumbent proposal – you would need to attract larger support or present a stronger contributive piece.

It is not possible to cause factional infighting – as the substantive work is the contribution rather than the debate. An opinion matters less than work contributed. Only those opinions that are formed into contributions will be given any space or time. Think of it as a reverse sunk cost fallacy – where we use only the sunk cost in developing a solution to give it merit.

Membership / Elective council

There will need to be a board for representation of the project and this creates the largest example of where ego and personal opinion will create aggravation. We must stop electing leaders who do not contribute anything other than opinion.

To do so the board should be elected by the elective council. The membership of the elective council should only consist of active contributors to the project.

Initially, there would be admittance to the project by the interested parties as members of the elective council, within 90 days, the new elective council would be defined based on those who have contributed advancements.

Membership of the elective council is transient and can drop and gain – on a 90-day cycle. The elective council would propose a board.

The decision of contribution would be considered by the board in line with the adopted values.


The values of the project should be documented clearly and will be an ever-evolving (but always simple) document. They should exist in both simple bullet points and expansive form.

The values are the guiding light of the project and should focus on contribution and iteration versus celebration.

The values should clearly define the minimum requirements to be considered a contributor and the minimum number of contributions to be ascended to the elective council.

Conflict Resolution

The board would be the representatives of the movement, however, would also fill the role of conflict resolution, this would be a documented process that values contribution rather than individuals.

Dramatic additions and resignations are not of detrimental effect as all contributions would be assigned by Creative Commons licensing – leaving the movement in possession of the ideas and contributions.