POLICY

Flat structure overview

The structure of a flat management system, including core groups (for internal work), delivery roles (for programme work), meeting cycles and related support systems.

Contents

  1. Intro
  2. Core Groups 
    1. @direction
    2. @people
    3. @programming
    4. @resources
  3. Delivery Roles
    1. #workshops
    2. #curriculum 
    3. #community 
    4. #research
  4. Meeting Cycle 
    1. Team Check-ins
    2. Delivery Check-ins
    3. Core Group Meetings
    4. Programming 121s
    5. All Staff Meetings (ASM)
    6. Team Dynamics Meetings
    7. Staff Residentials 
    8. Board Meetings
  5. Support Systems
    1. People Group
    2. Wellbeing 121s
    3. Mentoring
    4. Appraisals
    5. Training
    6. Trustee Buddies
    7. Anti-Oppression

Policy

Intro

Since 2015, PIRC has operated with a flat management structure. 

This means the whole team plays a role in the day-to-day running of the organisation, as well as the strategic oversight. We have a socially-just pay structure and rotate Core Groups to ensure there is accountability, support and wellbeing embedded in our organisation. 

Below, you’ll find an overview of the Core Groups, Delivery Roles, Meeting Cycle and Support Systems that underpin our flat structure…

Core Groups

One or two staff are in each Core Group. Core Groups are responsible for ensuring the organisation is running smoothly.

We have four groups with matching animals: 

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@direction

The Direction Group tasked with overseeing the direction of the organisation, for cultivating innovation, for evaluation and for trustee relationships. The group should:Maintain a functioning Trustee board & good board-staff relationsCoordinate quarterly staff residentialsKeep our strategy current and highlight when it needs reviewing

Vision: We are all aligned and excited by the strategic direction of the organisation, having had the right amount of space and time to debate the big questions, develop new ideas and reflect on the evaluation of our work. Our trustee board, who offer a high degree of support and challenge, is culturally aligned with the organisation, made up of a diverse group of people who understand our work and are committed to our values.

@people

The People Group tasked with the responsibility for wellbeing, team dynamics, working culture and staff reviews. The group should:Ensure check-ins, team dynamics meetings and co-counselling happensOrganise appraisals & mentoringBe the first point of contact for concerns/complaints or staff unhappiness.

Vision: We exist to ensure that team members are generally doing okay: feeling happy, well and supported in their work and development; that the team is connected and is working in a way that is equitable and anti-oppressive; and that the working culture doesn’t cause stress, unhappiness, or encourage overworking but rather encourages learning, connection, development and anti-urgency culture.

@programming

The Programming Group that ensures PIRC has capacity to carry out its commitments; overseeing project and core work. The group should:Ensure @allstaff meetings (ASMs) happenKeep workplans updatedOffer workplan support and accountability

Vision: That PIRC fulfils our commitments to projects, development, organisational work and staff wellbeing in a fair, transparent and accountable way. We seek to ensure that all work is properly planned, managed, and completed on time, with capacity, accountability, rest and enough flexibility to allow for unknowns. 

@resources

The Resources Group ensures PIRC is able to operate at the levels set by the All Staff Group. The group should: Ensure all of PIRC’s legal obligations are fulfilledEnsure PIRC has sufficient funds to carry out work and obligationsEnsure PIRC staff have the facilities and equipment they need to work.

Vision: A world in which our organisation meets all its legal requirements; has enough money to pay every team member, regularly and with regular increases; and in which our staff are able to carry out all our work comfortably and fully-equipped with nice stationery.

Delivery Roles

There are four delivery roles, one per delivery staff member.

#workshops

Responsible for coordinating PIRC’s workshops and training events, with a focus on decolonising and deepening the facilitation methods of our workshops and trainings. This includes the preparation, recruitment, facilitation and follow-up stages of workshops and training, ensuring participation at every stage.

#curriculum

Responsible for PIRC’s curriculum, including designing our curriculum and delivering them in creative, simple and accessible ways. Working to develop participatory methods into how we share our curriculum, and supporting the team to produce accessible resources.

#community

Our new community lead will be responsible for coordinating the community around PIRC’s work. This includes growing, diversifying and visibilising both online and offline communities, while reducing barriers to entry and developing long-term collaborative relationships.

#research

Responsible for coordinating PIRC’s research activities: focus groups, cognitive interviews, on-the-street interviews, polls etc. This includes developing our quantitative & qualitative methodologies and working to make sure they are rigorous and participatory; as far as possible also being low-cost and accessible.

Meeting Cycle

Our meeting cycle is also key to our management structure. 

It is in these meetings that we make strategic and day-to-day decisions, offer support and feedback and raise issues we are having at work. 

Team Check-ins

Once a week @allstaff check-in as a team about how everyone is doing. Personal and organisational priorities are also discussed.

Delivery Check-ins

Once a week, the #delivery-team meet to plan, discuss and oversee delivery/programme work, using a set meeting structure covering activities, timelines, budgets, support needs etc. 

Core Group Meetings

Core Groups coordinate their own meeting timetables based on what work needs to be done and when.

Programming 121s

Every four weeks each staff member meets with the Programming Group Coordinator to discuss their workplan, workload and troubleshoot any issues. 

All Staff Meetings (ASM)

We meet every eight weeks at the All Staff Meeting, a meeting that all staff should attend, where the Core Groups and Delivery Leads give updates and proposals are made (submitted in advance). This is the key staff decision-making forum.

Team Dynamics Meetings

We meet every eight weeks to discuss Team Dynamics. We reflect on how the team has been working together and how we are feeling at work, where we’ve felt empowered or disempowered, what we’ve felt worked well etc.

Staff Residentials

3–4 times a year, the whole team goes away to discuss and develop the overall strategy of PIRC and/or to develop specific pieces of work, usually chunky stuff that needs @allstaff discussion etc.

Board Meetings

Every quarter, staff meet with trustees to discuss PIRC’s strategy, workplan and budget etc. Staff provide updates and information for the rustees to be able to carry out their roles. A Direction Group member usually always attends with other staff attending either rotationally or based on the agenda. Once a year the board meets in Machynlleth and @allstaff attend.

Support Systems

We have set up these support systems to help guide us in our work. 

Through these systems, we are working to develop an anti-oppressive culture that centres wellbeing, learning and collective care, for all staff.

People Group

For: Wellbeing, Support

One of our core groups, People Group, works on: staff wellbeing; culture; HR & legal practices (e.g. policy guidance); training and personal development needs; help solving problems; advocacy and mediation. 

Wellbeing 121s

For: Support, Connectedness

We have a rotating one-to-one system, where each member of staff has the chance to talk to a colleague about what is “on top” for them. We either use a co-counselling model that several of us have been trained in, or adapt to what feels best for us each session.

Mentoring

For: Support, Job skills, Wellbeing, Liberation

Every month we meet with a team mentor(s) to discuss how our work and personal development is going, and any issues we’re having at work. This mentor(s) is empowered to bring serious or cross-cutting issues back to the People Group Coordinator, anonymising or getting consent when appropriate.

Appraisals

For: Job skills

Once a year we have an @allstaff appraisal, this involves a structured and prepared-for meeting with the mentor and potentially an @allstaff meeting to discuss common themes, issues and challenges. Review of year; roadmap looking ahead; help spot things from the year; identify personal support needs; personal development plan; hear/give feedback; review relationships with the team/the org.

Training

For: Job skills

PIRC provides an annual training budget for each person in the organisation. We participate in ad hoc training in role and org-wide relevant areas, for skills and practical awareness. 

Trustee Buddies

For: Accountability, Support, Job skills

Beyond quarterly meetings, our Trustees create space for accountability in our flat structure, and help us to visibilise issues and develop solutions. Trustees individually buddy-up with staff members to offer support and guidance in their different areas of expertise and better connect the staff and board.

Anti-Oppression

For: Liberation

This is integrated across different aspects of our work at PIRC, addressing interpersonal and intrapersonal power-privilege / mainstream-margin dynamics; and implementing and integrating practices, processes and policies to increase awareness and accountability within our working culture, communications and organisational output. Overseen by the @people group. 

Discussion

Discussion

  1. Just read this - it looks great!

    I’m interested to know how these structures and processes are going, in case anyone at PIRC (or anyone with a similar way of organising) wants to share :slightly_smiling_face:

Comment on our forum: community.radhr.org

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