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Operating Structure : Blackbirds

by the Blackbirds&

1. Do you have a form of internal organization? Describe it.
We form around a company structure, such as a modern business. There are departments which can be formed or dismissed depending upon various needs, and which represent the people as well. We have what functions as a board of directors to oversee operations, and this is divided into two primary roles of internal and external maintenance. Each department has a coordinator for it, and that coordinator is expected to work with the coordinators of others, though not as the primary voice for that department.

2. Does it resemble an Earth-world model? Does it take after a different context altogether?
We based our structure entirely on an Earth-world model. This is of great benefit when we want to visit the management section in a bookstore and read up, or describe how we operate to friends. It is very easy to explain how we operate via the use of the company model.

3. Do you have factions, political parties, etc? How are they handled?
There are ongoing arguements for and against political factions. As a rule, we are attempting to exclude them as much as possible while still recognizing the need for some people to align themselves to like-minded friends.

Underneath First Rank, which is primarily composed of the management which also does most frontwork, we have Second Rank. This is where specialized departments are located. Beneath this is Third Rank, which is considered the general population. Since anyone can apply for a position in Second or First Rank directly from Third, we have a very open structure which allows for fresh blood rather than a closed structure which might encourage seperate political factions to form. Additionally, the Consulting Team on Second Rank is allowed to review First Rank if needed, so there are safeguards against knots of power.

4. How are major decisions or arguments resolved?
Assuming that the specialists have already handled the decisions, should such fall under their jurisdiction, the matter is handed up to First Rank. First Rank is entrusted with the ability to weigh and judge accurately, though the decision is still not entirely in their hands. If Second and Third Rank voice a different opinion, the matter is opened up to the whole.

Often, proposals or projects will be constructed if there is a matter which we cannot make a concrete decision on. In this case, people will come together to suggest a possible solution and then experiment with enacting it. Some of our best results have come from people going out on a limb and verifying our faith in them with their successes.

5. How does your system handle memory and/or communication?

Like many other groups, we have common memory. This is stored in a library and allowed for any to access it if they wish. The Second Rank department, Internal Maintenance, is also responsible for ensuring that common memory is clear and easy to reference.

6. Has your system of operations undergone major changes, and if so, why?
Though we've had departments come and go, and people in each Rank be hired and retire, our system has been very stable. People have the freedom to choose what level of participation with government they feel most comfortable with. This has allowed those who do not want to work to not have to, and also allow those who want to pursue their own interests that freedom in exchange for the responsibilities they must carry for the whole.

7. Have there been any specific examples of situations your system's organization has dealt with because of its nature particularly well? Poorly?
Whenever we have problems with one person burning out or just wanting to take a break, we have established ways of handling it without attaching expectations or blame. If someone wants to step back, they won't leave anyone else in the lurch.

Because of the sterile nature of a job occupation, if someone takes over for someone else, they know exactly what is expected of them and also that their own nature--so long as it does not interfere with the productivity of themselves or others--does not have to be changed.

8. Is the direction of your organization changing as time goes on, and why?
In general, we're still tailoring the responsibilities and jurisdictions of each department to suit the events we undergo in daily life. For example, in changing from college to a career, we also changed the Studies department to a Occupational Work department and reorganized the members involved.

9. Are there particular strengths?
Lack of factions has kept quarrels down, as well as raised a sense of community. People can feel definate pride for doing well in their jobs in a non-biased way--no favoritism, only simple achievements. They also know that even if they don't get along with someone else in government, as long as they do satisfactory work, they won't have to play favoritism games. We try to keep things very honest when it comes to people's work internally, and that's a security which many of us build strong confidence on.

10. Weaknesses?
Sometimes when people are new to positions, they can feel awkward, and pressure themselves to work hard in their new role. Internal goverment only takes willing people to work--and there are always applicants waiting in the list--so naturally, they want to do their best.

11. Is there any direction people are seeking to improve in?
We need to relax more often instead of having so many individuals trying to prove that they're a good candidate for their job once they're in office. It isn't a problem, save that new people sometimes burn themselves out trying to go above and beyond their own limits.

12. Is your system centered around positions that any able person could fill, or around specific people instead?
Anyone can fill the positions in internal government, and we often have new hirees or voluntary retirements. Since some people want to work for only a short time, this allows them to have the experience without being forced to a longer period. The only requirement in enthusiasm for one's work as well as the willingness to learn and grow.

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