In common purpose organisations managers are leaders, organisers and team members. They may also be spokespeople, administrators, coordinators, facilitators, representatives and referees, but they are not controllers, commanders, masters or autocrats. If there is a hierarchical structure it is for facilitating co-ordination and communication, not for control.
Collective decisions are democratised through the feedback of interested (self-selected) persons in open information systems or open teams.
Individual decisions and responsibility are distributed, with information on them recorded in open information systems that inform future decision-making and ensure accountability.
The manager organises by permission and is elected and appointed by the team. Every person is an equal member and partner.
There is a correlation between permission and command, for in a sense all rule is by permission, as people give permission for commands by obeying them. Given this, all commands should be considered requests. The alternative, doing what is commanded when it is wrong, permits wrong.
People are appointed to positions of authority (managers, teachers, police, doctors, judges, ministers, et al). Those appointed have a responsibility to carry out their authority without harm.
Any authority that harms people pursuing fulfilment without harm is an abuse of authority. The authority must be removed by another authority revoking its rights and by people refusing to recognise it. The second step is essential.
When an authority acts harmfully, and is supported, there is an authority of fear, of command and control. This authority is based in ignorance and the pursuit of power.
The prerequisite of all authority is that the holders under-stand and respect the freedom of everyone to pursue fulfilment without harm.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]