I’ve mentioned the Six Nations governance model before, as described in the book, Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity, and am trying to align this with industrial-age corporations. Basically, I’m wondering how this pre-industrial governance structure could be used today. The author describes how it recently worked for the Oneida Nation. Could it be used elsewhere, or does it need a certain culture?
The Six Nations culture had given specific roles to its member tribes, namely Wolves (Pathfinders); Turtles (Problem Formulators); Bears (Problem Solvers). Solving problems (AKA governance) went like this:
- Wolves – Set direction, and identify relevant issues
- Turtles – Define the problems
- Bears – Generate alternatives and recommend solutions
- Turtles – Check on the potency of the recommended solutions
- Wolves – Integrate the solutions, keep the records, communicate the decisions
Could this be incorporated into a legal corporate structure (for profit or non-profit) and if so, would it differ from a governance structure with a Board of Directors, CEO and various executives?
The advantages I see with this governance model is that power is distributed but the roles are clear. It also builds in peer reflection through the process.