7 Essential Elements of Collective Organizations

Rebecca Zelis
2 min readApr 16, 2020

Designed around supporting every person who interacts with and within an organization, the Collective Organization replaces hierarchical models and mindsets with regenerative systems and a new perspective on leadership.

1. They are Values Oriented
Collective Organizations are committed to managing with principles, not processes. Values are stated publicly and employees at all levels are empowered with enough support, autonomy, and resources to consistently make values-based decisions.

2. They Commit to Their Employees
Extractive and exploitive systems are unsustainable. Collective Organizations commit to “playing the long game” by implementing regenerative systems to human capital instead of focusing on short-term results at the expense of employees and other resources.

3. Leadership is Non-Hierarchical
A Collective Organization reframes leadership as all knowledgeable members of an organization’s structure, emphasizing the importance of their supporting valued front-line workers. A leader’s mindset shifts from a model of authority and control to one of facilitation and support.

4. They Share Information
In old organizational models, information is often equated with power. Collective Organizations share information, confident that a collective of diverse perspectives results in more comprehensive understanding, unique interpretations, and better utilization of data and resources.

5. They Empower People
Collective Organizations empower people by giving them skills. By committing to providing resources that build skills (for both inside and outside the workplace) Collective Organizations are able to disperse power amongst competent and diverse groups instead of concentrating power solely in leadership.

6. They Take a Multidimensional Perspective
A Collective Organization endeavors to build relationships through continual feedback and communication, embracing the value of original and diverse viewpoints and believing every person who interacts with the organization has a perspective that deserves consideration.

7. Community is Celebrated
Rather than celebrate individual achievement, Collective Organizations celebrate communities by acknowledging their interdependence. Instead of a focus on individual success, personal achievement is acknowledged within the context of the group that supported their efforts.

As individuals, organizations, and the global economy recover from Covid-19 it is time to put old hierarchies behind us and embrace sustainable and inclusive organizational practices.



Rebecca Zelis

Culture Strategist improving how institutions and systems interact with people.