How to Get Out of the Predicament

If your group seems to be gripped by the struggle of "the authoritarians" versus "the egalitarians", here are some things to consider trying. Also be sure to read Brian Martin's work on whistleblowers because the symptoms seem to be similar, and they are uglier than you think.

  1. form another organization from the people who agree on the organizational model (not usually practical in radio)
  2. negotiate the needs behind the conflicting strategies and behaviors using principles of mediation (or a mediator) or "Getting to Yes" (Fisher and Ury)
  3. take action to activate the frame, in other members of your organization, that you want expressed, and link it to the organization. also take steps to prevent activation of the opposite frame. see George Lakoff for more
  4. start a very innocuous discussion or reading group to help people learn about and eventually share and activate the organizational model you want
  5. if they are willing, get good training for at least the board in the preferred model
  6. mount a campaign for the organization to adopt the model you prefer, perhaps following the work of nonviolent strategy experts like Gene Sharp
  7. lobby for an overt and clear organizational model decision by power holders which can be shared with new people, and let existing people make an informed decision whether to stay, or possibly fight
  8. build and use parallel communication, critique, solidarity, and education networks -- not controlled by the station -- before they are needed
  9. read and adopt the "window shade" advice from the book "Grassroots and NonProfit Leadership"