Benefits of joining the collective:

  • Stronger voice
  • Greater capacity
  • Benefits afforded by diversity

Unintended consequences:

  • Most collectives do very little for individual recognition. You become as faceless as the organisation, system or mentality you hope to conquer.
  • Where stronger voices are earned through majority, your contribution is diluted to a number, just like every other member.
  • Your benefit will also tend to the mean.

The end result is that most collectives tend to mediocrity over time. This attracts individuals who would benefit from mediocrity (those below average in the area of benefit) which further decreases the excellence and ability of the collective.

This plays out in medical funding, labour unions and boards of trustees of housing body corporates to name a few.

Collectives are rarely effective because they generalise individuals and problems that enterprising individuals are able to address better by themselves. This leaves those who do not know or chose to ride coattails to fill the ranks.

Successful collectives are successful because they incorporate and value the dignity and contribution of the individual. It’s the only authentic way to create a voice that led to the creation of the collective in the first place.

It’s much harder.

Rob Curran

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