The following essay was written by Sep Kamvar and shared with the Wildflower faculty.
A benefit of decentralization is the ability to make decisions without having to run through layers of bureaucracy. This is a wonderful thing.
Sometimes, however, you will find yourself facing a decision that affects others. For example, hiring anybody into the network will affect the other people in the network. As does leaving your school, substantively rearranging the way you implement one of the nine principles, starting a new Wildflower school, etc. In this case, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You may choose to make the decision yourself without consulting others, which is not respectful of those whom the decision will affect. Or you may try to reach consensus among all affected parties, which is its own form of bureaucracy.
At Wildflower, we take a middle way. If you are making a decision that affects others, you should ask their advice and respect it, but you are not obligated to follow it.
This allows multiple people to weigh in, and for the you to weigh their advice along with your own considerations, while not bogging the decision down in a slow, bureaucratic process. It allows both respect for the stakeholders, and empowerment for the decision-maker.