How do you get a group of people to hum?

Josh Pitzalis
2 min readApr 26, 2022

Companies exist to help people solve problems.

They already have a group of the most qualified people to solve that problem.

Instead of assigning one person the enormous responsibility of being the voice of the company, their social presence could be a team responsibility.

Useful, expert answers to the most important and frequent industry questions become the backbone of their social presence.

They would be taking the most valuable resource they have to offer and sharing it freely with the world.

People could have different degrees of commitment and would focus on different areas of expertise. Great ideas could come from anywhere. Everyone could play to their strengths.

But how do a group of people come together and work on something interesting being told what to do and without a huge amount of process or formality getting in the way?

We’re so used to being told what to do, or telling others what to do.

I’m not convinced there will be a one-size-fits-all solution here.

Finding a rhythm will be difficult.

It will take time.

Just saying you want to work together won’t be enough.

There will be plenty of unlearning and a need for practice.

But it would be worth it.

Imagine everyone just getting stuff done and having fun at the same time.

Where working together feels delightful and productive and easy.

Bartlett calls this kind of equilibrium the sound of a humming team.

How do you get a group of people to hum?

All of these questions and ideas came from a half-finished book called ‘Patterns for Decentralized Organizing’ by Richard D. Bartlett.

I read it a few years ago.

It’s brilliant.