COVID-19 Closure

Woodhouse Community Centre is still closed to the public for the time being to protect public health.

You may wish to join our mailing list to be kept up to date with our response to this unprecendented situation.

 

We are looking at solutions to open for the purposes most needed by our community, but we aren't open to the general public, and have quite a bit of work to do until we can do this safely.

 

We estimate we will be open for some kinds of bookings from September, and will be working on IT suite opening after that.

We are available for questions via email and phone during office hours - info@oblong.org.uk / 0113 2459610

Main Oblong office will not be occupied.

 

If you are in need of support while shielding or self-isolating, you can call 0113 378 1877 (LCC city-wide helpline [additional information]) or 0113 8980034 (Woodhouse Mutual Aid group)

 

Flat Management

One of Oblong’s most intriguing traits is its flat management structure.  No boss or CEO heads up the organisation, and all of the paid staff get paid an equal rate.  This doesn’t mean no one is a manager; it means everyone is a manager.  Paid staff ‘peer manage’ each other using a system of regular check-ins, consensus decision-making, differentiated job roles, joint planning, and clear target-setting.

 

Every Wednesday morning we each talk about how we’re doing and give an update on our progress against targets we’ve set for ourselves that quarter – “I haven’t got the newsletter done yet, but I’ve done the report for the funders,” someone might say, or, “The volunteer-run kids group on Saturdays is going great, but I still need to record the number of people who turned up on the database.” The agenda contains thorny issues that couldn’t be dealt with individually – for example: “What should the new membership scheme look like, and who is going to take it forward?” Some staff have described a concept of joint responsibility (for making decisions) with individual accountability (for carrying out those decisions).  Sometimes decisions take a long time to get made; often the combination of several people’s ideas creates fast, flexible and innovative solutions. 

 

The staff team tweaks and improves the system for managing each other perhaps once a year: this year we made the way we appraise each other’s performance more comprehensive and focused, but less frequent.  Perhaps like any teamwork, attentive and focused listening makes a crucial difference to how well the peer management and joint decision-making processes function.

 

“Non-hierarchy is an aspiration, not an achievement” 

 

Extract taken from Stella Darby Ob-log