The 80 - 20 Rule

 The 80 - 20 Rule of organizational behavior tells us that for small organizations:

  • 80% of the work will be done by 20% of its members.

  • Someday, the 80% who sat back and watched may someday wake up and turn on the 20% that performed most of the work and decisions.  When this occurs, that 20% who worked may leave the organization, leaving its future in question.

  • Someday, the 20% may get burned-out from overwork and quit.

 Options to Consider:

  •  Bring in as many members as possible to survive the split.  The larger the group is, the less impact this rule has on your group's ability to survive.
  • Core members for the most part will be movers and shakers. Try not to hold them back or you may lose them.  Instead, let them lead, support them, and at the same time, help recruit members to assist them.  This may cause your organization to have several projects going at once so prepare for that.
  • Consider allowing room for projects / sub-groups to work independently.
  • Keep good meeting minutes, project records, etc. so in the event that a member of the 20% leaves, you can continue on.

  • Consider Consensus Meeting Method when starting your group.  This way all members decide and accept the decisions.  Some members cannot come back later and say they were bullied into the decisions.  But understand that as the organization grows, decisions take much longer to be reached with growing numbers.  Later you might break up into committees or sub-groups to counter this.  You may even go under Roberts Rules of Order for some parts of the meeting and Consensus Meeting Method for other parts.