Rotating roles?

I heard in a worker co-op discussion the idea of rotating roles. Thinking back, I experienced this in the few non-tech co-ops I’ve been involved in. But I hadn’t been thinking about it explicitly until now. The idea is to build in the idea that people rotate in their roles where feasible. Why?

  • People who take different roles can understand and sympathize with the challenges of each role
  • It gives fresh perspectives
  • It pushes for better documentation, communication, and succession planning

I’m sure there are more reasons. I really like the idea and think we should keep it in mind.

Obviously there are roles that require skills not everyone has. Some rotations are practical and some aren’t. But let’s work out rotations where we can. Thoughts?

I have seen a talk from the founder of a beverages collective (cola, lemonade, beer) that exist for 20 years and mastered the challenge of 95% revenue loss in the pandemic (2020). He argued against the common practice of rotating roles in collectives, because some people are very good in one role, so it’s best when they have the role instead of someone who is not good at it. Of course a substitute person is still needed if the first person is unavailable due to vacation, illness or whatever.

Here is the talk: “strong as a community through crises”

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