How To Create A Sustainable Organization Thumbnail

No matter what organization you join, there will be times of disappointment and frustration.  At work for example, you might wonder why one person is getting paid the same amount as you when you feel like you are doing all the work.  Worse yet, you might wonder how that person ever got promoted ahead of you in the first place!  Those are the moments which demotivate the soul and cause you to fester with agitation.

If we are completely honest with ourselves, we should realize that it is virtually impossible to be a part of an organization whose members are always contributing equally.  It’s just not realistic.  Instead, we look for teammates who have a shared vision, and whose principles we can admire.  We each have our own way of doing things, and that is what we must cherish in each other.


The reason why some organizations have so many rounds of interviews and check so many references is because they realize that the most important asset is their people.  What makes the Yakezie Network great are the 70+ Members and Challengers who have a shared goal of helping other people, improving their blogs, and developing their online revenue streams.  The better our Members, the better our Network, hence the 6 month long Challenge to ensure we have built the best relationships possible that will stand trying times ahead.

I’ve always believed since the beginning that the Yakezie Network would grow to be something special.  How could our organization not grow with so many gifted, and liked-minded individuals all striving towards the same goals?  But, I also knew that growing pains were bound to happen.  When organizations get too big, it becomes harder to maintain that cozy family-type atmosphere.  Inevitably, people will come to their leaders and voice their concerns or complaints.


Since this website’s launch in August of 2010 (the Yakezie started in January of 2010), we voted to move slowly to ensure that we could have the tightest relationships possible as we grow the network.  In retrospect, this was the right move because growing for growth’s sake is generally unwise.  I’ve always envisioned the Yakezie Network reaching 100 bloggers strong, and I still believe this to be the case.  However, a 100 blogger Network is not as easy to manage as it may seem.

We established the Belts of Honor System very early in anticipation of growth.  The entire idea behind the Belts of Honor system is to reward participation and to create a meritocracy. Members should now realize the power of the Yakezie Network as the economy rebounds and opportunities are now coming fast and furious.  Those who have participated through comments, forum posts, Member Articles, tweeting, leadership roles and contributing to the Yakezie Writing Contest will be rewarded accordingly.  The greatest thing about the BoH is that there is a 100% correlation with effort and points.  Each Member controls their own amount of participation.

The Belts of Honor system has a 50% weighting in our Yakezie Network List, with Alexa, mozRank, and PageRank having a 30%, 10%, and 10% weighting respectively.  Now that we have reached critical mass, and have built a strong and recognizable organization, we are now fully implementing the Belts of Honor System to decide in overcapacity situations who gets to participate.  Let’s use a fun example, shall we?

Hawaiian Airlines contacts the Yakezie Network to enlist 25 Members to do a review of their new website on each Member’s respective blogs.  As a reward, each of the Members gets a round-trip ticket to Honolulu from anywhere in the Continental United States.  The Yakezie organizer of the Hawaiian Airlines opportunity publishes the offer in our private forums and opens up the offer for three days.  In those three days, 50 members sign-up to nobody’s surprise.  The Yakezie organizer will then select the top 25 based on the Belts of Honor system and not who signed up first.  If for some reason only 10 Members sign-up after 3 days, we then move on to a first come first serve basis.

It would be nice if every opportunity could make room for all Members, but this will take time as the economy gets better, and more opportunities shift online from traditional media sources such as TV.  Our upside also includes steadily grabbing a bigger percentage of the pie as we grow our brand.  With this meritocratic method, we ensure the maximum fairness because the Belts of Honor system rewards those who are most involved and everybody has control over the level of participation.


Practically everything is rational.  If someone wants to get a raise at work, they will work hard and build solid relationships with their clients and colleagues.  If someone wants to build a great business, s/he will have to think beyond the status quo to make things happen.  If someone is happy just the way they are, then all is good and there’s no need to do more.  What we don’t want, and what we will never accept is a situation where one hasn’t tried harder, but also wants to reap all the rewards as well.  That’s when organizations fail due to dissension.

With the Belts of Honor system, we promote a transparent and highly meritocratic method for those who want to participate more.  Those Members who achieve Black Belt Status such as Budgeting The Fun Stuff should always be given an opportunity to participate because they’ve earned it.  When an organization introduces a transparent system that promotes involvement by all parties, everyone wins!  Thanks again to all the Yakezie Members for being such a wonderful group of people.  Let’s keep this momentum going!

Members and readers, any organizational behavior tips you’d like to share?  Have you ever been in a situation where someone takes advantage of the system to another’s detriment?  How did you or the organization solve the issue?

Special Note For Members: I have written a specific set of guidelines based off the premise of this post in the Private Forums AC section.  Please have a look!