What Are The 12 Traditions? What Do They Mean?
AA and other 12-step recovery organizations run surprisingly smoothly. Despite differences in culture and purpose between the groups, they tend to remain focused on their goals. They usually avoided excessive infighting or bad publicity. The various groups within 12-step fellowships have managed to run their affairs well while maintaining their autonomy.
The 12-traditions allow these organizations to manage their day-to-day affairs competently while remaining focused on their mission.
History of the 12 Traditions
AA was created in the 1930s and soon enjoyed a terrific amount of success. Groups spread all around the United States and, not long after, the entire world.
However, there were no clear rules for the structure of the organization. The different groups were intended to be self-contained and self-sufficient, and they indeed were. However, organizational questions and controversies began to bedevil the fellowship. No matter how autonomous the various groups are, they need a way to deal with administrative and financial issues.