Posts Categorized: Wirearchy

The network era transition

I concluded in my last post that organizations will need to adapt to the network era. Another possibility is that hierarchical organizations, like most companies, will not be able to adapt to the network era. As with the assembly line, the view of the company as an organization chart may become a relic of the… Read more »

Talking about the Network Era

Interesting things happen when hyperlinks subvert hierarchy, as the writers of the Cluetrain Manifesto said in 1999. Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, Arab Spring, and the Occupy Movement are just a few recent examples. Spying on entire populations is another network era phenomenon. In education, the current subversion is the MOOC, which has already itself been subverted… Read more »

The changing nature of work

In 2013, I was able to spend some time looking at the changing nature of work. I continued to read from many sources, and I observed what and where I could. I used this blog to help make sense and engage with my professional learning networks. Here is a single-paragraph summary of what I see… Read more »

Hierarchies are obsolete

Your hierarchy is the smallest & least valuable part of your network – Simon Terry Hierarchies may technically be networks, but they are merely simple branching ones. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups…. Read more »

The connected enterprise adoption curve

[First ...] Here’s the final word on social business from me: informal social relationships have always been linked to effective performance. [So ...] Now here we are with all that we know, or should know, about the importance of informal relationships, creating high performance work environments and learning cultures. [But ...] Mental models, behaviours and… Read more »

Democracy is coming

“Democracy is neither a gift nor a license; it is a possibility realized through practice grounded in a deep commitment to truth and an acceptance of the responsibility to seek justice for all.” – David Korten A guiding goal in much of my work is the democratization of the enterprise. Democracy is our best structure… Read more »

Connected leadership is not the status quo

What is connected leadership? It’s not the status quo. Stephen Downes provides a succinct counterpoint to certain popular leadership literature, especially “great man” theories. ‘Leadership’ is the trait people who have been successful ascribe as the reason for their success. It is one of those properties that appears to be empirically unverifiable and is probably… Read more »

How to work in the creative economy

We’ve been talking a lot about the shifting nature of work at Change Agents Worldwide, including the determination of some first principles. At the same time, I have been reviewing my thoughts on what kind of organizational change is needed. Gary Hamel says that we are moving from an Industrial to a Creative Economy, which… Read more »

Structuring for the network era

It’s about networks It is 2013 and F.W. Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management (1911) are still the basis for most of our current management systems. It is only through enforced standardization of  methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured. And the duty of enforcing the adoption of standards… Read more »

Lateral Organizations

Hierarchical organizational forms have been the norm through much of history, especially the last 2,000 years. Lateral organizations, or more egalitarian structures, have been the exception. In the endless allure of non-hierarchical organizations, David Creelman notes that both forms have their flaws, but says it’s best to thoroughly understand the history of the field. I… Read more »