Posts Categorized: Democracy

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 »

Keep democracy in education

I liken our dominant educational structure as the offspring of a shotgun wedding between industrialists who needed literate workers to operate their machinery, and progressives who wanted to lift up the common person from poverty and drudgery. It wasn’t an easy marriage, and the children are a tad dysfunctional now. The union was never able… Read more »

Aligned principles for an open, networked society

Via Ross Dawson, here are Don Tapscott’s four principles for the open world: Collaboration. The boundaries of organizations are becoming more fluid and open, with the best ideas often coming from outside. Transparency. Open communication to stakeholders is no longer optional, as organizations become naked. Sharing. Giving up intellectual property, including putting ideas into the… Read more »

In networks, cooperation trumps collaboration

In networks, cooperation trumps collaboration. Collaboration happens around some kind of plan or structure, while cooperation presumes the freedom of individuals to join and participate. Cooperation is a driver of creativity. Stephen Downes commented here on the differences: collaboration means ‘working together’. That’s why you see it in market economies. markets are based on quantity and… Read more »

Democratization of the workplace

There was a most interesting thread on Twitter today. Bert van Lamoen (@transarchitect) in a series of tweets, said [paraphrasing several]: “Senge’s five disciplines provided instant utility for learning to organizations in 1990, yet learning organizations remain rare to this day. Hierarchy kills all learning. Our social systems are not designed to cope with complexity…. Read more »

A world without bosses

Can your organization work without bosses? In the documentary, Ban the Boss (one hour BBC video) Paul Thomas shows that most organizations can run just fine without bosses, or at least without traditional, hierarchical bosses who tell workers what to do. Gwynn Dyer explained that historically, hierarchies were the result of a communications problem, in Why the… Read more »

Leadership emerges from network culture

Even five years ago it was not the norm to work at a distance. Employers wanted to keep workers on-site, when it made no sense, as this post from 2005 noted: virtual work, but we need you onsite. Virtual work is no longer limited to mostly free-agents, as many salaried employees today work at least… Read more »

The democratization of the enterprise

My About section used to include this paragraph, written a while back and still reflective of my professional perspective: A guiding goal in much of my work is the democratization of the enterprise. Democracy is our best structure for political governance and I believe it should be the basis of our workplaces as well. As… Read more »

Our aggressively intelligent citizenry

In 2004 I commented on an article by Peter Levesque calling for new leadership for the information revolution. He said that communities have not been as successful as corporations in producing certain kinds of societal benefits as a result of the internet’s enabling connectivity. “I suggest that the leaders will be found among the aggressively intelligent… Read more »