Posts Categorized: Democracy

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 »

An educated and informed citizenry

Rob Paterson thinks that Canada and its government are moving beyond the nation-state and that coalitions may become the main model for future governments. Meanwhile, the Internet, airwaves and coffee-shops across the nation are engaging in a sort of dialogue. Unfortunately it is not always an informed dialogue and this is a sad state of… Read more »

Democratic Workplaces

The WordBlu most democratic workplace list is out for this year, with several Canadian companies on it: 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Axiom News La Siembra TakingITGlobal As my “not-yet-published” bio for our Cafe society reads, I’m rather interested in democracy: Harold likes to analyze situations, sense patterns, and make sense of them. He enjoys acting as “adviser of… Read more »

More on democratic workplaces

A little while back I mentioned democratic workplaces and WorldBlu. Some may find the notion of democracy in the workplace an interesting idea, but not really practical. To change your mind, listen to Ricardo Semler as he explains the flaws of our industrial work structures and what he has done with his company of 1,400… Read more »

A second age of reason

Rob Paterson calls Al Gore’s latest book, The Assault on Reason, a manifesto for public media. In reading this excerpt from Time, I was fascinated by the interwoven threads of issues that I’ve been discussing on this forum. First of all is the need for public discourse, not just improving our existing educational systems: So… Read more »

Democracy in the Workplace?

More on Tom Malone’s new book "The Future of Work", this time from Fortune Magazine. According to the author, Malone expects that pervasive information technology will force businesses into becoming more democratic. Malone envisages four potential organizational models:

Loose hierarchies (e.g. open source)
Literal democracy ?��Ǩ��� voting for your boss
Outsourcing through specialized guilds
Markets within organizations

I have not read Malone’s book yet, but it is now high on my to-do list. Via Stephen Downes, who makes this pertinent point in yesterday’s OLDaily – "… if democracy is actually the best form of governance, why don’t we use it in our institutions?"