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 »
Posts Categorized: Democracy
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 »
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 ?ï¿½ï¿½Ç¨ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 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?"
Peter Levesque, in Democracy & Socioactive Software and Technology discusses the effect of the Internet in connecting an unprecedented number of people, who in turn have created a variety of community-based initiatives, such as open source, open content and more flexible copyright rules, like the Creative Commons.
He continues on the Cluetrain thread that markets are conversations, and these conversation must be genuine. This should mean that corporations have to "get real" in order to connect with their markets, as many communities do. But Levesque goes on to say that communities have not been as successful as corporations in producing certain kinds of societal benefits.
Levesque calls for new leadership for the information revolution. "I suggest that the leaders will be found among the aggressively intelligent citizenry, liberated from many tasks and obligations by technology freely shared; using data, information and knowledge acquired from open source databases, produced from the multiples of billions of dollars of public money invested through research councils, universities, social agencies, and public institutions."
I would suggest that business models that will allow the leadership to prosper will be essential. These potential leaders, from the "aggressively intelligent citizenry", need to be free from corporate non-disclosures or government gag orders, and the most effective business model could be the free agent working within a peer network. As tenure was essential for academic freedom, so an unfettered business model may be necessary for future leaders. If all individuals had the rights of today’s corporations, what kind of societal benefits would ensue?
Thanks to Stephen’s OLDaily for pointing to this.