enabling self-governing teams

“All forms of governance are failing their citizens — dictatorships and communism failed in the last part of the 20th century, and in this century democracies are not meeting citizen expectations. No matter which leaders are chosen, the systems themselves are failing.” – Yaneer Bar-Yam

Our communities were not developed for a global economy, our institutions were not designed for a networked citizenry, and our markets were created for physical goods, not networked intangibles. We need to create new institutions and markets for the network era. Perhaps monitory democracy is an answer. Perhaps it requires an applied blueprint for the restoration of democracy.

Image: perpetual beta series
Image: perpetual beta series

As networks become the dominant organizing system, we need to restructure how we work together. We need to be both local and global in who we learn from and work with. Yaneer Bar-Yam suggests that instead of searching for leaders, we should self-organize as teams.

“We need to stop looking for leaders and start looking for teammates.

We need to find others we can trust about ideas, advice, and joint action.
We need to shift the ego’s focus on autonomy, to pride in collectivity.
We need to share the uncertainty we have as individuals in order to gain collective confidence and success.” – Yaneer Bar-Yam

This is the foundation of the Triple Operating System. It is based on connecting the local and the global in a continuous learning loop to get work done. Individuals connect to each other by cooperatively sharing ideas and opinions. The more diverse their social networks, the more effective and productive they are in a network society. The practice of PKMastery helps gain awareness and insight from knowledge networks. Communities of practice provide a safe place to test alternatives and create knowledge that informs emergent work practices. These interconnected individuals can now take action by creating self-governing teams that are based on a temporary, but mutually negotiated, hierarchy.

Triple-A Model developed by Valdis Krebs (Awareness, Alternatives, Action)

Our societies and governments created innovative ways to organize capital and labour to build the infrastructure of the 20th century: railways, roads, airlines, hydro-electric projects. The corporation is an artificial construct that protects investors and company officers. We now need to build work structures that focus on the true value of a company in this new era: its people. This age requires structures that maximize human mobility and creativity.

These organizational models have to  connect the networks from which individuals gain new knowledge and turn it into competitive knowledge. The role of management in the Triple Operating System shifts from directing to Weaving, Facilitating, & Coordinating. The future of work is in effectively integrating Connectivity,  Alignment, & Productivity networks. In such a work environment, people can “stop looking for leaders, and start looking for teammates”.

Image: perpetual beta series

2 thoughts on “enabling self-governing teams”

Leave a comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.