Bas Reus' quest on self-organization and online collaborative spaces

Evaluating wirearchy

Posted in philosophy, self-organization by Bas Reus on January 5, 2010

We all know that hierarchical organizational forms are less and less effective and realistic at the present time. Even in the past this form of organization was being criticized by many. Power and authority are not exclusive for the top of the pyramid. People in organizations form relationships with more people, from inside and outside the organization. Organizational bounds are blurring, and the same is true for the bounds of departments. People choose with whom they interact, communicate, and who they trust. Hierarchical organizational forms do not fit in this picture.

In response to hierarchy, we see many terms and concepts that explain different forms of organization. I already mentioned heterarchies, and there are many more that describe networked forms of organization, such as peer-to-peer and panarchy. Another one, one that Harold Jarche pointed me to earlier in my quest, is wirearchy. At the time Harold mentioned this, I’d never came across it before. Now I have had the time to read more about it and to evaluate this organizing principle, inspired by companies that organize themselves differently with result (such as Semco). So what is wirearchy? According to the ‘father’ of the concept, Jon Husband, wirearchy is:

A dynamic two-way flow of power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology.

This definition of wirearchy explains how many people use the web to communicate and organize things. It’s emerging, it’s reciprocal, it’s about trust, it’s about learning and about creating knowledge. And about many more things. The most important characteristic is the flow of information. Information now flows more like water or air, which means it can reach us all very fast, like an epidemic. Key is to negotiate meaning with each other to learn and to gain knowledge, using the continuous flow of information.

Now in my quest I’m trying to pursue self-organization and online collaborative spaces. The concept of wirearchy is very much related. One can choose a place in the network, and by interacting with other peers, one can build (trusted) relationships and learn from the (global) network. The network extends our knowledge. The question I’m always struggling with is, does it really work that way if many organizations are organized like this? I mean, many organizations are still large and top down and have clear boundaries. When many organizations shift towards a wierarchy or network, will it be ‘better’? The opportunities are numerous, obviously. But are these ideas still in a pioneering stage? Which organizations will set the trend, if needed at all? How do we reach the tipping point of organizing in a different way? What is needed (apart from the infrastructure, which is there), and who is needed? Maybe we’re still not ready to reach that point, or better, maybe we are very close to that point, but perhaps we can not identify this yet. The future will tell…

Answering these questions is difficult, and perhaps not even needed. Predicting the future is something from the past. The world is changing too fast for that and uncertainty is too high. So discussing these subjects stays very important, in our way to understand what is going on, to learn from each other, and to stay in a constant dialogue. Is that what organizations should be after? Just have the conversations started, nurture it, and then just never let go of these conversations? Maybe it is. This can spur an organic growth of a constantly changing dynamic network. Therefore I would like to add something to the concept of wirearchy: the dynamic two-way flow should be never-ending, constantly reciprocal, in order to be dynamic and foster learning.

21 Responses

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  1. Jon Husband said, on January 5, 2010 at 22:54

    Very well done, in my opinion.

    Yes, never-ending .. continuous learning, ongoing role and power negotiation, etc.

    AND .. it’s not either (hierarchy) or (wirearchy), but BOTH / AND.

    We need both hierarchy (where appropriate) and decentralized networks. Wirearchy is (for me) an evolution of a central organizing principle in a world that needs both hierarchy and networks.

  2. Steve Ardire said, on January 6, 2010 at 02:11

    Which organizations will set the trend, if needed at all ?
    a) Enlightened ones
    b) Yes it’s needed for many reasons but this one stands out

    role of knowledge managers in 2010 or in future? How to Increase Employee Engagement http://bit.ly/6HoaSo

    Here’s what the researchers discovered: barely one-fifth (21%) of employees are truly engaged in their work, in the sense that they would “go the extra mile” for their employer. Nearly four out of ten (38%) are mostly or entirely disengaged, while the rest are in the tepid middle. There’s no way to sugarcoat it—this data represents a stinging indictment of the legacy management practices found in most companies.

  3. […] Dit blogartikel was vermeld op Twitter door John Tropea, Dennis Callahan en Bas Reus, topsy_top20k. topsy_top20k heeft gezegd: New blogpost: Evaluating wirearchy http://wp.me/pzezV-3X @johnt @hjarche @jonhusband @sourcePOV @ChrisPRodgers @Tomgibbonstms […]

  4. uberVU - social comments said, on January 6, 2010 at 04:13

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by bottomup: New blogpost: Evaluating wirearchy http://wp.me/pzezV-3X @johnt @hjarche @jonhusband @sourcePOV @ChrisPRodgers @Tomgibbonstms…

  5. sourcepov said, on January 6, 2010 at 05:01

    Great post Bas, as always. You’ve got us thinking again. And hats off to Jon for an interesting org model.

    I’m a big supporter of this thinking. With 25 years of hierarchy and silo’s under my belt, I am more than ready to explore alternatives.

    I’ve been contemplating a 1:1 networked business model of the exact sort you propose. In fact, twitter and the blogosphere are pretty effective of creating precisely the conditions you describe. I’ve called it “innovation dial-tone” (for those that remember what a dial-tone is), since insights you need in this model are a few clicks away.

    For research and networking, as you say, I think its in place today. But using it to model organizations and to handle business transactions introduces some hurdles.

    A couple entries under ‘what’s needed’:

    CULTURE CHANGE. One of the first challenges is letting go of the emotional connection to the old hierarchy model, referred to increasingly (by Christensen and others) as the “factory model” since it had origins in the industrial revolution. As frustrated and disengaged as Steve’s 79% may be, most will cling to what they know, regardless of how broken it may be. Culture can be a stubborn beast.

    PARADIGM SHIFT. If culture is about beliefs and behaviors, paradigms are how people frame the way things work. Kuhn (1962) coined the terms and Senge (1990) further popularized the notion as “mental models”. Are we ready to start framing a wirearchy as a new operating paradigm?

    BOUNDARIES & CONTEXT. Boundaries in a wirearchy would appear to be either non-existent or virtual (soft, movable), making it difficult to negotiate or establish a sense of relative value, risk, differentiation and trust needed to conduct business. All would depend on where the entity boundaries are drawn. If they’re dynamic, how could you transact business? Can context in this model be allowed to shift perpetually?

    I don’t have the answers I’m afraid, just more questions – but let’s keep the conversation going by all means.

    If we don’t, how else could this move forward?

  6. Tim Kastelle said, on January 6, 2010 at 11:22

    Very interesting post. I agree with Jon that is a BOTH/AND situation. The two organising systems are really oriented around different things – hierarchy is built around the distribution of power, and wirearchy is built around the distribution of information. That is why hierarchies are often lousy at distributing information – that’s not what they’re designed to do. So shifting to wirearchical organisations will require changes to power structures as well, which is often difficult.

  7. Bas Reus said, on January 6, 2010 at 15:47

    Thanks all for the comments.

    Jon, I agree that we need both hierarchy and wirearchy. Hierarchy has it’s advantages. However, as we are trying to minimize hierarchy, we could minimize the inefficiencies of this governance structure.

    I’m also very intrigued by the concept of panarchy. Paul B. Hartzog made a great contribution on this.
    See Governance in the network age. I will definitely use this concept for a future post. Like wirearchy, it embraces the possibilities of decentralized, distributed organization in networks. Paul argues: “Complexity + Networks + Connectivity => Panarchy”.

    At the P2P Foundation (Michel Bauwens) many research is done regarding to new modes of production, property and governance in the networked age of now. These topics become more relevant every year, the promise is too good too abandon these lines of thinking.

    In the meantime, we should keep asking questions like we do here, and like Chris (sourcePOV) is doing here as well. How can we make these kind of organizing structures more a reality? A paradigm shift as you mention is really necessary. Chris, nice term ‘innovation dial-tone’. If we think 6 degrees of separation, we can reach everyone in just 6 numbers. Information that flows will be altered somewhere along the way, not a problem, as it can be enriched as well.

  8. Jon Husband said, on January 6, 2010 at 17:37

    Yes, panarchy is quite interesting .. but methinks overly “metaphysical” for practical comprehension and use in business / government / education, etc.

    A big issue for me with respect to ‘wirearchy’ is that it revives much of the debate and work at self-direction and self-management of work groups and teams, and will also amplify / spread the issues of role and power negotiations between responsible adults in work settings .. as we (gradually) lose the relatively static structure(s) of organizational hierarchy that made roles and responsibilities (and authority) relatively clear, and emoved responsibility (for many) for doing anything more than a relatively stable set of tasks.

  9. Jon Husband said, on January 6, 2010 at 17:41

    To date, I remain convinced that practically, there will become a “dynamic two-way flow of power and authority” .. a back-and-forth between the hierarchs and those they lead and manage .. that I ascribe to wirearchy. As I said just above, I think panarchy is ‘accurate’ but overly metaphysical.

    I also think (hope) that eople will / can grasp the colloquial “archy” of living and working in a wired world.

    For those who then ask “well, what about wireless-archy?” .. being wireless is dependent upon a wired grid underneath the wireless capability, no ?

  10. Chris Rodgers said, on January 6, 2010 at 17:58

    Hi Bas,

    Another interesting post.

    What’s particularly pertinent to me in this discussion is that you are asking about the comparative merits of various idealized organizational designs. That is, the presumption is that the solution to improved performance lies at the macro level. In other words, those who advocate a “wirearchy” (or any other –archy, for that matter) are, probably, adopting a systems view of organizational dynamics. One of the taken-for-granted assumptions of that perspective is that the designs will unfold as planned, and that they will deliver the benefits as intended, provided that they are implemented correctly. And this also usually presumes that the new structure will be characterized by rational, collaborative, a-political behaviours, such as those reflected in the definition of “wirearchy” that you cite in your post.

    Interestingly, though, the dynamics that are at the core of the “wirearchy” (and other network-based designs) occur through local interaction, not at the macro, network-wide level. That is, they take place through one-to-one and small-group exchanges (however extensive the network overall). And this practice already exists in organizations (including rigidly hierarchical ones). It has done so since time immemorial. It’s just that the activity has always taken place informally, in the ‘shadow side’ of the organization. This will always be the case, whatever the formal structure, because it is a natural consequence of the complex social dynamics of human interaction. Most significantly, perhaps, besides informality, these local interactions are also characterized by such things as shifting power relations, inherent political dynamics, issues of identity, and so on – aspects that tend to be ‘designed out’ of all of the models of organizational design.

  11. sourcepov said, on January 6, 2010 at 18:44

    Hi Chris R – Great insights, as well. I think we’re onto the same basic idea here, but using different words.

    If I may, let me attempt to connect the dots –

    The informal ‘shadow-side’ of an organization – resulting from the complex social dynamics of human interaction – is in fact “organizational culture”, is it not? It serves as an overlay to the formal org design, and the two co-exist.

    The idea of ‘designing-out’ (excluding) issues of politics and identity in org design is important to recognize, because as you’ve said Chris, the formal structure – the organization’s operating paradigm, if you will – only tells part of the story, the command and control part, as in who must take direction from whom, leaves the whole fabric of relationships to function (or dys-function) in its own shadowy dimension.

    My current preferred sources on org culture: Schein, Handy, Kotter. Are there others I should note?

    Karen Stephenson’s idea of heterarchy (per a prior Bas post, I believe) talked of the hybrid aspect, as Bas does above. I think the hybrid notion is important.

    In terms of moving forward, I’d prefer a model that takes culture and structural paradigms head-on, and recognizes the informal information flows and relationships as vital. You’d still need to address the context issues I raised (when work is local and 1:1, what constituencies, functions, scope, etc. are being invoked in the transaction?), but it seems our modern tools and desires to collaborate call for just such a dynamic working model.

    I argue the factory-model of organization is a paradigm that needs to shift. As long as there is a ‘wirearchy-like’ hybrid component in the new model, I think we’d be making progress.

  12. Jon Husband said, on January 7, 2010 at 04:20

    In other words, those who advocate a “wirearchy” (or any other –archy, for that matter) are, probably, adopting a systems view of organizational dynamics. One of the taken-for-granted assumptions of that perspective is that the designs will unfold as planned, and that they will deliver the benefits as intended, provided that they are implemented correctly. And this also usually presumes that the new structure will be characterized by rational, collaborative, a-political behaviours, such as those reflected in the definition of “wirearchy” that you cite in your post.

    Interestingly, though, the dynamics that are at the core of the “wirearchy” (and other network-based designs) occur through local interaction, not at the macro, network-wide level. That is, they take place through one-to-one and small-group exchanges (however extensive the network overall). And this practice already exists in organizations (including rigidly hierarchical ones). It has done so since time immemorial. It’s just that the activity has always taken place informally, in the ‘shadow side’ of the organization. This will always be the case, whatever the formal structure, because it is a natural consequence of the complex social dynamics of human interaction. Most significantly, perhaps, besides informality, these local interactions are also characterized by such things as shifting power relations, inherent political dynamics, issues of identity, and so on – aspects that tend to be ‘designed out’ of all of the models of organizational design.

    This is spot on, IMHO.

    Karen Stephenson’s idea of heterarchy (per a prior Bas post, I believe) talked of the hybrid aspect, as Bas does above. I think the hybrid notion is important.

    In terms of moving forward, I’d prefer a model that takes culture and structural paradigms head-on, and recognizes the informal information flows and relationships as vital. You’d still need to address the context issues I raised (when work is local and 1:1, what constituencies, functions, scope, etc. are being invoked in the transaction?), but it seems our modern tools and desires to collaborate call for just such a dynamic working model.

    So is this.

    A key ‘feature’ of this concept and my thinking of / in it over the years is that is not a recipe, embedded into rules and methodologies (such as exist for organizational hierarchies, what with job evaluation, remuneration philosophies, objectives-setting processes, etc. These are sold as solutions and state-of-the-art methods by the big consulting firms).

    That fundamental, paradigmatic change is necessary (and perhaps inevitable) is signaled by all the big–name high profile thinkers (Hamel, Mintzberg, Ackoff, Drucker, Handy, Lawler, Bennis, Block, Weisbord, Senge, etc., etc.) calling for innovation, usually in the direction of people–purpose-and-knowledge centric structures and processes that are much more effective under various degrees of self-direction and self-management by work groups, teams, and the individuals who are members of these groups and teams.

    As an aside, and for what it’s worth, I think ‘wirearchy’ is somewhat more accessible and practical as a concept (based on the working definition) than is heterarchy, which I think is somewhat more academic when thinking about and working with the “archy” of working and living in a ‘wired’ world.

    But I would think that, wouldn’t I😉 Probably just professional jealousy on my part, though ;-(

  13. Bas Reus said, on January 8, 2010 at 15:38

    Chris, that’s a very fine contribution! Spot on, as Jon already mentioned.

    The practices already exist in organizations … because it is a natural consequence of the complex social dynamics of human interaction.

    I couldn’t agree more. Do you also think that in many organizations that natural human behavior is being controlled too much? That the freedom to act more like you preferred to do is under-valuated, or sometimes even dis-encouraged? That that ‘culture’ prohibits collaboration and innovation? And employee happiness? I mean, when employees get more freedom to do things they are not primarily hired for, that it will strengthen the informal decentralized connections and the organization will benefit from that?

    I know this can sound way to naive…. but I am curious to your opinions about it.

  14. Chris Rodgers said, on January 9, 2010 at 19:15

    Hi Bas et al,

    I thought I’d respond to Sourcepov’s, Jon’s and your own remarks in relation to my earlier comment. Thanks for further stimulating my ‘little grey cells’!

    First, I want to stress that my original comment attempts to describe my view of the underlying, “complex social process” dynamics of organizations. From this perspective, outcomes emerge from the widespread interplay of the everyday, ‘local’ conversations and interactions, through which people make sense of the world and decide how they are going to act. This is going on simultaneously in all organizations, of course; whether these are commercial, public-sector, voluntary, domestic, or whatever. And many of those conversations will ‘cross-pollinate’.

    Crucially, the above description of organizational dynamics is ‘value-neutral’. By that I mean that these same dynamics apply whether the management philosophy is one of top-down ‘command and control’ or widespread empowerment and collaboration; whether the organization is structured along rigid hierarchical lines or as a much more fluid ‘network’; and whether individual managers are highly respected or held in contempt! Actual outcomes still emerge from local conversational interaction. The content, meaning and outcomes will be different in each case but the underlying process will be the same. And so, irrespective of organizational structure, it is here – in the ongoing interactions that comprise everyday organizational life – where I feel that managers need to focus their attention.

    In contrast to the above, my comment appears to have been interpreted as a call for a ‘better’ organizational form; one that is characterized by a range of positive attributes, such as openness, collaboration, innovation, self-management, ‘balance’ between the formal and informal, and so on. That is not what I’m saying. I’m arguing instead that a manager’s primary focus should be on the everyday sensemaking process (in all of its ‘messiness’), through which outcomes actually emerge. This also recognizes that ‘real’ (as opposed to idealized) organizations will always be characterized by conflict as well as collaboration; covert behaviour and self-interest as well as openness and shared interest; conformity as well as innovation; and so on – all expressed through local interaction.

    The challenge of change similarly becomes one of seeking to shift the patterns and content of local conversations, rather than focusing primarily on changing the formal strategies, structures and procedures. The ‘paradigm shift’ I am arguing for, therefore, is towards one that views organizations from a (complex social) “process” perspective rather than a “systems” one. Ralph Stacey is the most well-known proponent of this general position, as reflected in his view of organizations as complex responsive processes.

    Finally, Sourcepov, you ask about “culture” and its link to what I called the “shadow side” of the organization. From an informal coalitions perspective, it’s important not to think of culture as a ‘thing’ that an organization ‘possesses’. The same applies to the notion of the “shadow side” of an organization; so Ralph Stacey’s reference to “shadow themes” emerging in conversation is probably more congruent with what I meant to convey. Such themes will relate to any of those issues that affect the dynamics of an organization but which are not spoken about in its formal arenas or written about in its official documents. These will reflect such dynamics as power relations, political agendas and interactions, social relationships, personal idiosyncrasies, covert working arrangements, ‘mixed messages’, taken-for-granted (cultural) assumptions, and so on. Informal coalitions, which I see as the origin of all change in organizations, themselves originate through people’s covert support for particular shadow themes,. These surface as formal propositions only when a sufficiently powerful coalition of support has been built around them. So, as in the main discussion above, it’s what happens in the give-and-take of everyday conversational interaction that will determine how these shadow themes fare and whether or not they eventually enter the formal, ‘legitimate’ arenas of the organization.

    Consistent with this view of organizational dynamics, I see organizational ‘culture’ as the ongoing process of shared meaning making. The more that people make sense of issues, events, managers’ words and actions, etc in a particular way (through their local interactions with others) the more likely they are to continue making sense of these and related experiences in similar ways in the future. That is, the ‘patterns’ of past sensemaking tend to ‘channel’ ongoing sensemaking, imperceptibly, down familiar ‘pathways’. The possibility of change is always present; but the tendency is for established patterns to be sustained, as a result of the reflexive nature of this conversational process. Also, since these conversations are always ‘local’, the patterning process is fragmentary rather than identical throughout the organization. It is likely that there will be some overlap, of course, as people interact with different people; and some consistent themes may come to dominate many of the local exchanges. But the idea of a unitary ‘culture’, which is often reflected in management texts, consultants’ offerings and organizations’ own literature, makes no sense at all from this perspective.

    Finally, it follows from the above description of ‘organizational culture’ that ‘it’ can’t be designed and built by management in the ways that Schein, Kotter and even Handy would argue that ‘it’ can.

    Cheers, Chris

  15. Jon Husband said, on January 9, 2010 at 20:10

    Crucially, the above description of organizational dynamics is ‘value-neutral’. By that I mean that these same dynamics apply whether the management philosophy is one of top-down ‘command and control’ or widespread empowerment and collaboration; whether the organization is structured along rigid hierarchical lines or as a much more fluid ‘network’; and whether individual managers are highly respected or held in contempt! Actual outcomes still emerge from local conversational interaction. The content, meaning and outcomes will be different in each case but the underlying process will be the same. And so, irrespective of organizational structure, it is here – in the ongoing interactions that comprise everyday organizational life – where I feel that managers need to focus their attention.

    Yes.

    Consistent with this view of organizational dynamics, I see organizational ‘culture’ as the ongoing process of shared meaning making. The more that people make sense of issues, events, managers’ words and actions, etc in a particular way (through their local interactions with others) the more likely they are to continue making sense of these and related experiences in similar ways in the future. That is, the ‘patterns’ of past sensemaking tend to ‘channel’ ongoing sensemaking, imperceptibly, down familiar ‘pathways’. The possibility of change is always present; but the tendency is for established patterns to be sustained, as a result of the reflexive nature of this conversational process. Also, since these conversations are always ‘local’, the patterning process is fragmentary rather than identical throughout the organization. It is likely that there will be some overlap, of course, as people interact with different people; and some consistent themes may come to dominate many of the local exchanges. But the idea of a unitary ‘culture’, which is often reflected in management texts, consultants’ offerings and organizations’ own literature, makes no sense at all from this perspective.

    Yes.

    I am a Cognitive Edge practitioner, and am working with Dave Snowden on a project or two. I am also busy planning (intro, context setting, questions) a podcast with Dave Snowden in which I will ask him to interpret and explore with me what ‘wirearchy’ means as an emerging organizational principle in the networked era. Or, even if there is a new emerging organizaing principle. He knows his stuff, so I expect it to be fairly interesting.

    If any of you want to contribute to my planning: what questions do you feel I should ask him ?

  16. Jon Husband said, on January 9, 2010 at 20:16

    Given the deep knowledge available through you folks in this this comments thread, I’d really appreciate any feedback any of you care to offer about this blog essay I wrote a year + ago, wherein I offer a slightly-nuanced disagreement to Gary Hamel’s recent claim that there has been no real innovation in management for quite a while. BTW, I agree with him, but believe that there is innovation that has happened and is available, it’s just not framed as ‘management’. It would be framing the active practical use(s) of OD principles as a management framework for getting things done in networks😉

    Will Enterprise 2.0 Drive Management Innovation ?

    If any of you care to offer feedback, it will be warmly accepted and appreciated (and not to worry, after 25 years of consulting, I have a decently thick skin😉

  17. sourcepov said, on January 9, 2010 at 22:32

    That’s a great idea, Jon, what a chance to advance our collective thinking. Here are my current open questions at this point. Feel free to consoliate or adapt to fit w/ the flow of your discussion –

    Scope Boundaries & Applications:

    1 – Does ‘wirearchy’ have application in the large scale (corporate enterprise, government) org context, or is it more likely to emerge and thrive among self-organizing (grass-roots) groups in public domains?

    2 – Is the ‘matrix organization’ an example of a hybrid org (due to vertical and horizontal elements) or simply a blending of two hierarchies?

    3 – Since large scale organizations are not self-organizing by definition; can their point-in-time sub-groups (eg. task forces, skunk works, tiger teams) self-organize, and still be considered a component of the parent org, and thus, qualify as ‘hybrid’? It’s somewhat a question of semantics, but perhaps important to bound our research.

    4 – For practical purposes, can we view ‘wirearchy’ as the networked portion of K.Stephenson’s ‘heterarchy’ model? (again, some semantics, but I’m seeking to understand where these models stop and start; also useful to know if Stephenson’s ideas of gatekeeper, traffic cop, etc. can be inherited .. ).

    Cultural Implications:

    5 – What can be learned from the positive/negative effects of culture in design of hybrid orgs?

    6 – Can org culture be harnessed or guided through the use of more effective org solutions like wirearchy, or do the dynamics of human behavior that drive culture in orgs fundamentally resist any structural controls?

    7 – What aspects of silos in hierarchies survive when hybrid solutions are introduced? Would elements of ‘command and control’ cultures still exist, or are such modes of interaction fundamentally at odds with the hybrid/networked design?

    Prior to the podcast, would be great to further fine tune our questions via more comments from the group (Jon, Bas, others). If we can collectively enhance or reshape questions beforehand, by all means, let’s invest the cycles –

    Thanks for the energy on this –

  18. Bas Reus said, on January 11, 2010 at 10:47

    Great comments again! Chris R., again a very well articulated reasoning. Jon, thanks for allowing us to pose some questions. I would love to learn form answers given by Dave Snowden. Please keep us posted about it. Management methods clearly lag behind our changing behavior in organizations. What follows what? Human interaction is not bounded by hierarchies or other -archies. While not in organizations, we are facing personal goals, local goals and global goals as well. The difference between all contexts is somewhat diminishing.

    In addition to sourcePOV (great questions), I would suggest the following for the podcast (when will it take place?):

    Referring to my questions in my blog post:
    – How do we reach the tipping point of organizing in a different way?
    – What is needed (apart from the infrastructure, which is there), and who is needed?
    – Which organizations will set the trend, if needed at all?
    – How can organizations change to a more decentralized structure, like a wirearchy?

    Other questions that might be interesting:
    – In what is wirearchy fundamentally different from hierarchy?
    – How can we make these kind of organizing structures more a reality?
    – What are the greatest challenges and pitfalls regarding wirearchies?
    – Do we have to consider property (copyleft/copyright) issues?
    – How is governance different in a wirearchy?

    Thanks.

  19. […] modes of organization, I have come along a few already on this blog. In a comment on my earlier post on wirearchy, I already mentioned the concept of panarchy. Heterarchy, wierarchy and panarchy, all […]

  20. […] type of scaling, as Bas Reus shows us, might appear as heterarchy, a wirearchy, or some other networked structure that resembles nothing like the traditional organizational […]

  21. Nura said, on December 20, 2015 at 10:45

    You wrote quite a while ago and I apologize for the delay in rponsndieg. My sense of working with young professionals is that there is business in that area, but that it looks a bit different from working with high level executives. Cost plays a role, as does perceived need in an environment where they have less influence. When they are involved, they dig in deeply and are interested in growing, learning, and setting a vision for life and work. There are two models I’ve seen work the first is as part of a broader program sponsored by an organization or a number of organizations; the second is individual work, with a significant group component to it, often culminating with an intensive or in-person experience. Of course, there are individuals who are interested, whose organizations are willing to pay (or can afford it on their own), and choose to work with a coach. Most of my work at this point has been through organizations working with professionals internally, rather than independent consulting with individuals. Would love to hear what you’re finding.


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