Wirearchy not hierarchy

by Adrian Segar

Wirearchy? What’s that? Here’s organizational learning consultant Harold Jarche:

If you are convinced that your future workplace should look more like a Wirearchy, (a dynamic two-way flow of power and authority based on, knowledge, trust, credibility, a focus on results; enabled by interconnected people and technology) then the best thing you can do now is prepare.

  • Prepare yourself to be a continuous learner.
  • Prepare yourself and your team/department to work collaboratively.
  • Start narrating your work.
  • Become a knowledge curator and share widely.
  • Engage in professional social networks and communities of practice.
  • Model the behaviours you would like to see in others.

—Harold Jarche: The Revolution Starts Within

These days, this is excellent advice for anyone concerned about job security. As Seth Godin reminds us in a great video: We don’t have a shortage of factory workers anymore.

Furthermore, I believe our conferences should become wirearchies too: places where communication and learning is two-way, where presenters and attendees alike are continuous learners who work collaboratively during the event, and where we engage with our professional community rather than passively sit and listen. I work to model these behaviors—both at the events I organize and those I attend. We’ll all get a lot more out of our events when we practice wirearchy, not hierarchy.  I encourage you to join me.

Photo attribution: Flickr user tanakawho

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Conferences That Work is one of the best books ever written on new generation of organising meetings and conferences. It is brilliant, very well organised and easy to read as well as being really enjoyable. This book, not only helped me during my studies, but also is helping me for my professional life to organise better events. I cannot wait to prove anyone who still would like to stick to traditional conferences that they need to adapt to the changes and innovate.

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