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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