A wiki to inspire next-
generation organizations
Participation and Governance

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Participation

Anyone who feels drawn to wiki’s purpose, who resonates with the charter and wants to participate is welcome.

People participate as individuals, not as organizations (although organizations, say a think-tank or a network of consultants, that decide to support the wiki are of course welcome. They can encourage their members to contribute their skills and energy, and donate financial resources).

Contributors to the wiki do so in specific roles. A person can fill several roles in parallel. These roles are governed by the governance process explained below.


Governance

The wiki is not run along a traditional management model. There is no hierarchy, no board. It is run as a self-managing entity of people wanting to contribute. For the time being, the wiki has no legal form. There is no company or no foundation behind it (perhaps this that might change if the need for a form should arise)

There are 5 processes that the group of contributors decide to adhere to, allowing the group to operate in a self-managing fashion:

Role appointment process

After the wikithon is over, any person can propose him or herself for any role (see role descriptions).

People who want to be contribute as content editors or language editors can simply go and get busy, after introducing themselves on the Facebook group of the wiki. No appointment process for these two roles.

For all other roles, the appointment process remains the same. The person nominating him/herself writes to all other group members in the Facebook group:

  • why he/she wants to contribute in that role
  • what skills he/she brings
  • what support he/she requests
  • and what commitment in the role he/she can make.

Based on the comments and questions to that post (which are the advice from the group in the advice process), one person in the group will take the lead and confirm the person in the role (or not, and then explain why)

(If it is ever needed to revoke someone from an existing role, this happens through another person starting a conflict resolution process)

Advice process

Any decision gets made using the advice process. The advice process states that anyone can make any decision, provided he/she has sought advice from 1) people with expertise and 2) people who will be meaningfully affected by the decision

Typically, the bigger the decision, the more people need to be consulted. For a small decision (making an edit) no-one needs to be consulted. For important decisions, perhaps all contributors need to be consulted. This is best done by posting the proposed decision with request for advice on the Facebook group of the wiki. In some extremely important cases, perhaps a panel of users should be drawn in too.

After listening carefully to the advice, the person takes the best decision in his/her opinion, in service to the wiki’s purpose. The decision should not need to be a watered-down compromise, it should represent the best decision based on the collective input received. The decision should be made transparent to everyone who should know about it (for instance, posting the decision again in the Facebook group), with if needed the reasoning behind it.

Conflict resolution process

Any conflict of perspectives, or any personal conflict, can be channeled through a conflict resolution process. The process can have up to 3 steps.

  1. Person A declares the conflict to person B. The two persons meet and person A must expose the conflict and make a request to person B. Person B can agree to the request, or must make a counter-proposal that satisfies person A’s grievance. And so forth until a resolution is reached
  2. If the two persons can’t find a solution, they can ask a third person (C) that they both trust to help out. C can’t impose a decision, simply ask questions and mirror back, possibly give advice
  3. If the conflicting parties still don’t find resolution, they ask a panel of 4 or 5 person to help them. Again the panel cannot impose a solution, simply help the persons try to find a solution.

Celebration process

Any noteworthy intermediary progress as well as major achievement deserves to be celebrated, as well as any significant contribution.

We are all donating our time and skills here, so it’s especially nice to feel others appreciate what we do. And life is too short not to celebrate emoticon

This can happen in many ways. The simplest way is for anyone to post a message on the Facebook and/or a special wiki page, and others to send back messages to congratulate/celebrate. Perhaps we can invent other ways?

Listening process

Is the wiki serving its purpose well? Or does the purpose need updating? Where is the wiki called to go?

We are all invited, collectively to listen. Hopefully, much of the listening happens on an on-going basis, without needing any specific process. We are all gifted sensors, and as different people bring up new ideas, thoughts, criticisms, the wiki will evolve organically to express its deepest creative potential.

That shouldn’t prevent us from taking time, on a regular basis, or when someone feels it is needed, to pause and listen. We can do that using a variety of ways:

  • Listening to wiki users (e.g., via a survey, or interviews)
  • Listening within (using the empty chair)
  • Organizing a group event to surface collective insights and vision