A wiki to inspire next-
generation organizations
Purpose and Characteristic of the Wiki

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Purpose of the wiki

More and more people sense that the current management paradigm is past its due date. In the field, organizations are increasingly experimenting to define a radically more productive, purposeful and soulful way to run organizations. They are dealing with very practical questions: We don’t like the pyramid and the hierarchy, but what decision mechanism can we put in its place to avoid chaos? Rigid budgets feel outdated, but can we do without them? How can we run meetings without politics and ego taking over? What is the right way to compensate people?

It’s time for a WIKI with a distinct entry for each element of management: what organizational structure is the right fit for us? How should we recruit and evaluate ourselves? How do we set targets?

The purpose of the wiki is to provide a practical resource, almost a sort of handbook, for leaders wanting to create radically more productive, soulful and purposeful business and nonprofits, schools and hospitals.

The wiki will always reflect the latest insights from experience, gathered by pioneering organizations, and synthesized through a process that taps into the world’s collective intelligence on the topic.

Why a WIKI?

A WIKI is immensely powerful because it taps into the knowledge and expertise of everyone.

For a leader seeking practical advice, a bewildering collection of case examples (say 30 variations of self-managing structures instead of the pyramid) is hardly useful. A synthesis is needed. Is one of the 30 structures more advanced than the others? Or do the 30 really fall into 3 broad types ? If that is the case, then what contextual elements determine which of the three types makes most sense for a specific organization?

A wiki is a natural tool to support this kind of synthesis.

A wiki that can be embedded with no brand

This wiki originally emerged from the book Reinventing Organizations. But the idea is that the wiki outgrows the book and is collectively owned by anyone feeling attracted to it.

The offer is that any institute, think tank, consultancy etc. can integrate the same wiki content (in other words provide a front end) in the branding of their own website. It’s a great way for these websites to add what might well be the most advanced content on new management practices into their website.

In the back, the content is the same. If someone adds a clever practice in one wiki, it will be updated in the dozens or hundreds of wikis that might show the same content.

This means the wiki itself will have no unique brand of its own. It will truly belong to all the entities who energize it. This is an experiment that might be without precedent. Content that is brand agnostic helps avoid frustrating political discussions about ownership of the wiki or of an overarching organization to run it.

A choice of terms to make the wiki your own

Here is another innovation that might not have a precedent.

When it comes to a field that is just emerging, there isn’t an established language yet. Everyone has their own preference.

For instance, some people like to talk about self-managing organizations. Others about a self-organizing system. Others about a living organization. Or when talking about the paradigm we hope to leave behind, for example: some call it the Industrial paradigm, others the mechanistic paradigm, or the machine paradigm, while still others call it “Orange”. This wiki has made a simple twist to the MediaWiki platform (the one that powers Wikipedia) to allow a number of terms to be adapted to everyone’s preference.

So if you include the wiki on your website (see previous page), you can have a number of terms rendered in your preferred way (say “living organization” where the wiki talks about “self-managing organizations”.

Obviously, this can’t be done for every word, or it will become unmanageable, but it should allow the wiki platform to avoid time-consuming and ultimately pointless discussions. Rather than spending energy debating and fighting about words, let’s simply have everyone use the words that are meaningful to them!

A wiki governed by next level management principles

Whoever wants to contribute insights, skills, time and energy is welcome. The wiki itself is an experiment in next level management governance.

There is no hierarchy, no management team, no board. But there are clear roles, decision-making processes and conflict resolution practices.

In other words, we are putting into practice the very thing the wiki is meant to illuminate. 

In the absence of hierarchy, what is the glue that keeps the people contributing to the wiki to work together productively?

  1. A purpose: “The purpose of the wiki is to provide a practical resource, almost a sort of handbook, for leaders wanting to create radically more productive, soulful and purposeful business and nonprofits, schools and hospitals.”
  2. A founding charter that lays out the core principles of the wiki.
  3. A set of roles, structure and management practices that make for a powerful collaboration.

Creative Commons

All the content of this wiki falls under the Creative Commons license "Attribution" (often abbreviated as CC BY). In the words of the Creative Commons Corporation: 

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as they credit the source for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

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This license allows you, potentially to "fork" the wiki: you can copy the entire content, and then take it into a somewhat different direction, based on your particular domain of interest and outlook (for instance if you want to create a wiki that focuses only on self-management, or a wiki that would focus on start-ups, or on agile methodologies, on schools, on hospitals, etc.). We actively encourage forking: if you have energy to take this wiki into a new direction, most likely there are people out there who would love to read your wiki, so by any means: go for it! Here is more information about forking the wiki.

This Creative Commons license also allows you to translate the wiki into your own language. We would be thrilled if you did. Here is more information about translating the wiki

While it's not a requirement, we would of course be thrilled, whether you fork or translate this wiki, if you also put the wiki you create under the same Creative Commons license.