Pre-conditions for self-organization

The following is a quote from Harrison Owen on the World wide Open Space Technology email list October 14, 2014. I have changed the formatting.

”The essential pre-conditions for self-organization are:

  • A Real business issue (something that people really care about).
  • High levels of complexity such that no single person or group has a prayer of figuring it out.
  • High levels of diversity in terms of people and points of view.
  • Lots of passion and conflict.
  • A decision time of yesterday (urgency).

Given these five conditions, self-organization just seems to happen … unless … and this may be the point of the problem … it is arbitrarily constrained … which usually means that somebody already has the plan/program/design and they are just looking for buy-in or (worst case) they are simply trying to sugar coat the pill, and make it seem like the folks are creating something, when in fact the cake is already baked.”

Related posts:
Pre-conditions for self-organization
Self-organization is the real operating system
Emergence is simply what life does
Empowerment is a red herring
Pre-conditions for self-organization
What if the organization is a living system?
Facilitating an Open Space
How to enable and sustain self-organization
TEDxTalk on Open Space Technology

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