Self-organization is the real operating system

Here are quotes of Daniel Mezick from an email to the World wide Open Space Technology email list March 20, 2015. (My emphasis in bold.)

Harrison you once said recently:

The real operating system is self-organization, Daniel. Everything else is an app. Open Space included!”

I’ve just recently integrated this idea more fully into my thinking. I must admit it has taken ”some time.”

That said, my current belief is: most organizations are at a very low level of development and can use/typically need the ”app” of Open Space…and/or the ”app” of Scrum… and/or the ”app” of Sociocracy, what have you.

I think [facilitation] does fit nicely as a kind of component or ”widget” in each ”app” (facilitation being part of OST, Scrum, Kanban) …all of which run on the real OS of self-organization.

So these are all self-org ”apps.” The ”f” word does after all has the connotation of: ”making it easy.”

Daniel Mezick continues writing the following in an email March 22, 2015.

My current belief is that self-organization is what actually scales, not some app. Not some ”framework.” Now, if folks are compelled to ”do it the way I say”, or ”do this framework like I tell you…” …..how does positive self-organization happen again?

Because… truth be told, I do not see how any kind of Agile stuff can scale FOR REAL without creating the fertile conditions for self-organization to go enterprise-wide. Thousands of people. Isn’t self-organization what ACTUALLY scales?

Because…well…. I have simply never seen it done any other way.

I’ve never seen it done by forcing stuff on people without their consent, without invitation. And I’ve never seen it done with inviting the folks affected to express what they think and feel about ”the solution we are using”…

I think Harrison Owen and Daniel Mezick are right. The follow-up question then is: What can we do to enable and sustain company-wide self-organization? My search continues…

Related posts:
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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