After having read the book Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work I have started to think about the similarities and differences between wirearchy and sociocracy.
The first thing I notice is that wirearchy is an organizational design principle 1 while sociocracy, or rather the Sociocratic Circle-Organization Method, is a collaborative governance method 2. What I also can see is that sociocracy, as a method, supports some of wirearchy’s pillars, most notably trust 3 and the focus on results 4. One of the core values in sociocracy is transparency 5, which of course helps building trust. And the valuing of action, decisiveness, effectiveness, and focus 6 in sociocracy certainly supports the focus on results. The furthest distribution of all authority 7 in wirearchy is also well supported by the consent decision-making in sociocracy 8. I see some support for wirearchy’s credibility 9 in sociocracy – primarily through the use of the team’s collective intelligence 10 in the consent-decision making – but I don’t see any active questioning of ALL assumptions 11 in sociocracy. Assumptions behind decisions can of course be questioned in the consent decision-making, but it’s difficult to get a deeper understanding of the assumptions underlying the sociocratic principles. I have made an attempt in my article on the phenomenology (or way of seeing) in sociocracy. I have also questioned one of sociocracy’s assumptions in this post. What is clear is that the technical bias 12 is strong in sociocracy.
I wonder how a governance method would look like which fully supports the wirearchy organizing principle? It would be a wirecracy! And it would be descriptive, rather than prescriptive.
1 Jon Husband et al., The Wirearchy Commons, Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work, pp. 5, 8–9, 23, 25, 43, 62.
2 What Is Sociocracy and Why Do You Need it? (Accessed March 5, 2016)
3 Jon Husband et al., The Wirearchy Commons, Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work, pp. 5, 17–18, 26.
4 Ibid., pp. 6, 9.
5 Values and Sociocracy (Accessed March 5, 2016).
7 Jon Husband et al., The Wirearchy Commons, Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work, p. 6.
8 Principles and Practices of Sociocracy. (Accessed March 5, 2016)
9 Jon Husband et al., The Wirearchy Commons, Wirearchy: Sketches for the Future of Work, p. 5.
12 Gerard Endenburg, Sociocracy: As social design, (Eburon,1998), p. 5.