We take the Copernican Revolution for granted today. Of course the sun is in the centre of the system! Of course we should trust the observations of things as they are rather than the dogma of the authorities!
But most of us are still happy to believe the dogma that our organizations are machines when observation reminds us that they are not.
The machine view - silos - spans of control - reporting lines - job grading - departments - top down - princes and peons - had utility in a simpler world. But now, many of us at work are finding that we have to work around all of this stuff. What project does not involve many departments? In Pub Radio and TV what department does not involve the web or the viewer/audience? Today what effective organization does not work tightly with suppliers and contractors? What really great organization does not work with its customers? Some even work with competitors.
What organization today would not like to cut its costs by 70% and increase its productivity by 100%? But with the current way of organizing - this is impossible.
The traditional org chart works against all of this! None of these results or relationships can be found on the traditional org chart. There are no budget lines that support these relationships. Budgets fight these relationships.
Surely, we are organized to own and to control a simple controllable world that no longer exists. We are organized like a machine in a Networked World.
If we are making the shift to a world that is complex and "Natural" we have to have a organizational model that fits this new reality.
I think that it is clear now that we are making the break that I show above. Just as the Medieval World had to give way to the Modern and changed all its models and its power arrangements, so the Modern World will give way to the Natural World.
How we get our food now - the agribusiness model - shapes every part of how we live, where we live and what we do. Our food model shapes our culture. Our new food model will shape our culture. It will be very different from the world we know now.
As we approach the limits of Agribusiness and Cheap oil, a new way of growing food has emerged. Permaculture uses the designs of nature to grow food in a new way.
You have never heard of Permaculture? Here is a link to a short intro with some helpful pictures of how Permaculture is so different from what we take for granted today.
Permaculture is where people use their knowledge of how Nature works best where they live to facilitate communities of soil, water, plants, insects and animals to work together to produce a lot of food with the minimum of effort by the human.
This is not old fashioned gardening or farming. It looks rustic but it is exceptionally sophisticated in that it is all about how best to learn from nature to help nature give us the maximum that can be sustained by a local system.
What if we could use a formal model based on facilitating natural human ecosystems to bring people together to do work? Could we get the same results that Permaculture gets in the growing of food - where the yield and the sustainability increase over time while the effort and inputs from man decrease?
I am sure that this is possible. In this series I have synthesized the work of many. I will do my best to name them. I have made one original contribution. I think I have seen the whole. Maybe this is the first time that the whole has been seen?
In this series I will cover the following ground:
- What is the model and how did it evolve and what are its roots?
- Being a natural model, it must have existed before, I will show you some examples of its best practices and show how it evolved and where its remnants still survive
- If it is natural it must have math that supports its key relationships - what is this math and what does it mean? We will look at its structural math, how the math of its growth works and at how the math of its value works
- How does Social Media Fit? One of the key principles of Permaculture is to start by observing what is really going on - I will show you what I think Social media is doing to get us to the new place
- The Copernican Revolution unlocked a new period of creativity where humans could solve many problems that had been intractable when controlled by dogma. How may this model help us solve many of our intractable problems today? I will offer a few examples to illustrate the larger point
- How can you use this - you as a person, as a small organization and as a large one? One of the best things about the model is that I am able right away to use it to help me and those that I care for. Anyone can use it and it makes life better immediately
So finally as a teaser, I will show you the model with no commentary yet. But I do add some questions. It is the model evolved by David Holmgren, the co founder of the Permaculture movement. He calls it the Perma Flower.
What does it say about relationships and structure to you. What does it say about how order might be created? What does it say about diversity and how diversity enriches? What does it say about hierarchy?
Can you find out how you and all whom you know fit into this? Can you fit the working reality of your organization into it?
Can you see my favorite natural growth model? What might the petals mean? What are the meanings of the spiral? What happens in the centre? How does time work here? How big or how small might this be?
I look forward to working this out with you