We need new words to represent the new reality. The netarchy is the natural organizational structure for innovation in collaborative, open and transparent networks based on trust and the added value of people; organizations that allow us to give a collective response-the only possible, to the new challenges we face.
The progressive breakdown between citizens and extractive elites in power in many of our institutions and political parties in an arbitrary and personalistic way, are jeopardizing the values and principles on which we have made the welfare state and our coexistence during the last years. The more we cling to the hierarchies of traditional power, the more we move away from the enormous possibilities offered by the new era of collaboration to create new organizations truly people-centered, transparent, agile and flexible, where we can truly give the best of ourselves creating economic and social value sustainably.
Reality shows us every day that the hierarchy has a high cost in terms of values, transparency, initiative, creativity and commitment. And since the basic logic such as power- machine he tends to patronage rewarding loyalty, while overestimating the legacy and previous experiences at the expense of innovation and adaptability to new challenges.
Hierarchical structures are failing in their attempts to adjust to a new, more global, complex and uncertain reality. Necessarily we have to rethink how we want our organizations in the future. All indications are that highly hierarchical and bureaucratic structures can not adapt. It is increasingly clear that we need new organizational models for the coordination of collective efforts.
The netarchy is here
“The elites and the dominant structures will be overtaken by new social movements, which based its legitimacy on transparency and trust.” Manuel Castells (2002)
The electoral results of the recent European elections have shown that social netarchy, in the form of new mobilizations and political parties as we, constitutes a specific new social order prevailing in our network society era. This social netarchy emerges as a result of new horizontal social relations and global communication between citizens, who not only express their frustration, they have begun to move from the reality of their daily problems: health, evictions, education, etc. . They have finally begun to be interested in politics and participate in it actively occupying the streets, making opposition and seeking collective and solidarity to the various problems whose solution so far left in the hands of government responses.
The tension of citizens has resulted in a clear disaffection, and this has led to social netarchy, political mobilization to seek solutions to their problems collectively.
Citizens have discovered their power to change everything. Social networking has forever changed the way of doing politics; the social web as a medium for the dissemination of new ideas has a powerful multiplier and as a collaborative platform allows coordination of political action without traditional party structures. And it is this direct involvement of citizens in political action the great hope for the regeneration of our political system.
The new media have the potential to radically transform our organizations based on their own values of social web collaboration, authenticity and transparency. Our young people do not understand the closed and opaque structures of existing institutions and political parties, and wonder, not without reason, why not coordinate the collective effort based on more transparent and open to participation structures as they themselves use every day on the Social Web. For any of our institutions, including the monarchy, the risk of not doing so is becoming irrelevant in the not too distant future.
The Netarchy Manifesto is a list of ten critical challenges facing our organizations are finding this new balance. Each point of the manifesto draws attention to a specific challenge of the new era of collaboration.
1. More purpose, less rhetoric
In most organizations the reality of their values are not up to their rhetoric. We say one thing and do another. Most companies claim that people are their greatest asset, but the truth is that its primary concern is to maximize shareholder wealth, something unacceptable if we want to mobilize human energy. Young people today want to make your work life that has meaning.
The problem is not in what we say as managers, but in what we do. We talk about giving more autonomy to people, but decisions are taking them a few; We talk to flatten hierarchies, but we have not changed its power structures; We talk about giving more transparency to our organizations, but decisions are still opaque. It is evident that the real problem is not what our leaders say, but in what they do.
2. More cooperation, less competition
Collaboration has become the key to go one step further in the level of productivity of our organizations. It is through collaboration as we implement new forms of work, the breakdown of vertical silos and new ways of relating with customers. So much so that, today, an organization can only be truly competitive if it takes full advantage of the tools and models to the Age of Collaboration provides us.
New media and accompanying mental models allow us to approach customers in a different way and helps us to strengthen internal communication of the organization; It facilitates us to strengthen relationships and commitment to find and retain the talent we need.
Open innovation can only flourish in netarchies organizations based on trust and a high level of transparency between all actors involved.
3. More emergency, less planning
Disruptive to the current environment, experimentation is the new schedule. The real strategy in organizations is not something that is planned, but emerges as a result of experimentation and the search for alternatives in a future that is already here.
And the deliberate planning up to the leaders to set goals and develop plans and strategies to achieve 3-5 years, the emerging strategy arises from every link of the company. The emerging strategy is oriented to respond to change, experiment and achieve the best results with the means available. It requires the company to continuously generate a wide range of hypotheses, test them based on minimum viable projects, scaling the most successful experiments and discard the failed experiments. The emerging strategy is no strategy for prediction, discovery strategy.
3. More trust, less control
Administrative control styles command reinforce the power struggles and an overall culture of paranoia, and although they are designed to ensure a high level of compliance and predictability cost is very high in terms of autonomy, creativity and commitment of the people who form the organization.
The command and control systems reflect a huge mistrust of commitment and skills of employees. The collaboration can only thrive in an environment of trust and transparency, these values are essential to connect people emotionally with the organization.
The lack of confidence and fear paralyzes demoralized. Adaptability, innovation and commitment require a work environment where information is shared, the diversity of opinions can be expressed freely become courageous behavior questions and willing to take risks is promoted.
In the netarchy control is performed based on the transparency of individual contributions and the evaluation other network members make your own contributions.
4. More innovation, less fear
In this new context, we can not base our strategies on a mere continuous innovation of our products and services to ensure their competitiveness in the market. And not only about defending our position in the market; Today it is equally important to explore new opportunities, experience and expand into new markets.
The innovation process always carries a dose of improvisation, so it is important that the organization tolerated, especially during the early stages of ideation and prototyping. It is also important to have creative people, but once the persistent struggle to make things happen despite the internal resistance. It is important to be fault tolerant and emergency work by creating the environment that enables new experiences occur naturally instead of trying to plan and control every step of the process.
One of the great advantages of the netarchy as natural architecture for innovation, is that it tends naturally, as markets allocate resources according to their capabilities and actual motivations, so that people end up in positions of greater contribution to the organization.
5. More influence, less power
The need to prepare for a digitized world has highlighted the need for new leadership models. In the Age of Collaboration the new role of the leader as a social architect will find the necessary balance between the needs of organizational productivity and purpose needs of people.
This new type of leadership is exercised on the basis of influence, authenticity, personal credibility and the added value that the leader brings to the community, and not the ability to accumulate positional power.
The netarchy is directed by real leaders, people with ability to energize and expand the community rather than manage it from above, which requires a great capacity for personal credibility to connect with the collective intelligence of the organization, mobilizing and coordinating human efforts.
6. More community, less borders
The Social Web enables us to participate, create and learn collaboratively in open and trust-based structures. The boundaries of our organizations are becoming liquid. Decision processes must be free of bias, and should take advantage of the collective knowledge of the entire organization.
Functional “silos” do not add value to the organizations and the traditional organizational pyramid should be complemented by an emerging netarchy where the status and influence correspond to the added value and contribution to the community. New business models increasingly rely on informal networking, collaboration in mass production and ecosystems that cross organizational boundaries.
7. More transparency, less opacity
The Age of Collaboration is grinding at an accelerated rate, and forever, the curtain has always hidden the reality of organizations from public view. However, there are still few companies willing to accept and manage this new scrutiny. For most, transparency is a costly and disruptive element that threatens its survival.
Transparency is a new force that is unfolding, now, profound changes in all areas; changes that will ultimately affect the future viability of all organizations so.
The netarchy has found us a crucial aspect: the validity of our reputation and value proposition of our organizations is “just a click away” as never before, customers and users of our services, which can reach a decision, positive or negative, instantly.
8. More dialogue, less enforcement
“The market are conversations”. This phrase, repeated endlessly by hundreds of converts, and that is the basis for understanding how customers are changing, still sounds new to many organizations. Customers want to talk to real people, with face and eyes that really represent organizations, not that they shout in my ears as it does traditional advertising.
In a netarchy we can all participate actively in discussions with our colleagues, our customers, and our suppliers. Only then will we know what to do and what to stop doing; what new products and services our customers demand; and what kind of organizations should be designed to attract and retain new digital talent. It is these conversations that allow us to develop collective intelligence and create economic and social value.
10. More netarchy, less hierarchy
The social web does not show every day as the media make it possible to coordinate human effort without sacrificing creativity and passion of the people. And at the same time make it possible to open new organizations where ideas can compete on equal terms, people can contribute in areas that interest them, the authority is consistent with the value that brings to the organization and leadership and innovation is everyone’s job.
While the hierarchy has the scalability to our organizations, the cost has been high in terms of initiative and creativity. Today, thanks to social technologies there is an alternative: the netarchy.
Every day new organizations can scale without a hierarchical and centralized monitoring management arise in the Social Web. New social technologies allow us to address the great complexity without hierarchical structures, which makes us think that in the not too distant future we will be able to overcome the historical paradox of management between control and confidence. We will be able to build scalable and efficient organizations without incurring the high cost of centralized bureaucracies.
Prepare our organizations to address the future needs to provide them with very similar attributes to the ones we see every day in the social web. The netarchy as emerging new order in our organizations is not based on the power and authority of the formal hierarchy, but in the relations of participation and activity streams that naturally arise in social collaboration networks, based on the added value of people, authenticity and trust.
The netarchy as a complementary structure to the hierarchy and not necessarily exclusive, makes possible new frameworks for contribution in organizations, not necessarily linked to positions of power and authority in the organization, but to the credibility and value of people. The netarchy if incompatible with the arbitrary and personalistic use of power, and the use that many people have made the bureaucracy for its own benefit. These abuses destroy value, create unfair organizations and demotivate people.
In fact, I think most of the conflicts between netarchy and hierarchy arise in the line that separates those who want to preserve the privileges and power of the extractive elites, those who aspire to build a less power-oriented world, more fair, equitable and sustainable.
This is the real border between netarchy and hierarchy. Which side are you on?