Posted by & filed under Connections.

Jon Husband defines “wirearchy” as “a dynamic two-way flow of power and authority based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology.”

To give meaning to the definition go to his website and read – What Is Wirearchy ?

I’m copying the headings and subheadings as bullet points to give you a quick idea of the scope:

  • Interconnected information flows generates a new emergent organizing principle
    • Knowledge.  Trust.  Credibility.  A focus on results.
  • The elements that generate social and economic value
  • What Wirearchy Means For You As a Leader
  • As a Manager
  • As an Employee
  • As a Citizen
  • Responding to the Conditions of Wirearchy
  • Architectural Considerations (Technology and Social)
  • Dialogue – Purpose, Meaning and Values
  • Participative Planning for Complexity
  • Strategic Conversations and Workshops
  • Participative Work Design – Fluidity, Responsiveness, Mass Customization of Work
  • Knowledge Management
  • Team Work, Team Building
  • Emotional Intelligence, Coaching
  • Collaborative Technology Platforms
  • E-learning (increasing Informal or Social Learning)
  • Talent Management
  • The Fundamental Sociology of Networked Knowledge Work

Why wirearchy matters to me

I’m excited and relieved to find the wonderful word “wirearchy”, and the clear description of what it means. My spirits soared when I read Jon Husband’s words. His explanations fit with my experience. I immediately felt that here was someone I could talk to about the ideas and vision I’ve been developing during years of online collaborations.

On his website – wirearchy – he describes the realities and practicalities of the social environment where I’ve been living and exploring and helping things to emerge since 2000. He would know that my UK-Africa collaborative work isn’t primarily about the technology, or helping a specific project in a specific location, it’s about prototyping models of collaboration, and understanding how we live our lives in a connected world.

It’s not the technology

I’ve struggled for years to explain the reality of my experiences of using the Internet for practical UK-Africa collaborative work, as well as for personal learning and co-creation of knowledge.and

Jon Husband’s writing is the first work I’ve seen that can help me to explain my reality. For example he understands that it’s not about the technology, it’s about the relationships that the technology enables. He says

“… wirearchy is about the power and effectiveness of people working together through connection and collaboration”

In the section on “The Fundamental Sociology of Networked Knowledge Work” he says (my italics):

An adult-to-adult model (rather than parent-child) is emerging and is based on the fundamental of what was known as Transactional Analysis, developed in the 1970′s.

This is the heart of the matter.  Adult people do not want to be slaves, chattel, or treated as if children needing ongoing guidance.

In an interconnected world, we will all need to take responsibility for why and what it is that we do, and we will perforce do this in a context of co-creation with other people.

That is a beautiful way to frame all that I have struggled to share regarding my work compared to traditional top-down approaches in the fields of International Development, Distance Education, and ICT4D (Information and Communication Technology for Development).

Thank you Jon Husband for this wonderful word. I look forward to thinking and sharing more about the realities of my wirearchical world.