In my first attempt at video blogging I talk about self-organisation, which is a property of complex adaptive systems and explains how organisation and order can arise spontaneously. In self-organisation, individual entities form structures based upon simple, inherent properties that govern their interactions. For example, human social systems all operate under various guidelines such as morals and values, which automatically guide behaviour to a certain direction. No central controller, or a top-down leader, is needed for such an organisation to arise. (1, 2)
What this means in essence is that behaviour can be directed with guidelines and principles. Absence of rigid, formal and functional processes leads to self-organisation according to the stated principles – assuming that people forming the organisation share common goals and behavioural rules, which create enough structure to prevent the organisation from falling apart. This is a vastly more adaptive and antifragile approach than the rigid structures common in functional organisations.
In this example I show how self-organisation worked in practice when I arranged a racquetball (or squash, to be precise) tournament for a group of friends, and how it compares to a commonly used rigid “playoff” structure.
(1) Drazin, R., & Sandelands, L. (1992). Autogenesis: A Perspective on the Process of Organizing. Organization Science, Vol. 3, No. 2, 230-249.
(2) Anderson, Philip (1999). Complexity Theory and Organization Science. Organization Science, Vol. 10, No. 3, 216-232.
Wheatley, Margaret J. (2006). Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. San Francisco: Berret-Koehler Publishers, 3rd edition.