Buckminster Fuller: "You never change things by fighting the existing
reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing
Many people have asked me to provide more background on the models
I discuss to validate the Titania concept of non-coercive, non-bureaucratic,
small group based organizations. I recently spoke at the Libertopia
convention in San Diego where Foster Gamble (Thrive producer), Bob Podolsky
(creator of the Titania project) and I gave a panel presentation promoting
Here is a link to my preface to Podolsky's book, "Flourish" which
describes the mechanics of creating the model which, I believe, Fuller
envisioned when he made the statement above.
The books I recommend are "Birth of the Chaordic Age" by
Dee Hock and both "Maverick" and "Seven Day Weekend" by Ricardo Semler. Googling Hock and Visa brings
up some good articles about Hock's philosophy. I found some good articles
and interviews on Gore and Semco by googling, some of which I have
I think that the answer to how we transition from coercive structures
to non-coercive models that Foster Gamble discusses in "Thrive" is
fairly straightforward. The more quickly we all start to operate
according to the Principles laid out in "Flourish" by
Bob Podolski, the quicker the transition will take place.
The more we understand how successful these past (and present)
corporate and governmental bottom up models were the more incentive
we will have to create octologues and adopt the Titania bill of
ethics in our lives. The success we will achieve in all of our
activities will attract others until we reach a tipping point. When
that happens the non-coercive structures will fall away as people
simply stop participating in them.
If you have not read "Flourish" yet by Bob Podolski
I would recommend obtaining a copy right away. All of this other
material will have more significance once you have a more complete
understanding of the Titania project. You can order the book here:
Information on octologue workshops, the panel at Libertopia with
Foster Gamble, and my preface to Flourish can be found here:
Podolski's mentor was John David Garcia and his book "Creative
Transformation" is where you can read more about the fascinating
background on Octologues, ethics,value of female/male balance, etc.
This is the source book for much of what the Titania project is
about. The book is on line:
INFO ON SEMLER:
"Semco is bucking not only the traditional business model, we’re
resisting a code of behavior at the very core of Western culture. No
wonder our ideals are hard for outsiders and other companies to
embrace." Ricardo Semler
interview with Ricardo Semler, excellent:
Here is a good example of the co-op structure which has become
increasingly popular. It implements many of the these principles.
South Mountain Company from Martha's Vineyard; http://www.southmountain.com/
INFO ON GORE:
A Team-Based, Flat Lattice Organization
How we work at Gore sets us apart. Since Bill Gore founded the
company in 1958, Gore has been a team-based, flat lattice organization
that fosters personal initiative. There are no traditional organizational
charts, no chains of command, nor predetermined channels of communication.
Instead, we communicate directly with each other and are accountable
to fellow members of our multi-disciplined teams. We encourage
hands-on innovation, involving those closest to a project in decision
making. Teams organize around opportunities and leaders emerge.
This unique kind of corporate structure has proven to be a significant
contributor to associate satisfaction and retention.
We work hard at maximizing individual potential, maintaining
an emphasis on product integrity, and cultivating an environment
where creativity can flourish. A fundamental belief in our people
and their abilities continues to be the key to our success.
How does all this happen? Associates (not employees) are hired
for general work areas. With the guidance of their sponsors (not
bosses) and a growing understanding of opportunities and team
objectives, associates commit to projects that match their skills.
All of this takes place in an environment that combines freedom
with cooperation and autonomy with synergy.
Everyone can earn the credibility to define and drive projects.
Sponsors help associates chart a course in the organization that
will offer personal fulfillment while maximizing their contribution
to the enterprise. Leaders may be appointed, but are defined by
'followership.' More often, leaders emerge naturally by demonstrating
special knowledge, skill, or experience that advances a business
Associates adhere to four basic guiding principles articulated
by Bill Gore:
Fairness to each other and everyone with whom we come in
Freedom to encourage, help, and allow other associates
to grow in knowledge, skill, and scope of responsibility
The ability to make one's own commitments and keep them
Consultation with other associates before undertaking actions
that could impact the reputation of the company
To learn more about the Gore culture and working at Gore, visit
the Careers section
of Gore's website.
|What makes Gore so
To encourage innovation at
the maker of Gore-Tex fabrics,
Elixir guitar strings, and Glide
dental floss, there are no bosses,
job titles, or organization
charts, just sponsors, team
members, and leaders.