OMD/641/Journal rawnotes SO

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Welcome to the Organization Management and Development Page

Featuring Useful OD Resources, Readings & Strategies

Pankaj video on using WikiEducator - self-organizing -


Interestingly I had the same experience when I was in 604 and amazingly the rest of the team self-organized to get the handbook completed. I continue to be impressed with how the Fielding experience comes true in so many of lifes situations. This has truely taught me the folly of trying to over engineer outcomes in my lfie whether they be professional or personal. I think this also speaks to the nature of trust in teams where having a level of positive interdependence among the team members can go a long way in causing the team to self-organize when necessary to get through the turbulence.

  • relationships are energy
  • free as in beer

Success Factors

These factors have been responsible for the development of WikiEducator's culture.... (development of a 'swarm' culture...

This is a community that allows everyone to be a leader (within our ecosystem...or creating theirs...)

  • Community of Association - affiliation, belonging, inclusiveness
    • values - free content (acc. to the rules of free content - CC-BY-SA)
  • Focus on Free Content
    • physical 'constructive' tension
      • watching the evolution / growth of people who are now part of the freedom culture, who were not in the past...
  • Focus on Education - develop free content
    • place for formal / informal
  • Focus on Collaboration
  • Collaboration = Community, even Community of 2
    • Collaboration - which has existed before
      • sharing and collaboration - fundamental nature of human beings...not in human nature to self-destruct....appeals to primeval human nature....
  • Complexity / SO
    • unpredictability
    • strategic catalysts / supports facilitating
    • emergence
    • can't predict the outcome, or even the process but you know it's happening...
  • WE as Ecosystem
    • the community buildts capacity, available 24/7
    • open participation, welcome
  • Use of relevant and appropriate technologies (wiki)
    • supportive technologies
  • No Value Judgment on Content / Culture
    • As a community, we don't make value judgment about the conten in any way - Wayne
      • for example, there are content entries on transgender issues; one of our members is a dolphin hunter, which is culturally-appropriate in his / her context, but perhaps not acceptable in other contexts
  • Transparency
  • "there aren't any closed discussions and decisions are not taken behind closed doors. Everything is out in the open, including past decisions." - Wayne....(referring to the decision to implement Kaltura, collaborative video (noting process from Techtonic Shift Think Tank --> followup --> etc.
    • transparency leads to trust (intangible, but essential)
  • No prescriptive rules
    • Community determines rules - purpose, function, structure, communications


  • building trust
  • Need

"Success factors for Self-Organizing Systems

  • purpose and values underpinning the systems; AND
  • transparency which is an implicit value - of freedom


  • use of English language
  • rests on Cathedral and Bazaar
  • use of bright lights, vs. twilights
  • pioneering spirit, Abisayah (Kaldun)
  • New Zealand, #8 Wire, and self-releiance
  • charisma to people and technical developers - developers and educators
  • change the solution - you also have to create a platform with a different structure and process
  • more complex than it appears - WikiEd success

Other Notes

"WikiEducator's success would have been harder and slower, if not for the success of Wikipedia." - Wayne

    • Building on / noting the reputation of Wikipedia
    • Leveraging relationships with key people involved in Wikipedia; and also working with Wikipedians in general / establishing linkages to work on existing projects (i.e., Learning4Content)

" We don't operate in a vaccuum."

WikiEducator is an ecosystem of, and within, an ecosystem

  • "it is fed and fuelled by other ecosystems. We collaborate with other ecosystems."
  • "WikiEd has been an innovative playground....this has helped developed the mutual relationship of trust between Wikipedia, WMF and ourselves."
  • the internatinal link [of COL] has established legitimacy
  • Trust, Freedom, Transparency, Ecosystem,
  • Affiliation, Inclusiveness, Connectedness
  • Community - what is...

Rules & Guidelines

  • there were no prescriptive rules set up in advance
    • in the beginning, Wayne was adamant about 'no prescriptive log-ins (i.e., where people could contribute without using an identifying name)
    • Wikipedia had a large enough community to manage spam....however, as time wore on, it was too much for Wayne to monitor the spam levels - taking him away from core activities...
  • As a direct result of the spam problem, WE implemented a user registration system...(at present, only aware of three vandal attempts)
  • few explicit rules, several implicit rules
    • Implicit
      • Community roles, development, reputation, trust...

As community grows - moves through next stage - different rules apprpropriate

    • re: governance policy

The Community - WikiEdiquette

  • Everyone is welcome, particularly educators (formal / informal), and those connected in some way to education
  • Some people in the community have more priveliges than others
    • April 10 - 3500 users, 350 active uses 9 admins - ratio of authority 0.25%
  • inappropriate content
    • Wayne or WikiNeighbour leaves a message on the person's user page, or the specific page in question
  • no corporate branding (although free content development with orig. attribution)
    • WikiEd purpose - clear -

  • to develop free content
  • people coming into the community implicitly subscribe to these 'rules' - i.e., free content, transparency, community, no rules (hmm, says randy...that's really interesting...)
    • one of the few large wiki communities that doesn't have a plethora of procedures and policies...(i.e.., thou shall work in the following way....)
  • only policy / guidelines is around Wiki skills certification
  • upcoming focus - governance policy


  • 2 years old
  • self-organizing community
    • no hierarchy or center, but an innate capacity to develop capacity
  • not about 'no organization' but an ability to self-organize
    • best expression of participative democracy vs. representative democracy - Wayne


  • Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
  • Also, the history of the free software movement.