• Gupta’s Law of Network Politics

    by  • April 5, 2009 • Personal • 3 Comments

    In a networked environment, the person who knows what to do next is in charge.

    Because, in a networked environment, everybody can propose action. Hierarchies using the network experience dissonance at the point where the feed coming off the network proposes a better plan than the feed coming off the hierarchy. There’s a counterlaw about facilitator / moderator power that I haven’t codified.

    What’s interesting is that people slide in and out of the role of “knowing what to do next.” The next question is medical, the doctor steps in, the one after that is logistical, and the heavy traveller is now the person who knows what to do next. The situation creates the leadership.

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    About

    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.

    http://hexayurt.com/plan

    3 Responses to Gupta’s Law of Network Politics

    1. A student of history
      April 5, 2009 at 11:40 am

      “Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or engineer. For such or such special knowledge I appl to such or such a savant. But I allow neither the bootmaker not the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure.”

      “Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination.”

      I’ve said it before, and I say it again: There are no new possibilities and no new thoughts that arise from our new technologies. See if you can guess whose words these are. Hint(s): He died in 1876.

    2. happyseaurchin
      April 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

      emergent leadership:

      “Most people think leadership is a function of will, and in some ways this is true. Those determined enough get things done, even in difficult situations, and in particular, against the flow of social current. But rather than people being in positions of power paying for others to follow their directives, if we all start on the same footing, surely we can elevate those who seem to have the clearest projections? That is, leaders emerge by people following. That is, people follow, and leaders emerge. Sounds counter-intuitive. Could work though.

      If we get it right, leaders emerge from a collective not through any form of competitive politicking, but because of their insight and skills and wisdom. If we use Pulse well, we will discover those whose ascriptions prove to be accurate retrospectively. Unlike when people are employed because of their history of successes (cf Why Collaboration Fail), anyone can write a description of a future goal, and as time passes and the objective becomes closer, we find that certain individuals happen to have a better bead on things, greater insight perhaps, a greater ability to synthesise meaning, or are just plain lucky, even if they are a school child. Their finger just happens to be on the pulse. And as the objective looms large, so the intuitive decisions made by such an individual may influence the entire collective — but only if they are in prominent positions of leadership (cf Collective Decisions). And this can only happen if we have a system that is designed to make us sensitive enough to empower such individuals, relative to each and every objective/task (cf Confluence Model).

      We could apply the interpretation that Everything is Self-Organised, and say that all leaders are emergent. No leader got to where they are because of anything other than the acceptance by others. They may have used force, but that force was acceded to. Certain peoples of the world, like the people of Massada in the middle east were faced with the inevitability of Roman victory and their subsequent subjugation, they all committed suicide. That is, they did not allow themselves to be coerced forcefully. With this perspective, every leader has been chosen, has emerged out of the local conditions in which they found themselves. If this is true, it is simply a matter of being careful about who we allow to rise to become leaders.

      Do we accede to bullying and extortion, are we giving into fear and insecurity, or are we elevating through inspiration, not only to benefit ourselves but us all? Are the highest values of being human acclaimed, our virtues brought out in us? Do we want leaders who think less of us, who minimise our potential, or shall we empower those who think better of us, who forgive our foibles and inspire idealistic efforts? Perhaps it depends on the task before us: a long, hard slog might require our whipping ourselves into shape, while a pleasant opportunity might invite a sweeter, more melodious seduction.

      We do not need to seek our leaders; they have already shared their vision.”

      from pulse at http://stores.lulu.com/happyseaurchin

      [am i boring you with these comments?
      since you don't seem to respond to them
      and i have no idea if they are useful
      in any way
      hence i have here demonstrated that
      yes
      we share similar think-space
      and hence
      it might be useful for us to make use of each other
      rather than each of us go out an invent the different parts of the wheel

      would save us a lot of time if we share
      in fact
      i believe it is essential]

    3. April 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm

      Did you ever see this :

      http://intra.som.umass.edu/zacharias/833/thompson%20structure%20of%20complex%20orgns.pdf

      I like J.D. Thompson’s quote about synthetic organizations that spontaneously form to handle emergencies.

      Initial efforts at disaster recovery occur whenever resources and an obvious need or use for them occur simultaneously. At this point there is not a highly organized effort; instead there is a series of efforts, each isolated from the others. In a relatively short time, usually, two things happen to change this situation and bring about a synthetic organization :

      * Uncommitted resources arrive, with those who possess them seeking places to use them, and

      * Information regarding need for additional resources begins to circulate.

      When knowledge of need and resources coincide at a point in space, the *headquarters* of a synthetic organization have been established.

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