Chris Hardie, who works for Automattic, shares his observations on where the power in a distributed organization comes from, versus the traditional one.
In an office setting, I see power and influence gather around…
The person with the newest, coolest and/or most expensive clothing
The person with the larger corner office
The person with the most assistants
The person with the most impressive sounding title
The person with the closest parking space
The oldest, richest, whitest males
The person who’s allowed to create or interrupt meetings
The person with the most impressive social and public-speaking skills
The person who uses their power to get what they want
In a distributed organization, I see power and influence gather around…
The person who produces output and solutions that exceed expectations
The person who can connect deeply with colleagues over a distance
The person who can effectively and concisely articulate their own views and ideas
The person who helps their coworkers be the best versions of themselves
The person generous with their understanding of how to navigate the organization’s processes and culture
The person who can give voice to unrecognized or unspoken truths
The person who learns fastest from their mistakes
The person who uses their power to empower others
It’s of course not fair to generalize this way. There are healthy traditional organizations where appearances are not necessarily the basis for power. There are probably unhealthy distributed organizations where power centers around the appearance of lots of activity that produces few good outcomes. But my experience so far is that a distributed organizational structure inherently facilitates an experience of power, empowerment and leadership that is better for the people in it, and for the work they are doing together.
I don’t have much experience working for a distributed organization, but judging by many Open Source projects, which are, in essence, distributed organizations, I’m inclined to agree with the above observations. I wouldn’t be able to put in words so well though.
This is one of those things that I love about the Internet. When you are wrong, the Internet doesn’t just gently mention it. It absolutely destroys you, shoving the reality so hard down your throat, you forget how to breath for a while. And then, next time, if you haven’t killed yourself yet, you think long and hard before saying anything out loud. If you have a half a brain or more, of course.
For those of you not fortunate enough to live in Cyprus, here is a glimpse at how Easter (and other major holidays like … Sundays) are celebrated in Cyprus villages.
The photo comes from this article (in Greek) which (to the best of my knowledge) tries to warn people about buying meat from non-certified butchers. Well, guess what, all certified butchers were probably emptied out anyway.
Google’s autocomplete function provides suggestions derived from common Google searches by other users. Comparing autocomplete results for searches on different countries reveals how certain places are perceived by people around the World.
Make sure to scroll through the original article for continental breakdowns.
I’m thinking these stats are somewhat off due to language variations (not everybody searches in English).