Can Things Actually Get Done Through Self-Organization?

Self-organization is how natural systems get things done. From social insects to social movements, people have self-organized into the most amazing new realities. Many of us have witnessed the dance of thousands of birds swarming at high speeds into every variation of patterns possible, each new pattern emerging instantaneously and instantly with nothing but impeccable communication and zero hierarchy of command and control. No one ever gets lost or in accidents with others. It's seamless flow from self-organization.

Self-organization emerges from simple shared rules supporting self-organized learning, working and collaborating. The rules show up along the lines, for example:

  • Do something everyone finds interesting and/or important
  • Create something everyone contributes to
  • Keep communication open, transparent and accurate

In each case, no one assumes or struggles for an imbalance of responsibility or power. People used to telling others what to do do none of that, and instead can help facilitate the process.

The power of self-organization is that it can get done things that could never happen in a leader-dependent group.