Is your organisation World 1 or World 2?

the birth of controlPeople's reluctance to embrace social media may not result just from difficulty with the tools, but rather from their worldview and how far they like to believe in simple cause and effect, rather than complex interactions.

Two specialists in the use of collaborative methods highlight this. David Gurteen is a knowledge management specialist reflecting on the use of social media. Jack Martin Leith is a long-time expert in the use of Open Space methods for face-to-face events, focussed on co-creation.

David contrasts World 1 and Word 2 view's in a matrix - see below - writing in his latest newsletter.

"We are moving from a world where we were told to do things and where things were structured or planned for us to one where we get to decide what works best for us. We are moving from a mono-culture to a highly diverse ecology.
"We are moving from a simple world to a rich, complex, diverse one. One where power is less centralized and more distributed. We are moving from a command and control world to a world where people can do as they please within the boundaries of responsibility."

Worldviews 1 and 2

Jack Martin Leith wrote on much the same lines in the mid-1990s, and after reading David's article has reposted his here. More about these worldviews at Designing for Civil Society.

If your chief executive and organisation is World 1, expect difficulty in promoting social media. I think that's what is behind We can't do that - and they mustn't do it either.

Update: Anthony Mayfield encourages us to Embrace complexity

It all comes down, yet again to networks, to the online world we're living in. There's no way things aren't going to be complex when the stability, the somewhat misleading simplicity, of mass media and marketing is being blown apart by the reality of life on the web, of living in networks.

When you accept that complexity - massive online networks, a superabundance of stuff, a constantly changing and evolving online world - is not going to settle down soon it all gets a little easier to cope with. When you realise the pace of change in this revolution is not going to slow down anytime soon, you have to start accepting complexity as a fact of life.


Principles. Strong, real, heartfelt principles are what you need to guide you in the networks. You set your direction and head out not knowing what you will find but knowing that you'll have the answers about what's best to do if you keep returning to the principles you set out at the start of your voyage.

Photo credit: DerrickT