Core Assumptions of Wirearchy

The following was provided by Jon Husband in July 2016 as background to our conversations on Structure & Flow.

  1. Knowledge is power
  2. Knowledge has since at least 0 A.D. Been « arranged » vertically – more and deeper knowledge belongs « higher up ». God (the holder and font of all knowledge), delegates to the archangels; This leads eventually to the concept of the Divine Right of Kings.
  3. Clan and tribal leaders, kings and queens, and (today) corporate and governmental executives are presumed to be the holders of knowledge, the anointed ones.
  4. The printing press was a big shift, but did not change the core assumptions. Power wants to remain in power (book burnings, etc.), but the printing press arguably played a significant rôle in « ending » feudalism (over many years)
  5. This set of assumptions has been « optimised » and codified during the last 75 years into methods for organizing activities, business models and other areas of human activities where some form of organization is necessary.
  6. Thus, knowledge is presumed and expected to be deployed / used top down, from decision through evaluation to execution. Hence the organizational pyramid and the term « command and control », etc.
  7. The primary work design and organizational design methods systematically reflect this core assumption. It is promarily expressed in organizational design methds such as job evaluation, setting of remuneration practices, jobn titling, etc.
  8. Very few people know of, or question, this methodology, and it is the spinal column and vertebrae of an organization. Knowledge is arranged and deployed top-down, and status, identity and power are derived from the level at which one operates. Pay practices and evaluation of on-th- job performance are derived from this arrangement.
  9. Computers, hyperlinks, networks and collaborative platforms « toss these assumptions up in the air, so to speak.
  10. Are conditions now (and from now on) different? You bet they are.

For more information, contact the content author, Jon Husband, via twitter.

Content (c) 2016 Jon Husband, published with permission of the author, 7/18/16.

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