December 8, 2016

21C Org Design


How would conceive the design of a 21C organization based on the new realities of our highly dynamic, connected and participative world?  Or, as Jon Husband puts it so eloquently in his definition of “Wirearchy”,  how would you create “a dynamic two-way flow of power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technology”. This is what we came up with.

The first step was a conceptual capture of “spaces” that make up the “whole” of the organization (they contain everything that is part of it) – for Sceenius this was the Experience Space (where our expeditions take place), the Production Studio (where the magic is created) and the Business Lounge (where we anticipate new magic and new relationships). You can further break spaces down into subspaces and begin to approximate it with people (or roles) that will work closely within these spaces.

The next step is to create a structure around these spaces. The obvious one here is a holonic structure, although the conceptual space is more akin to overlapping Venn diagrams (which helps to see overlapping roles). But it’s close enough, so that we can begin formulating what is part of the structure and what is not. We used Nestr ( for this exercise and for now it provides a raw shell which we will begin to populate with people, roles and tasks over time. The structure reminded me of the Recursive Structure that I posted about in 2013 [1], maybe it will come close to it.

The bottom layer is tactical, this is where all the action takes place from inside the previously defined spaces and holonic structure. We are using Ryver   ( to provide us with a work chat/activity stream that maps nicely to the previous spaces and subspaces. Don’t create too many channels (or forums in Ryver’s tool) as this tends to fragment your activity and posts cannot be followed easily. Instead, use a single stream that is categorized into the main spaces and refined using an evolving folksonomy (using #tags).