AltanaESP Glossary

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Approved 24 October, 2020 @ 6:39pm by Jan Viljoen (version: 5)

Self-organizing Networks

The Third Wave, Future Shock… waves of change? Isn't it high time for the human species to Self-Organize for the greater good of all mankind? Ain't prevention much better than cure?
A number of birds scanning the environment for opportunities to better sustain the flock.

A Self-Organizing network, is a network where some form of synchronized, coordinated, cooperative and co-creative structures spontaneously arise out of the many interactions between different, but related, components of a seemingly disorganized or chaotic series of events, situations or circumstances.

A self-organizing network initiates, develops and effectively manifest as a result of seemingly “random” fluctuating and adaptable interactions taking place and sourcing from a continuous, honest and open feedback (i.e. transparency, so to speak) for its eventual successful manifestation, establishment and maintenance (also see Placing the Stones Principle) .

As a rule there are plenty of examples of abundant highly successful manifested self-organizing networks and systems in all of creation (i.e. nature), with a few exceptions here and there. However - generally - in case of the “capitalistic egocentric-driven” human species, the rule focus being 'everyone for himself & the devil for the rest', only tolerate a few struggling and suffocating spontaneous self-organizing networks, which are mainly concentrated around chaos, catastrophes, calamities, adversities and disasters. An extremely saddening state of affairs, but… an undeniable reality.


In addition to a predominantly required supporting Oryx-attitude, the success of any self-organizing network is dependent on a collective vision, mission, value and legacy statements; which could accommodate and accountably fuse with the many diverse and unique visions, missions, values and legacy (i.e. aspirations) of each network contributing individual.

The latter, forms the sturdy foundation and serve as a solid base for the realization of the concept or idea that “the whole is much greater than the sum of its different parts” which - in turn - is a distinctive characteristic of any successful self-organizing network.

A school of fish spontaneously and collectively self-organizing to meet the challenge of surviving the onslaught of overpowering predators.


Self-organizing Networks - generally speaking - are exceptionally robustplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigRobust Clarified

The term robust implies that there are sufficient resources to an individual's disposal, allowing him/her to successfully address and overcome the many challenges that s/he is facing daily, particularly future shock confrontations.

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In essence, robust
and enable each network participant to successfully survive…

  1. a variety of difficulties,
  2. effectively deal with various permutation or transformations,
  3. are able to efficiently “self-repair” substantial “damage” caused by unexpected or unforeseen problems (i.e. a crisis) and
  4. able to productively deal with a succession of rapid changes.

Self-organizing Networks doesn't imply that agents (e.g. participating individuals) unconditionally do whatever they wish to do, whenever they want to do it. Nor does it imply that individuals unconditionally engineer standalone activities as they see fit. It merely implies that leadersplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigFor example... parents, managers, teachers, supervisors, ...etc. commit themselves to guide and facilitate the evolving transformation of actions, behaviours and interactions that spontaneously emerge from from independent and self-sustaining agents… instead of specifying and rigidly predefine in advance what is regarded as effective actions, prescribe what behaviours should be like and/or the definition of being competent.

Thus, a self-organizing network is characterized by… taking up individual responsibility within the parameters and demarcations of group (i.e. community) accountabilityplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigAccountability

Many people view accountability and responsibility as the same thing, leading to many misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. The dictionary meaning - in short - of responsibility is “the state of being held as the cause of something that needs to be set right
and initiating self-organizing activities, which is responsibly calibrated to successfully meet and collectively overcome a specific challenge, obstacle, problem, crisis or issue to obtain objectives and achieve goals.

A school of fish collectively construct a different looking structure/shape to confuse predators and to significantly improve the survival of each individual member.


An observable and very important property of self-organizing networks is, when left alone and not forced into a “predefined or selfish or unwiseplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigUnwise direction implies an ignorance or the disregarding of needed individualization and customization's as required by the context of the situation, circumstances or series of events. ” direction, generally becomes more organized, more structured, more productive and more efficient to meet and conquer the many challenges of change (i.e. a problem, obstacle, issue or crisis). Well established and self-sustainable self-organizing networks are inclined to…

  • …magnify every effort. By creating cooperative and co-creative interactions and outcomes out of all proportions… to the original effort it actually takes. The synergy of a “close-knit” group or team is quite remarkable, especially when everybody strives towards the same collective objectives and ultimate goals. When cooperating in this manner, the end result is sure to be astounding.
  • …opens countless channels. In a complex and rapid changing world, relevant information collected at the right time, is power. No single person could be aware of everything that's happening, taking place or developing. One individual, simply, cannot “see” more than a few of the many opportunities and possibilities that is available “out there”, nor can s/he sense all the lurking problems and threats that might possibly effect the performance of a family, company, school, organization, team, department, …etc. A well established self-organizing network, becomes the active conduit that keeps everybody in touch. It makes many people the “eyes and ears” of the network and exponentially increase data-gathering resources and greatly speed up the process of collecting, digesting, sifting and weighing new facts, ideas, views, opinions, possibilities and alternatives.
  • …triggers innovation. In a constant and rapid changing world (especially the workplace), continued “self-renewal & repair” is critical. The speed and complex nature of present day changes, often make products, skills, technology, services and ideas obsolete… literally, almost overnight. However, self-organizing networks, actively promotes new ideas and establish a climate for innovation. It makes it safe for individuals to think and entertain the unthinkable, and to try the impossible. It advocates creativity, which in turn encourage people to explore and try new things, to change or adapt their present action models, to embrace the challenges of change and to empower themselves by means of acquiring specialist knowledge.
  • …turn an organization and the place of work into a viable ecosystem. Organizations, and by implication, the workplace, develops as a symbiosis between many diverse skills and competencies, which naturally creates diverse teams that are flexible enough to easily adapt to new events, situations or circumstances and able to quickly form needed “partnerships” with other teams, departments, companies, customers, organizations …and even competitors - when necessary - to successfully deal with either change, a problem, obstacles, a crisis or with the catastrophic residue of future shock.
  • …establish a community of professionals and specialists. A work environmental culture gradually emerges as a healthy collection of many individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a greater purposeplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigFor example... an organization's vision, mission, objectives and goals. This inspires people to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers (via feedbacks & recognitions) and also become “community–and-organization–aware”, by accepting and applying the principle of individual responsibility within the parameters of family, group, organization, society and/or company accountabilityplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigAccountability

    Many people view accountability and responsibility as the same thing, leading to many misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. The dictionary meaning - in short - of responsibility is “the state of being held as the cause of something that needs to be set right
  • …restore leadership and establish management as a service. Management merely sets a future direction by means of a compounded strategic, tactical and operational vision and mission statement, and accompanied by an earnest commitment to “make-available” the needed resources that individuals might need to get the job done. This effectively “pushes” decision making and responsibilities downwards, allowing individual teams (i.e. departments) to formulate their own rules in sync to the overarching e.g. family, company, organization or institution's vision and mission statements. Management only intervenes in activities, operations, processes and procedures in the case of possible derailments, a crisis, emergency or when leadership is required to sustain a healthy cooperative and co-creative climate.
  • …treat people as contributing peers. Every person, participating in the network, is treated as a key “component” in the “team”. For example… excellence is expected everywhere in the network, from cleaning services, the loading dock, the laboratory, reception and all the way “up to” the boardroom. As a result, individuals at all levels are compelled to accept and take charge of their own actions, accept responsibility for their behaviours and contribute to the overall success of the company, department, team, organization and/or institutions.
  • …“productive” participation and loyalty, sourcing from a collective vision. People are inspired to see a better and brighter future and how they all can be a part of it. As a result, individuals work more dedicatedly, because they truly believe in the family, organization or company’s goalsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigI.e. vision, mission, value and legacy statements., find purpose in, genuinely enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards of success… equally and proportionally.
  • …regard change as an opportunity for growth. Change is primarily handled as an inevitable part of life. There is an acute realization, that future success is only possible when everyone embrace new ideas and new ways of conducting business, to troubleshoot or to solve problems.
  • …use technology for empowerment. Using technology is a way to free the human spirit to become more creative, cooperative, to build better relationships and establish healthy interactions. Supportive systems (e.g. the AltanaESP System) is consistently adapted and tweaked to provide the tools and mechanisms (such as online interactivity, iPad’s mobility, web phones and tablets) that people could put to good use… and, actually want to make use of.
  • …transform work into having fun. Work - despite dogmatic beliefs to the contrary - should inherently be enjoyable and fulfilling. Therefore, the most important function of leadership (i.e. management) is to place individuals in jobs and functions, that can and will make them truly happy and allows them to grow and develop as an unique individual.

The real power of accomplishing something, lies in the independent, but collective efforts of many individual agents.

attitudes/selforgnetwrk.txt · Last modified: 24 October, 2020 @ 6:38pm by Jan Viljoen