Stars Aligning, Ice Breaking

Jon Ramer had a great line this morning that really struck a chord. He said he felt like the stars were aligning and the ice was breaking. It’s a beautiful metaphor, because it describes in a nutshell what needs to happen in order for a self-organizing system to be successful. Catalyzing collaboration in a community consists of removing obstacles and prodding the system. In the end, however, your success still depends on whether or not the stars are aligned.    (KO4)

A lot of politicians saw Howard Dean‘s successful use of the Internet in 2004 and tried to replicate it with limited success. Similarly, a lot of organizations install Wikis thinking they’re going to have the next Wikipedia, or they Open Source their software, thinking they’re going to have the next Apache. It’s okay to think big, but it’s also important to recognize what you can and can’t control.    (KO5)

You can’t organize self-organization. Those who try are doomed to failure. Successfully catalyzing large-scale emergence requires understanding this fact and managing expectations accordingly.    (KO6)

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