The current emphasis in business management is leader-centric and envisions leaders in hierarchical relationships with the managers and staff below them responding to their directives, drawing much of its inspiration from military models. The shift entailed by the social venture / enterprise model is towards an enabling team-centric approach and the cultivation of ‘leader-full’ working environments via a culture that encourages and fosters participation. Concepts exploring crowd-wisdom indicate that in most instances groups outperform experts when appropriately facilitated. To borrow from the language of the Gaian sciences, this is achieved through the emergence of autopoetic solutions where the team literally forms itself (autopoesis) and then loosens the bonds (solutio) which prevent it from fully adapting to its environment. The concept and approach of facilitation as distinct from management also encourages ‘flatter’ organisational structures less prone to the problems of strongly hierarchical models with big vertical gaps existing internally between strategists and those on the ground. Facilitators are also less inclined to attempt to push teams forward, preferring instead to motivationally pull them towards the realisation of shared outcomes. The concept of leaders as it applies to those individuals or entities that break new ground in any given arena may similarly be replaced using the language of ‘innovation’. The advantage of the concept of an innovator in this regard, as opposed to a leader, is that it is again less hierarchical and fosters an open culture of social participation rather than one of competition. The process can be summarised thus:

Choice = accountability = increased responsibility = increased innovation

 

Dr Jimi Wollumbin

Chief Entrepreneurial Officer

One Health Organisation

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