A New Kind of Business

First pages of our ConstitutionWe believe that an organization is a social network of people who work together for a shared purpose. There is something these stakeholders wish to pursue together, otherwise they wouldn’t get together to do work.

But having a common goal, and doing some work, does not imply creating a traditional organizational structure.

Organizations are usually formed using a hierarchical design, with directors, departments, superiors, and subordinates.


A complex system is more than the sum of its parts, and the “extra” stuff is distributed over the system. It cannot be attributed to any single authoritative part.

– Kevin Kelly, Out of Control

Assuming that organizations are indeed social networks, it makes more sense to create a network design with distributed governance. It is more natural and more common for complex systems not to have a central authority. Of course, some rules have to be agreed upon by all participants in the social network. But there are other ways of creating constraints and defining boundaries. For example, one idea is to implement management of a networked organization with a Constitution.

Today is the day we implement that plan.

We have a name. We have a purpose. And now we have a…
Constitution – Version 1.0 – February 2013

Let’s get started!

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This article is written by Jurgen Appelo on February 25th 2013.

You can connect with Jurgen Appelo in Google+.