Wirearchy as Leadership Concept

Over the last several years, I have taught Technology and Leadership in Creighton University‘s interdisciplinary doctorate program. This program brings students with backgrounds in business, education, healthcare and non-profits together to explore issues in an interdisciplinary way. My premise in designing the course is that leaders today operate in an unprecedented environment. In the past, information was related to power – those with information had the power, and the further up the organization hierarchy one was, the more information (and power) one had. In the past decade – due almost entirely due to the rapid global adoption of the internet, organizational power dymanics have shifted to an environment in which every employee (student, patient, client) has access through web devices to all the knowledge of the world. For background, I had my students explore multiple works, including Tom Friedman‘s The World is Flat, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, David Weinberger‘s Too Big to Know, Harold Jarche‘s Personal Knowledge Management blog, and Jon Husband‘s Wirearchy blog, among others. Husband’s concept of a wirearchy was particularly relevant.

Husband defined “wirearchy” as a:

“dynamic flow of power and authority, based on information, trust, credibility, and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected technology and people.”

Hugh MacLeod illustrated the basic concept of wirearchy as follows:


Interestingly (on several levels), one of my students recently questioned the efficacy of the wirearchy model, given that it does not appear in Wikipedia!

(…new tag line – if it is not in Wikipedia. it must not be true…)

Given that the concept continues to resonate with me … and given the fact that I have admonished my students and colleagues for years that if you find a fault in Wikipedia – FIX IT! … I worked with Jon Husband to add a draft entry to Wikipedia. Please “peer-review” my initial draft … and make it better.

{Graphic: GapingVoid}



3 thoughts on “Wirearchy as Leadership Concept

  1. Thanks, Enoch! It has been an interesting process…with an initial rejection and then a new draft that has since been edited several times. Yet, I fully believe in the power behind the process!

  2. Finally we return to the flattened curve of hierarchy, higher arch. Finally qualities are what is needed. Grateful for the times we have arrived in. Sovereignty and skills. Namaste.

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