Part of the series of notes describing why I do what I do and what it is that is being done. This is transcribed from notes taken during a solo meal.
In a basic way, what I've been trying to do since I was a system administrator at an ISP in the mid 90s is create technologies (tools and processes) which allow and encourage information empowerment: Being empowered as a result of having information.
The idea is simple and egalitarian: If people, any people, have access to information about a context they can participate in that context in a meaningful and postive way.
This implies a responsibility: All the participants in the context must be creating external, relevant and lasting artifacts.
They must write.
So that others can read.
And write again.
These contexts are not just open by default but also inspectable and discoverable by default.
(In such a context only those things which actually are secret should be secret. Individual artifacts should be protected, not an entire corpus. This is actually safer because such artifacts are far less vulnerable to errors of transmission: the artifact protects itself.)
Artifacts which are easy to access and granular to access are more amenable to action and composition by partners and potential partners than vast documents. Though not everyone will participate everyone can.
The motivated self select to participate.
We can conclude that if we want autonomous team forming, then we must have transparent information availability. People find one another via information.
Traditional management filters information for safety and control. Effective management filters information for feedback and guidance. Leadership is responsible feedback.
In a progressive information environment, communication (the creation and distribution of information artifacts) is a primary responsibility, never overhead. Being an effective reader, writer and information tool user is critical. A refusal to read or write is not acceptable. Voice is not a suitable substitute for the lasting artifact of writing. Voice is not only selfish (because of its locality in time and space) it also prevents reflective response.
Voice, of course, has its places, especially for brainstorming, but those not present in time or space must be remembered. Persistent artifacts must emerge.
The progressive information environment encourages innovation because people are able to learn a great deal about the environment. This includes, importantly, the existence, nature and accessibility of problems. Problems anyone can help to solve because they are visible.
Arrogating perfection, passing the buck, hiding from reality (common behaviors in the command and control environment) stifles, with relentless gravity, the natural tendency of anyone to want to improve their environment. Transparent information is honest, open and inviting about opportunities for improvement. Accessible information recognizes that expertise can be found anywhere.