Could Free Be An Organization?

by Jay Deragon on 03/18/2008

Could Free Be An Organization?When we look at the old models of business we see “organizations” built around a hierarchy of people, processes and power.

Sure there are products and services as an output of the business and there is capital to fuel an “organization’s” efforts aimed at gaining more capital but the three “P’s” are the foundational elements of any business. Agree?

We’ve seen theories of business shift over time as globalization sparks more competition and technology fuels innovation but the three fundamental elements remain the same. We’re witnessing the era of the knowledge worker, the “free economy”, the networked world and social media with the collective influence re-engineering business as usual and everyone’s thinking everywhere.

The people are discovering a new process whose power is fueled by the velocity of connections and the capital gained by free. The capital of “free” begets more free capital in the form of “thought leadership”, knowledge throughputs and attraction which dispenses further free capital at the click of a mouse. The power of all this “free and abundant capital” lies in its organization or as we see it today as disorganization. Agree?

Is the Output of “Free Abundant Capital” Creations?

Stephen Collins writes: As the economy of abundance shifts commoditisable products towards zero, the businesses and individuals that will ride out the wave are those that have something more to add – their creativity, their knowledge, their talent, the value in the relationships that they can offer. It’s the very model on which acidlabs operates as a business. I have no product that (as my Great-Uncle Jack used to say) “you can see, feel, or poke a stick at.” Everything that I have to offer is non-commoditisable and held as tacit knowledge within my head.

Sure, I can create things with that tacit value – workshops, presentations, documents and the like. But they aren’t a product. They are outputs. Creations.

We are consumed everyday with learning all the new creations around us. The Spring season is upon us and the earth puts forth new creations that surround us, just look outside. Today’s web environment is like Spring renewed everyday, new creations abound and if you don’t see them you’re not looking in the right “places“. The new creations on the web are embedded in the conversational rivers of those on the fringes, those thinking anew and those facilitating new markets with their thoughts and actions. These people are making what was previously impossible possible and sharing and creating the possibilities freely.

Who are these People and What is the Process?

Luis Suarez, Scott Gavin, Stowe Boyd, Tara Hunt and Chris Messina, Dr Andrew McAfee, Euan Semple, Seth Godin, Justin Herald, Guy Kawasaki, Scott Allen, Jack McFee, Doc Searls, Kevin Kelly, Steve Collins to name a few and a host, or network, of others, one to one to millions. They are also the millions of others that follow the thoughts of a few and create the momentum for the many and they do so freely. Just like a hot product or service brought to market by the old business models, the thoughts and subsequent creations of those on the fringes of creativity, get consumed quickly by the market of free.

The process is one of influence facilitated by connectivity. Check out any of those previously mentioned and see just how vast an audience they reach, how well they are connected and how many follow and how many follow those that follow. The collective number is in the millions and if all of this were organized into a company it would be the largest company in the world, Free Inc.

So Free Inc. creates and abundance of “free capital” but how could Free Inc. organize and create economic gains for the participants? After all “Free Inc.” doesn’t get free airfare, free phones, free food, free utilities, free clothes and Comcast, and others, don’t allow free connectivity. Free Inc. has employees whose families are dependent on them to bring home the bacon.

We will address the possibilities in future post this week. Stay tuned. Stay connected and lead, follow or get out of the way of Free!

What say you? Agree?

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