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Organizing with Networks, Teams, Self-organizing and Empowerment 2012 ORGANIZING WITH NETWORKS, TEAMS, SELF ORGANIZING AND EMPOWERMENT Written by Kaj Voetmann, Networks and teams have become central in the way we organize ourselves inside and between organizations. With Kurt Lewin’s idea that there is nothing as useful as a good theory, it is remarkable that both the concept of networks and the concept of teams often are defined very implicit and seldom are used consistently. In this article I will address some of the reasons creating this situation. The main reason is that we in the western hemisphere is in the middle of something Peter Senge calls Galilean shifts, where our traditional worldview no longer is sufficient to explain phenomena like networks and teams. Peter Senge identifies three major Galilean shifts: 1. THE PRIMACY OF THE WHOLE. The defining characteristic of a system is that it cannot be understood as a function of its isolated components. First, the behavior of the system doesn't depend on what each part is doing but on how each part is interacting with the rest. Second, to understand a system we need to understand how it fits into the larger system of which it is a part. Third, and most important, what we call the parts need not be taken as primary. In fact, how we define the parts is fundamentally a matter of perspective and purpose, not intrinsic in the nature of the "real thing" we are looking at. 2. THE COMMUNITY NATURE OF THE SELF. When somebody asks us to talk about ourselves, we talk about family, work, academic background, sports affiliations, etc. The self is not a thing, but a 1 Author: Kaj Voetmann,

Organizing with Networks, Teams, Self Organizing and Empowerment

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