Welcome to the Self-Organisation Primer!


This primer provides an introduction to self-organisation/self-management. 

It introduces the idea that the conventional command & control management hierarchy is no longer fit for purpose in many organisations; and that two different patterns of organising are emerging; a flatter more collaborative approach and a distributed more agile approach. Then we take a more detailed look at how this looks in the culture of conventional hierarchies, more collaborative and more agile approaches. 

We then take an interactive tour of self-management which introduces some more key concepts and then whether to adopt a system or create your own approach with some examples of real practice and suggestions of how to go about doing it. The last part introduces a model which can support people to work together more effectively in these ways- called Conscious Collaboration and provides a diagnostic tool to help you identify where your organisation currently is in relation to these 3 patterns of organisation and where you want to be going. 


Part 1: 3 min video on introduction to Self-Organisation Beyond Hierarchy
Part 2: 12 min video on Creating Culture in a hierarchy, with a more collaborative approach and how it looks when it’s done in a more agile way
Part 3: 45 min interactive introductory tour to self-management
Part 4: Introduction to Conscious Collaboration workbook & diagnostic


Introducing 3 Patterns of Organisation (3 mins)

Traditionally, many of us are used to being in hierarchies, with the boss at the top, but times are changing and we are seeing a paradigm shift in how people organise. There are now needs and desires to work in different ways together, and people are starting to self-organise beyond hierarchy; but many of us don’t know how to do this. Some people are working with a more collaborative approach, set of values and flatter structures, while others have a more dynamic, agile and evolutionary approach, while others just create a fuzzy mess!

This short video introduces these three patterns which are then described in more detail in the 6 episodes of this series.


3 Cultural Patterns (12 mins)

Each organisation has its own particular culture; its like a unique personality!
Organisational culture is influenced by many things: values, power structures, personalities, assumptions, unspoken norms... And it has a massive influence on how effective an organisation can be.
This episode explores how culture is created and worked with using a conventional hierarchy and then how it looks using two methods of self-organisation beyond hierarchy: more collaborative and agile approaches.


Interactive Tour (approx 45 mins)

Take this virtual, narrated tour to get introduced to the key ideas and principles of self-organisation; whether to adopt a system or create your own approach with some examples of real practice and suggestions of how to go about doing it. 

Clicking on an area will take you into it with a brief explanation of that area and you can navigate your way around the canvas at your lesuire. 


Introduction to Conscious Collaboration Workbook & Diagnostic

The management hierarchy which so many of us are used to, has taught us to take for granted how many things work in organisations: such as how decisions are made, how conflict is addressed, how meetings are run, how purpose is decided, how organisational learning happens to name but a few...
When self-organising beyond hierarchy people need to collaborate to figure these things out in ways which are different than we are used to. This workbook:
  • introduces a model of Conscious Collaboration
  • describes these 6 areas of group/organisational life which need to be attended to for self-organisation to be healthy
  • shows how many organisations are a messy mix of some hierarchy, some collaborative approaches and some more agile approaches
  • provides a diagnostic tool to identify where your organisation is for each of the 6 areas of group/organsiational life in relation to the three patterns of organisation
  • summarises your learning and next steps from this Self-Organisation Primer.
These resources are offered through trusting the gift economy and are not created or sponsored by a big company or wealthy individual; it’s how I sustain myself and my family. If you have received value, you can reciprocate here to balance the exchange and fund future resources. Even a small payment of £25-50  (€/$30-60) makes a difference. Thank you.

(It will show as a donation to Evolving Organisation Ltd).