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A Seminar explaining the difference between starfish & spiders (decentralized & centralized organisations) and explores whether AIESEC is a starfish or a spider..

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  1. 1. Good Morning AIESECers!
  2. 2. The Starfish & The Spider Seminar By: Bassem Sabry Prepared & Presented by: Bassem Sabry Director, Business Development LightsON Consulting
  3. 3. What reallyMOTIVATES US?
  4. 4. RSA AnimateVIDEO
  5. 5. What’s the hidden powerbehind the success ofWikipedia,craigslist, & Skype?
  6. 6. What FUNDAMENTAL CHOICE General Motorsput& Toyota vastly different paths?
  7. 7. What doeBay &General Electric have in common with the abolitionists and women’s rights movements?
  8. 8. How could winning aSupreme Court Casebe the biggest mistakeMGM could have made?
  9. 9. TODAYas we speakTHE WORLD IS CHANGINGpolitically,economically,environmentally,socially,GLOBALLY.
  10. 10. TODAYas we speakTHE WORLD IS CHANGINGpolitically: anarchy,economically: RBE (resource-based economies),environmentally: sustainabilitysocially: national revolutions,GLOBALLY: Earth 2.0, The Zeitgeist Movement. The Venus project. ANONYMOUS  
  11. 11. TODAYWe’ll be sharing someunexpected answers,gripping stories,and a tapestry ofUnlikelyCONNECTIONS.
  12. 12. THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDERThe unstoppablepower ofleaderlessorganizations
  13. 13. So, what’s up withSPIDERS & Starfishes?
  14. 14. SPIDER If you cut off its head; it dies.
  15. 15. STARFISHThe harder you fight it,the stronger it gets
  16. 16. STARFISH AND SPIDERS SPIDER STARFISH •  Hierarchical •  Horizontal Structure •  Clear leaders •  Everyone has equal say •  Departments •  Can operate sporadically •  Titles •  Direct Communication •  Communication is difficult
  17. 17. CAN YOU SPOTThe Starfish& The Spider? 5 CHALLENGES AHEAD
  18. 18. Look at the slide and decide which of the 2 pictures has a head(someone in charge) and which one is left without a leader.
  19. 19. Challenge 1
  20. 20. The internet does not have a president; a library does
  21. 21. Challenge 2
  22. 22. The music industry has presidents; Emule (P2P-sharing) does not(we don t even know who founded it, so there is no one to sue J)
  23. 23. Challenge 3
  24. 24. The Apache were organized in independent circles;Pharoahs were the kings of society
  25. 25. Challenge 4
  26. 26. The CIA is a centralized company; Al Qaida is an open system. It does not have central intelligence; theintelligence is spread throughout the system (it is made up of largely independent cells)
  27. 27. Final Challenge
  28. 28. You kinda get the picture, right?
  29. 29. It s a natural reaction, when attacked, toadopt a command-and- control mentality. But this strategy fails if you are fighting a starfish organisation.
  30. 30. When attacked, a decentralizedorganisation tends to become even MORE OPEN AND DECENTRALIZED
  31. 31. Spiders and starfish aretwo completely different organisms
  32. 32. So, what characterizes a starfish organisation?1. Circles (many small non-hierarchical groups)2. Catalyst(s)3. Ideology4. Preexisting network
  33. 33. 1 Starfish organisations consist of many small non- hierarchical groups (circles)
  34. 34. In the internet era it s much easierto form and join circles. But becauseparticipants aren t spending everymoment together, their bond isn tas strong .AIESEC circles form strong bondsdue to frequent face-to-facecontact.
  35. 35. 2 Starfish organisations are not run by CEOs; instead they can count on CATALYSTS
  36. 36. A catalyst knows that values (trust andunderstanding) are a stronger binding force than authority
  37. 37. A catalyst is any element or compound that initiates a reaction without fusing into that reaction A catalyst gets a decentralized organisation going and then cedescontrol to the members. In letting go of the leadership role, the catalyst transfers ownership and responsibility to the circle
  38. 38. A catalyst is any element or compoundthat initiates a reaction without fusing into that reactionAIESEC presidents and leaders are non-hierarchical catalysts
  39. 39. 3 Ideology is the GLUE that holds decentralized organisations together.What is AIESEC’s ideology / vision?
  40. 40. Put people in an open system and theyautomatically want tocontribute
  41. 41. However, starfish organisations spawned by the internet may haveless meaningful ideologies than offline equivalents.An Apache would do anything to savea fellow tribe member. Members of sayWikipedia aren t going to die for each other
  42. 42. So AIESECers,are you Apaches or Wikis?
  43. 43. 4 Almost every decentralized organization that has made it big, was launched from a Preexisting Platform
  44. 44. Be aware that centralized organisations aren t set up tolaunch decentralized movements.Leaders in top-down organisationswant to control what s happening, thereby limiting creativity
  46. 46. Examples  of    Starfish  
  47. 47. And  to  a  Lesser  Extent…  
  48. 48. How  is  Skype  a  Starfish?  •  Free  program  •  Enabled  to  talk  to  others  using  the  program  •  Distributed  compu<ng  power  using  p2p  
  49. 49. What  about  Craigslist?  •  Direct  interac<on   between  users  •  Craigslist  is  only  a  plaCorm   to  use  •  No  history  between  users,   just  come  and  go  •  Originally  just  an  idea   between  Craig  and  friends  
  50. 50. Apache  (web  soIware)  •  Engineers  were  unhappy  with  being  ignored  •  Contributors  developed  code  and  patches  •  These  were  implemented  based  on  which  ones   worked  the  best  •  No  formal  direc<on  
  51. 51. Apache  (Na6ve  Americans)   •  Spiritual  leaders  called   Nan’tans   •  Based  on  previous   reputa<on   •  Nobody  was  obligated  to   follow  
  52. 52. Alcoholics  Anonymous   •  Formed  from  a  previous  church   program  using  6  steps   •  Forma<on  of  the  circle  group  aided   cohesion   •  Added  and  expanded  to  other  situa<ons  
  53. 53. P2P  Technologies  •  Based  on  sharing  •  Everyone  contributes  •  Adds  to  the  value  of  the   network  with  new  members  •  Always  under  development  
  54. 54. Wikipedia   •  The  famous  and  well-­‐ known  Wikipedia   •  Anyone  can  contribute   •  Can  be  applied  to  almost   anything  hRp://  
  55. 55. Major  Principles  1      When  aRacked,  a  decentralized  organiza<on  tends   to  become  even  more  open  and  decentralized.  2      It’s  easy  to  mistake  starfish  for  spiders    3      An  open  system  doesn’t  have  central  intelligence;   the  intelligence  is  spread  throughout  the  system  
  56. 56. Major  Principles  4      Open  systems  can  easily  mutate.  5        The  decentralized  organiza<on  sneaks  up  on  you.  6      As  industries  become  decentralized,  overall  profits   decrease.    7      When  aRacked,  centralized  organiza<ons  tend  to   become  even  more  centralized  
  57. 57. the wayFORWARD
  58. 58. Rules  to  Keep  in  Mind  for   1.  Diseconomies  of  Scale   the  New  Age   2.  The  Network  Effect   3.  The  Power  of  Chaos   4.  Knowledge  at  the  Edge   5.  Everyone  Wants  to   Contribute  
  59. 59. Rules  (cont.)   6.  Beware  the  Hydra   Response   7.  Catalysts  Rule   8.  Values  ARE  the   Organiza6on   9.  Measure,  Monitor,   Manage   10.     Fla]en  or  be  Fla]ened  
  60. 60. Thank You!