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Thursday, February 15

Wiki Woman, if that's the way it must be, okay...

Read a small article in HT some days back about the new boss at Wikipedia - Florence Devouard...Everything about her company and her job is pretty new-age!!

1. She runs her office not from NY, London, Hongkong or Shanghai but from a village in central France.

2. Her company - the Wikimedia Foundation in it's present avatar came into being as recently as June 20, 2003! Yet in a crazily short span of 4 years, last month it was voted among the world's 5 most influential brands!! No ads. Pure sampling and co-creation brand!

3. Florence's corporate climb(if we can call it corporate or climb) is equally fascinating...
Her first contact with Wikipedia was in 2001, when it was still a fledgling org.!

She started editing entries on genetically modified organisms and was gradually drawn into the community of volunteer editors...

Pretty soon, she started focussing on internal organisation rather than writing/ editing articles. 3 years later, she was elected to the Wikimedia Foundation board.

And last summer it was agreed that she would step into the shoes of the founder Jimmy Wales, as Chairperson!

4. She is a woman with 3 kids, who works from home in a village and heads among the world's most influential brands. All in 6 short years!

This is a really different world. A world my father can't even dream about. A world my MBA never cautioned me about!! But a world that gets bloody exciting every single day:-)

A world shaped by technology, possibility, serendipity and collaboration...

Organisations like Wikimedia are...

More concepts than companies
More collaboration than hierarchy
More content-driven than products/ services driven
More open-source than closed looped
More virtual than physical
More about volunteers than about employees
More hyborg(hybrid organisations) than anything we have previously known


But if that's the way, it must be okay...

Image sourced from Pixelache

6 comments:

neilperkin said...

Really interesting. I wonder how many organisations have even started down this road yet? Your list of attributes is a good one but seems to me that many companies may find it hard to embrace even the most basic level of some of these...

Manish said...

Yes Neil, you are right most companies will find it very difficult to embrace most of these new age values...

Maybe people and not companies will drive this change...haven't we all become more 1. collaborative(once again see how you and me, not linked by any company, country or culture are collaborating on stuff:-)

2. isn't the blogosphere more about hierarchy of ideas rather than hierarchy of designations

3. aren't we all opening up...to total strangers with our personal lives, value and belief systems!

Maybe these changes at the atomic/ personal level will gradually change the companies...

Maybe it will happen in certain sectors earlier than the others!

But am certain it WILL HAPPEN:-)

Gangadhar said...

Interesting info and quite inspiring,really..Me heard about one company run by all women..it's ENTHeos..Me blogged about it here..looong back..
..a world that gets bloody exciting every single day....you're so true,Manish..And we've to keep the spirit and move on and on..

Manish said...

hey ganga ...thanks! loved your post on Ehtheos/ also checked their web-site...wish i had known about it earlier....in case you hear of any such stories in the future, share with me..

I would love to put more indian stories on my blog as well:-)

cheers

meraj said...

Florence's is one of those rare stories...reminds me of Rowling in a certain way.

very interesting post!

Manish said...

thanks...rowling's a nice example...another post another day!