“The more power you give a single individual in the face of complexity and uncertainty, the more likely it is that bad decisions will get made,” said the American author and journalist James Surowiecki in his book, “The Wisdom of Crowds”.
Although the hierarchical model is the most monopolistic among organizations, there is an alternative that has existed for many years but, lately, is gaining more and more force: the redarchy.
“It is about network leadership and collaboration between different areas” , says Ingrid Astiz Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Wise Work, an Oxean partner.
Although informal relationships have always existed in companies: for example, a collaborator from a department who meets another from another sector, and their bond makes certain business issues flow better, the difference, Astiz says, is that “now there’s more awareness of the power of this informal network, so we can work on it to make it more effective and aligned with the strategic objectives”.
Hierarchy vs. Redarchy?
Far from being opposites, both models can coexist in harmony. In fact, in traditional and hierarchical companies, a redarchy usually occurs through cross-collaboration and exchange of networks, as we mentioned before.
However, it is worth clarifying that in certain communities, such as the ones in the technology industry, for example, a purer redarchy that responds to the strictest definition of the term: ‘where the network governs’, exists. But that’s not the kind of redarchy we’ll be talking about in this article.
What role does IC play in a redarchy?
To begin with, let’s remember that internal communication in a hierarchy is top down: the CEO or management sends a message to everyone. However, in this model there is no certainty that the collaborators have understood it correctly.
On the other hand, in a network there are referents, opinion leaders or IC ambassadors, who manage to circulate the messages through the crowds and favor the back and forth, key to adjust the message, policy or decision.
“Internal communication in a network is participatory and collaborative: all the people in a team can add value, thus building a more diverse collective story. In this business model, each person has a role in communication, contributes with their personal tone and becomes responsible for generating their own messages and the conversations that are created later”, explains Marcela Ospina López, co-founder and Director of Communication at Wise Work and adds: “Internal communication in a redarchy is supported by digital channels that streamline communication and promote transparency.”
Last but not least...
As Karina Casanova, PL / SQL Developer, explains in an article on Linkedin: “While hierarchy is characterized by being mandatory, redarchy is collaborative. While hierarchy is orders, redarchy is conversations. While hierarchy is based on awards and punishments, redarchy is based on the recognition and motivation of individuals.”
This collaborative model, then, aims to respond to some very present challenges in organizations: