Wiki Tales

By Rod Collins. Published by AMACOM (a division of the American Management Association), 2014.

Rod Collins’ Wiki Management: A Revolutionary New Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World shares a compelling model for effective management in a dynamic and turbulent world.

As such, it is an indispensable read for anyone interested in organizational self-management. And what, exactly, is a wiki? As Collins explains, wiki is the Hawaiian word for “quick” or “fast”—a word that pretty much sums up the today’s business environment.

Collins looks at multiple vanguard organizations (including Morning Star and W.L. Gore) as exemplars of sustainable management practices in a networked world where information moves at light speed and the half-lives of business strategies approach zero. In the midst of this anxiety-inducing change, however, there is hope. With the reader’s apprehension of increasing complexity assured, the book outlines an approachable model containing five crucial disciplines for surviving and thriving in this new collaborative environment. Collins labels this cluster of disciplines Wiki Management—his new management effectiveness paradigm for a hyper-connected, quantum world where meaning depends on context and the only constant is change.

After setting the table with a first course discussion of complexity, technology and accelerating change, Collins serves the main course: an in-depth discussion of Wiki Management’s five disciplines. The disciplines incorporate myriad principles and useful practices regarding customers, collective intelligence, shared understanding, critical performance drivers and peer accountability. He peppers up the main course with stories and examples of real organizations that complement the relevant arguments.  Deft and judicious servings of open-source business stories, personal experiences, and powerful thought leadership lessons highlight the main dish.

Practical, well-researched and persuasive, Wiki Management is as fresh and contemporary as the latest issue of Wired magazine and as inarguable as Moore’s Law (which seems to be a key driver of the need for Wiki Management in the first place). Savor it.

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