Organization vs. movement vs. philosophy

June 14, 2011 1 Comment

Seth Godin is a luminary of the new paradigm, it is often tempting to re-blog him here, this time it was inevitable.  If we want to build movement we must transcend our organizational constraints.


An organization uses structure and resources and power to make things happen. Organizations hire people, issue policies, buy things, erect buildings, earn market share and get things done. Your company is probably an organization.

movement has an emotional heart. A movement might use an organization, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear. Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers. The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.

philosophy can survive things that might wipe out a movement and that would decimate an organization. A philosophy can skip a generation or two. It is often interpreted, and is more likely to break into autonomous groups, to morph and split and then reunite. Industrialism was a philosophy.

The trouble kicks in when you think you have one and you actually have the other.

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1 Comment

  • David says:

    Amazing article, very nice of you to shed some light on these three, Organization vs movement vs philosophy. I found it very eye opening when you stated a philosophy can skip a generation or two. This sounds so perfect as even today we still use philosophies as guidance from past generations. 🙂

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