DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Orgs)

Good definitions

A DAO is an internet-native entity with no central management which is regulated by a set of automatically enforceable rules on a public blockchain, and whose goal is to take on a life of its own and incentivize people to achieve a shared common mission. (Aragon) a community of people making decisions together in a decentralized manner, made autonomous through their software underpinnings. A DAO can be thought of as a tool that can be leveraged by communities and organizations of different types. (DAOHaus)

  • Bitcoin is the most famous example of a DAO


  • Aragon
  • DaoHaus

Frédéric Laloux on a New Management Paradigm

Sense and Respond: Frédéric Laloux on a New Management Paradigm

The way we run organizations is broken

  • Too slow, bureaucratic, not agile, innovative
  • Words like care and love are repudiated
  • Not the leaders’ fault
    • It’s the management system
    • Executives are at the edge of burnout

Cultural Paradigms

Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture Model

  1. Wolfpack Tribe Paradigm Red (mafia)
    • Powerful leader inspires fears in enemies
    • Good for chaotic situations
    • Division of labor
  2. Army Paradigm Amber (government)
    • Strict hierarchical structure
    • Stability and control
    • Long-term perspective
    • Formal processes and roles
  3. Machine - Orange (most corporations)
    • Competition within the organization and with other organizations
    • Focus on profit and growth
    • Leaders set the strategy, lower levels have some freedom
    • Focus on innovation, accountability and meritocracy
  4. Family Green (Ben & Jerry’s)
    • Focus on delighting customers, shared values and high engagement
    • Balance the needs of all stakeholders
    • Culture over strategy
    • HIerarchical structure may conflict with people’s desire for ore autonomy
  5. Living System -Teal
    • Anti fragile structure (flat, or evolving roles)
    • Shared goal (making the world better)
    • Distributed decision making (advice process)
    • Wholeness (safety, not being judged)
    • Self-management
    • Evolutionary purpose

Principles for new orgs

  1. Self-management (no boss-subordinate relationships)
    • Hierarchies can’t deal with complex systems
    • Still need people who can take a broad perspective
  2. Wholeness
    • No need to wear a professional masks
    • When you show up partially, you also show up with part of your energy, creativity, passion and motivation
    • Simple practices can bring a sense of safety, vibrancy that allow people to show up fully
  3. Evolutionary Purpose
    • Organization as a living organism with its own sense of direction
    • World is so complex that the best thing we can do is not to predict and control but to sense and respond
      • Following an old plan when circumstances change can be detrimental

040 Career MOC | Business | 030 Macro MOC

Samantha Slade - Going Horizontal

  • Employee dissatisfaction is not actually being fixed by current practices (adding a ping pong table)
  • Humans didn’t evolve in formal hierarchies (tribes may have emerging, dynamic hierarchies, not formally set ones)
    • But in our workplace somehow we are forced to adjust to it
    • It’s so pervasive it somehow feels natural
  • Changing the company structure without changing its cultural won’t work

Three Types of Practices

  • Personal (quiet and organic) practices

  • Informal (collective and safe)

  • Prototyping (collective and formal)

  • Horizontal practices/structure often get dismissed at the first difficulty

    • Forgetting/ignoring the many difficulties in traditional structures as well


  1. Autonomy
    • Claiming your leadership
  2. Purpose
    • The more explicit, the more people can be autonomous
  3. Meetings
    • Show me how your meetings run and I’ll explain your culture
    • How can our meetings become a fractal of the world we want to live in?
  4. Transparency
    • Open is effective and efficient
    • Transparency is needed if we want to truly collaborate
  5. Decision-making
  6. Learning & Development
    • Self-directed and collectively held
  7. Relationship and Conflict