Malcolm Colman-Shearer – Satisfying Needs by Experimenting with Networks & Decentralized Organizations

Catherine Jaeger from Inspired Teams interviews Malcolm Colman-Shearer, originally published here.

Malcolm Colman-Shearer’s needs weren’t being met in his banking IT job in New Zealand,  so he left to find an environment that was more socially oriented where relationships were important.  Jumping the safety and confinement of that corporate ship, he’s now leading the life of an entrepreneur. He’s a member of Enspiral, a worldwide collective of individuals who not only believe in, but practice, a new way of organizing; and is the founder of Optimi, where he really follows his meaning and purpose by assisting clients in optimizing their workflow.

I respect his transparency and insights about the ups of downs of his journey with decentralized organizations.  I love his optimism about how our current network experiments are raising consciousness about new ways to organize that will evolve to further empower people.

Malcolm contrasts traditional environments vs collective networks using a rainforest vs corn field analogy. After we recorded this episode, I was in the Peruvian Amazon and had daily walks through its rainforest, observing its many micro-ecosystems. Malcolm’s analogy of an organizational network having the growth and death cycles of a rainforest resonates with me even more now that I’ve experienced the magic of the Peruvian rainforest.


About Malcolm Colman-Shearer


Resources mentioned:


Better Work Together – How the power of community can transform your business  (book)  Co-authored by Enspiral, a community of entrepreneurs experimenting at the edges of ownership, governance, decision making, resource sharing, and organisational design.

GreatertThan  Courses mentioned: Practical Self-Management Intensive and Thriving Networks


Loomio Cooperative Handbook

The Handbook of Handbooks for Decentralised Organising – a mega list of handbooks and toolkits for groups working without top-down management from social movements to workplaces open source for anyone to read, update, share Compiled by Richard D. Bartlett

Lean Coffee  (aka Unconference, Open Space )

Republished with permission. Featured Image added by Enlivening Edge Magazine. Image by Sofia Cristina Córdova Valladares from Pixabay