A New World Is Already Here: Lessons from Radically Different Organizations

  • Lenette SchuijtEmail author
Living reference work entry


In the past 15–20 years, hundreds of experimental organizations have been initiated, from start-ups to collectives and cooperatives to networks and communities. Together, these organizations, however small in size and scope, can be viewed as an “undercurrent” of a new organizational reality. These new forms of organizing are based on radically different premises and depart from a totally different paradigm. This new paradigm gives way to creativity and innovation and requires a personal transformation of the leaders and/or initiators. This chapter first provides a philosophical overview of how the organizational paradigm is shifting. It then describes nine characteristics that set undercurrent organizations apart from classic bureaucracies and illustrates this with the case study of “Buurtzorg.” It also describes a few characteristics of leadership within undercurrent organizations. To draw lessons from undercurrent organizations, we first discuss to what extent and how bureaucracies can implement the principles from undercurrent organizations. This chapter concludes with lessons from undercurrent ways of organizing for those who want to start their own, pioneers for a new time, and with the personal transformation that such a start would require from them.


Transition Transformation Paradigm shift Undercurrent organizations Pioneers 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crystal River ConsultancyAmersfoortNetherlands

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