This is the fourth in a seven-part series based on The Mozilla School of Management in which I’m applying Mozilla’s principles to wiki collaboration (parts 1,2,3 of the series).

Nurture renegades
Interesting things happen when people are allowed to break the rules. Firefox, for instance, was created not by Mozilla’s main development team, but by a couple of programmers who splintered off in another direction.

How this applies to wiki collaboration:
Renegade thinking is critical to its success, but most often the tools an organization selects can spur or damper thinking. The wiki allows for informal, unstructured collaboration, where right-brain thinking thrives. It does away with the rigid structure in a lot of other collaboration and knowledge management tools, and lets people use it as they see fit. There’s room for greater innovation, and if the wiki is brought in by renegades, then it’s very likely that its success will have much to do with their enthusiasm for it.
In the same way that a wiki is the means to collaboration, it could also be viewed as the product of collaboration. What about using a wiki as your website? The point being, what a wiki is and how it’s used are as much about breaking the rules as it is defining new rules.
Just as Mozilla let two developers work on a little side project and it turned out to be the next big thing, let your people work differently with the wiki — they’ll probably amaze you!
For more on how to effectively introduce a wiki in your organization, visit Wikipatterns.com.

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