Below you will find a number of terms that are used within the OpenExO Community and the methodologies. If there are terms that you cannot find please let us know by sending a message right here or via email (

Exponential Organization

An Exponential Organization is one whose impact or output is disproportionately large, at least 10 times larger, compared to its peers because of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies. In other words, it grows faster, bigger and cheaper than its competition because it has a Massive Transformative Purpose and scales as quickly as technology does.


OpenExO is the world’s leading global ExO transformation ecosystem made up of more than 1,000 clients, investors, consultants, coaches, collaborators, tech leaders and innovation specialists. Together we are committed to helping organizations, institutions and people transform the world for an exponentially better future by implementing and evolving the ExO model and practices.

OpenExO Community

The OpenExO Community is a place where exponential transformation specialists collaborate and interact with the opportunities that exponential technologies make available. This involves mindset transformation, business model transformation and knowledge on how to harness exponential technologies.

ExO Ecosystem

The ExO Ecosystem encompases all organizations that are working towards creating Exponential Organizations. This includes the OpenExO Community and beyond the community including organizations that traditionally would be considered competition.

ExO Model

ExO Model = ExO Attributes (ExO Attributes = MTP + 5 internal attributes + 5 external attributes) The ExO Model is comprised of 11 components, or attributes. ExO attributes are the building blocks that allow you to create an Exponential Organisation with global reach and impact. They leverage existing and emerging technologies that enable an Organization to access and manage abundance in the form of available resources, potential clients or useful information. In short, they are the practices that set industry leaders apart. An overarching Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) defines the goal that the Organization strives to achieve. The ExO Model was created by studying Exponential organizations

ExO Attributes

ExO Attributes are the building blocks that allow you to create an Exponential Organization with global reach and impact. They leverage existing and emerging technologies that enable an organization to access and manage abundance in the form of available resources, potential clients or useful information. The ExO Attributes are MTP + SCALE + IDEAS (These are defined below)

Massive Transformation Purpose (MTP)

The MTP reflects an organization's aspiration—the core purpose of its existence. It descibes the change in the world that you want to achieve, while recognizing that it will not be accomplished in the short term. It inspires action, expresses your passions and creates an emotional connection that drives you and others toward meaningful, positive change.

SCALE Attributes

The SCALE Attributes allow an organizations to leverage the abundance that exists outside of the organization. The attributes are: Staff on Demandm Community and Crowd, Algorithms, Leveraged Assets and Engagement

Staff on Demand

The Staff on Demand attribute relies on a pool of prequalified workers hired on an as-needed basis to conduct operational elements of your core business. Responsibilities range from simple tasks to complex work, and may even include mission-critical processes.

Community & Crowd

Community, in the ExO context, is made up of a large global group of individuals who are passionate about your MTP and are directly involved in the main functions of your organization. They are loyal to a shared goal and devoted to solving the grand challenges surrounding your organization's purpose.


An algorithm is simply a step-by-step set of instructions that is used to automate a task or solve a specific problem. The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) explores how algorithms can be made "intelligent"—learning to solve problems without a predetermined set of instructions and creating new solutions to new problems without human intervention. AI enables computer systems to behave and/or "think" like humans—to solve complex problems and learn over time with improving performance.

Leveraged Assets

Renting, accessing or sharing assets, even those that are mission-critical, allow an organization to stay nimble and unencumbered. Marginal cost of supply is significantly lowered—to virtually zero in the case of a highly scaled model. By not owning physical property, you remove the costs associated with managing it, along with all related infrastructure costs.


Engagement is the use of techniques such as reputation systems, gamification, loyalty programs and incentive prizes to keep groups interested, involved and increasingly committed to your shared purpose. Through engagement, you gain the loyalty of your customers and community, and create an effective means of converting crowd into community. It allows you to know your customers, crowd and community more intimately and better and understand how to meet their needs.

IDEAS Attributes

The IDEAS Attributes are internally focused and enable organizations to manage abundance and drive culture, enabling them to grow exponentially. These attributes are Interfaces, Dashboards, Exerimentation, Autonomy and Social Technologies.


Interfaces are an automation of one or more SCALE attributes. They are the matching and filtering processes—using algorithms and automated workflows—that allow an organization to translate an abundance of data into meaningful information that can be acted upon. They are the bridge between the drivers of exponential growth (external) and the drivers for stabilization (internal).


Dashboards provide real-time information you need to run your business. They reflect essential company and employee metrics and allow short feedback loops to be implemented. The popular saying "what gets measured gets managed" applied here. In the case of ExOs, where growth is so rapid, dashboards are essential to allow management decision-making to keep up with the pace of change.


Experimentation is the act of validating your assumptions before making significant investments. Each experiment creates a set of learnings that you then use to improve your product, service or process.


Autonomy refers to the use of self-organized, multi-disciplinary teams that operate with decentralized authority. This approach stands in contrast to traditional organizations characterized by the rank and procedure of hierarchical structures. ExOs applying autonomy are characterized by flatter organizations with highly motivated self-starters who are empowered to innovate.

Social Technologies

The Social Technologies attribute is not about encouraging the use of social media for marketing. Instead, it is about improving internal operations by encouraging social interaction via technology—which includes communications, collaboration and workflow—and exploring how to do this well. Social Technologies encompass communication tools (such as social messaging and discussion forums), collaboration tools (such as cloud-based document management for sharing and real-time editing) and workflow tools (to manage tasks and activity streams.)


EXOS is a cryptographic token that provides a way to access the resources and capabilities of the ExO Ecosystem required for transformation in the face of disruption. It's used in places like the OpenExO Platform to deliver transformational impact.

ExO profile

This is your profile on the OpenExO Platform. This profile is available publically and can be shared with people that are not in the OpenExO Community

Immune System

Any time a large organization attempts to innovate or transform itself, the corporate immune system–certain employees and processes hard-wired to prevent organizational transformation–will always attack.

The corporate immune system does its job for a good reason: established organizations usually have a working business, which is important to maintain. The goal here isn’t to kill the immune system, instead, it is to manage it.

ExO Canvas

The ExO Canvas is a management template that helps visionaries, innovators, top executives and entrepreneurs design agile organizations by leveragingexponentially accelerating technologies. Use the ExO Canvas to design a new ExO or to implement the ExO framework within an existing organization.


Traditional business models are based on scarcity, where value comes from selling a product or service that is limited in supply. Exponential technologies, however, generate an abundance of everything.


Concept used to describe a chain reaction of technological progress that leads to both upheaval and opportunity.

6Ds: Digitized

Anything that becomes digitized —representable by ones and zeros— can be accessed, shared and distributed by computer. It takes on the same exponential growth seen in computing.

6Ds: Deceptive

Exponential trends aren't easily spotted in the early days. Growth is deceptively slow until it begins to be measured in whole numbers.

6Ds: Disruptive

Digital Technologies outperform previous non-digital models in both effectiveness and cost, disrupting existing markets for a product or service.

6Ds: Dematerialized

The need for bulky or expensive single-use physical products —radio, camera, GPS, video, phones maps— disappears as these items are incorporated into smartphones.

6Ds: Demonetized

As technology becomes cheaper, sometimes to the point of being free, money is increasingly removed from the equation.

6Ds: Democratized

Once something is digitized, more people can have access to it. Everyone has access to powerful technologies, giving individuals and entities the opportunity to create the next big breakthrough.

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas is a tool for developing new -or documenting existing- business models on one page. It is made up of nine elements or blocks: customer segments, value proposition, channel, customer relationship, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners, cost structures.

Design Thinking

A design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by understanding the human needs involved, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.

An Early Adopter

An early adopter is an individual or business that uses a new product or technology before others, shares your vision and is willing to try your MVP even though it may not yet have been perfected.

ExO Advisors

Provide micro-consulting sessions to clients and fellow ExO Ecosystem members about topics within their subject matter expertise.

ExO Workshop

An event designed to help participants understand the ExO framework and gain experience using it. It can be run for one organization or as an event featuring participants from different firms. Companies then have the option of running the complete ExO Sprint to achieve real transformation. Workshops serve as an introduction to the disruptive forces shaping our world and a new type of an organization set to succeed in the rapidly changing marketplace – an ‘Exponential Organization’ – ExO.

The ExO workshop can be run for various group sizes with minimum of 10 participants. For groups of more than 50 people, paying an additional facilitator is recommended. The workshop is delivered by 1 in-person Certified ExO Trainer and may additionally include a number of virtual ExO Coaches and ExO Advisors as appropriate (to be specified in the final design).

ExO Sprint

The ExO Sprint provides a learn-by-doing approach to finding a business model that connects with abundance, overcomes the challenges organizations typically encounter when attempting transformation and builds innovation capability into your teams. ExO Sprints result in actionable ExO projects that, once completed, transform an existing business into an Exponential Organization—or even a set of them. The ExO Sprint includes two streams of activity. The first, the Edge Stream, focuses on developing initiatives outside the existing organization and business lines. The second, the Core Stream, emphasizes developing initiatives to be implemented within the current organizations. The ExO Sprint takes place during 10 weeks.

ExO Sprint Methodology

The ExO Sprint Methodology is a 10 week process to allow organizations to transform both the core of the organization and to build exponential initiaties on the edge. The process comprises of the ExO Attributes + coaching + use of search oriented innovation methodologies - i.e. design sprints, lean + consulting on exponential technology to become an Exponential Organization

ExO Sprint Stream: Core

It is focused on innovation—adapting to external industry disruption without changing the existing business model (so as to avoid triggering an immune system reaction).

ExO Sprint Stream: Edge

It is focused on disruption—on creating the next generation of organizations (new businesses outside of the existing organization), which will eventually lead the industry.

Awake Session

A half-day in-person session for an extended audience (C-suite, management, and other employees) to learn about opportunities from exponential technologies, linear versus exponential thinking, and disruption risk. This session explains the strategies powering the world's fastest growing companies -the ExO Attributes- and how they can be profitably implemented into an organization.

Align Workshop

An interactive two-day in-person session where Sprint teams work with their ExO Coaches to first evaluate the organizations status quo and then start using the ExO methodology to brainstorm and validate new business ideas. Equality within the teams allows members to unshackle their creativity, and exercise skills they usually suppress in their jobs.

Disrupt Session

An intensive one-day session where teams pitch their initiatives to a panel of their own senior executives, along with ExO Ecosystem members who have extensive start up experience. It's like a full day of Shark Tank to help your teams strengthen and rework their "half-baked" ideas.

Exponential Organizations (Book)

First book in the ExO series, it outlines changes taking place in the world due to exponential technologies, the consequences of resisting disruptive innovation in the business environment and discusses a new type of exponential organization, what makes them exponential.

Authors: Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, Yuri van Geest

Exponential Transformation (Book)

Second book in the ExO series. A how-to manual for those wanting practical advice on how to implement the ExO Sprint Methodology.

Authors: Francisco Palao, Michelle Lapierre, Salim Ismail

Lean Startup

A methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iteractive product releases, and validated learning.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The MVP is a kind of applied experiment to determine the simplest product that will allow the team to go to market and see how users respond.

Moore’s Law

Computing power continuously doubles in capacity and performance while decreasing in cost.

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