In het kader van de Art of Hosting training die wij organiseren in samenwerking met Het Eerste Huis, hebben wij een aantal cases geschreven over de waarde van Art of Hosting in de praktijk en hoe dit toe te passen. Klik hier om deze blogs te lezen.
The Business Case for Participatory Leadership – Hosting the Conversation in Hilversum
Participatory leadership is a constructive response to complexity. Our organizations and their challenges have become more complex and are increasingly stressful to manage. How can we relate to this complexity in a meaningful way and truly seize the opportunities it brings? What kind of leadership is required to lead in complexity and while maintaining our own balance?
Herlaar Business Coaching held its latest participatory leadership training program – The Business Case for Participatory Leadership – at Hilversum, a remote, beautiful retreat in the heart of The Netherlands, in early March. Early feedback suggests the program has had a powerful impact on at least some attendees and their organizations.
The three-day training was designed to offer strategic conversation as a way of bringing difficult, complex and sometimes painful topics to the table and start collaborating towards a different way of being in relationship with one’s work. There is a difference between a discussion and a conversation. In discussion, individuals tend to aim toward being “right.” In strategic conversation, we build together and think together. We build a consensus organically.
We offered “an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges” in our lives, businesses and organizations. It’s about making a leap towards the ‘next level’ in your life, business or organization. With a different approach comes a different vocabulary and new narrative.
How exactly do we go about this?
The workshop has a carefully designed three-day agenda, developed over years of collaboration with leaders in participatory leadership, and a team of hosts. Note carefully the term “hosts,” as opposed to the facilitators who conventionally conduct business-oriented development training. The Business Case for Participatory Leadership had a team of professionals who hosted a space in which attendees could engage in conversation and collaborative exercises to develop participatory leadership approaches specific for themselves in a self-organizing fashion. Contrast this with the more common format in which a facilitator administers a series of exercises intended to help the attendees absorb a predetermined, “one size fits all” curriculum.
Two days in advance, the facilitation team came together and went through a process similar to what the attendees will go through, to build coherence among the hosting team. Then we looked through the resumes of the participants, to gauge why they want to have this experience. Most of them have given us this information as part of the intake procedure, so we know what they are looking for and what they expect. Then we design the process and the tools we will use around their needs.
Participatory leadership is really about self-organizing. Nothing is set. We host the environment in which it happens. We have an agenda and we execute it with rigor, because there is a learning curve that people have to go through, but what actually happens in that hosted space is different for each group. We’re flexible in terms of what people do within the space.
We designed a threefold learning process for our participants:
Each of the three days in the training was focused on a distinct challenge; in sequence, they comprised a journey of collective discovery through conversation:
The three phases are supported by collaborative methodologies and concepts in an experiential learning context. Each of the hosting approaches is effective in a different set of circumstances – e.g., ideal for the divergent or emergent phase, whereas another technique is more appropriate for convergence.
Attendees got the opportunity to host processes, with coaching from the hosting team. The intent was that, after the training, they can host those processes themselves, and know when it is useful to do so.
An important tool of hosting is a large graphical representation of the sessions, which we call the Harvest. It looks informal, like a cartoon illustration, but as it evolves over the three-day training, it captures the content of the conversation, including an action plan to go forward, a practical set of tangible actions the most important part of the convergent phase: To produce a plan to really make the actions we arrive at work in the context of each participant’s organization.
People are sharing. One attendee found a new job; another discovered a new professional goal and has created a whole new community. Several participants have significantly redesigned projects they were working on as a result of what they learned to make those projects more participatory and therefore better accepted by colleagues.
We have begun the preparation for the next training, which will be held from 19 (16.00h) – 22 October (17.00h) 2016, again in Hilversum, The Netherlands. You can find more information and register on www.aoplbusiness.eu.
In every organization’s quest for organizational vitality and innovation, there is a critical role for coaching. One of the most successful coaches in 21st Century Leadership is Philippine Linn, founder of the Swiss-based consultancy True Colors Coaching & Training, and of the informal network of participatory leadership advocates called Teal for Teal. Philippine was a participant in the March workshop, “The Business Case for Participatory Leadership.” Breakwater interviewed her shortly thereafter.
Philippine has advised large organizations on the Continent, in Switzerland, in Rotterdam, and Brussels, and then in the UK, where she has worked for years with Unilever. In Geneva, she did a lot of organizational development work for the United Nations. In this interview, she describes her vision for the role of coaching, and for the growth of a community of trainers and facilitators for Teal adoption.
What do you see as the role of a coach in adoption of participatory leadership practices, and how is it affected by the emergence of Teal?
Coaching is an important skill in Teal leadership. I coach individuals – I have been a coach for more than 15 years. My focus is on leadership development.
The Teal for Teal group is my brainchild, so to speak. About two years ago, I read the book “Reinventing Organizations.” After that, I put together a leadership development organization. I had been doing leadership training for more than a decade and I thought there was no coherent vision for what we were doing with our clients, as coaches, facilitators and trainers. I wanted to create a program that brought people to a next level of organization, but I didn’t have the words to express this. And I saw in Frederic Laloux’s book a good expression of what we were aiming for. These organizations already exist, and this is no longer an ideal that we should try to accomplish. This is real.
I wanted to talk to other facilitators to adopt a common vision, instead of just doing scattered interventions at organizations. I wanted to put a firm stake in the ground and say, this is where we’re going – this is our intention. It started really small, among my friends and colleagues in Lausanne, with a meeting of about 15 people in a small room. We agreed to explore what Laloux was advocating and how we could apply in in the organizations we were coaching. Then I had a similar meeting in Geneva, and had a similar response. And the commitment to this idea spread to other groups through the networks of these colleagues in Lausanne and Geneva.
We decided from the beginning that we’re not going to give any specific guidance – this has to be self-organizing. So very soon we came up with the name “Teal for Teal,” and we committed to be Teal in order to organize Teal – to start with ourselves.
Does Teal for Teal have an actual corporate structure, or is it a loose confederation of individuals?
We’re in a transitional phase, now that we’re a year down the road. I think in the first month we added five groups, and then in the fall another 10. What we wanted was a self-organizing movement. But there is beginning to be demand for more structure now, for a legal entity. In Belgium, people are creating a foundation. But the original conception was that the structure would be kept minimal for as long as possible.
Are your best prospects relatively large, conservatively-run organizations? Are they the ones that give you the best opportunities for meaningful change?
First we concentrated on coaches, trainers and facilitators – “first to clean up our own street,” as the Dutch say. There is a lot of competition, a lack of transparency and a lack of consensus among facilitators as a profession. So our first challenge was to enable trainers to work better together as colleagues.
But it quickly became apparent that it would be worthwhile to start bringing individuals from organizations that want to make the transition into our discussions. We are starting to support more and more small and medium size business entrepreneurs who join in our discussions alongside the trainers. It has been very useful to have their perspectives on what they are trying to do in their organizations and as individuals in our discussions.
And there are people in big organizations who are looking outside to see what is going on in organizational leadership and want new insights. At CERN in Geneva, a colleague of ours has started a very robust conversation about leadership changes. It’s an uphill fight there – it’s really tough. But she has gathered a number of supportive colleagues there, and she is very passionate.
In the Geneva group, we try to give her oxygen – we work to support her as best we can. We try to share our experiences in finding allies and building community. We also counsel her not to push too hard or try to move too fast. She does have a job, and she needs to concentrate on that as well.
In Switzerland we have a number of large, established companies that tend to buy their innovation from small start-ups that they swallow, because they don’t have the energy themselves – they’ve drained the innovative energy from their own employees over years of downsizing, increasing productivity, doing more with less. They can renew their innovative resources for a while by buying the creative capacity of small companies.
Now, of course, the new generation of employees are millennials who are pushing these companies to change the way they are organized. They want accelerated growth or responsibility. They want a sense of purpose and meaning in their work, and a better work-life balance than their predecessors had. If a person’s wife is having a baby, he’s gone for a few weeks – millennials don’t even want to have to negotiate about that.
In that respect, I’m a little bit frustrated with the trainer community, because we haven’t gotten our act together to support these aspirations. But I’m super-hopeful for the world, because of the ideals this next generation of workers are bringing to large organizations.
What has to happen now for the trainers to get their act together?
Well, it’s very positive that the trainers are joining together in organizations to develop a common approach to adoption of participatory leadership goals. What I preach is that we no longer do scattered interventions, which we know will have little or no effect. We need to be purpose-driven, just as we advise our clients to be. Our purpose is to have more humane organizations, with better relationships and happier balance among the employees.
In the 21st Century Leadership context, there are branded methodologies like Holacracy. Organizations have had mixed results with things like this, but there is an advantage in having a built-out, tangible character. Adopters have the sense that if they simply buy the branded methodology, and follow it to the letter, they have a good chance of getting it “right.”
Would it be an adoption advantage for Teal to have this kind of concrete, branded character to it? Would it make adoption easier?
I see Teal as the purpose – healthier, more self-organized, purposeful organizations. That is the bigger picture. Holacracy is one way of accomplishing this. It’s a multi-step program; if you just follow it, in theory, you’re there. I spoke to Brian Robertson [the originator of Holacracy] and asked why organizations should adopt it. And he suggested the whole operating system of the typical organization is corrupted, and to become a healthy organization, you have to install a new operating system that gets rid of all the obsolete hierarchical structures, and people can start to think freely again, and can start to think about what their purpose is. He was adamant about that as a starting point, and I loved it that he was so clear in his mind about it.
But it also got me thinking about whether that is really the only methodology available to achieve this aim. I personally think there are multiple ways of going about this, and wholeness practices are the common entry point. That brings us back to coaching. If people’s motivations come from fear and scarcity, and you can move them toward passion and purpose, as soon as that becomes their intention – individually or as a team – and when they have the proof that they can make quicker progress when they are motivated by passion rather than fear and scarcity, then any number of new structures can make sense – not only Holacracy.
It’s a good point – offering the managers who have to sponsor these initiatives a concrete methodology could make acceptance easier. It’s something to think about for Teal. But I have seen lots of new and beautiful structures develop – not adopted whole but invented by the adopters themselves – that have given the organizations a sense of passion and purpose.
Interview with Stowe Boyd for Herlaar Business Coaching Newsletter "Breakwater"
The United States, in good times and bad, remains the world’s largest and most essential market. It continues to be viewed as the global leader in innovation. But it has become apparent in its recent political and cultural discourse that the US is torn – it is also the world’s leader in wealth inequality, and in the gap between the standards of living for its corporate executive elite and the rest of its workforce.
In such a context – with the largest corporations driven by traditional command and control executives who have in the last 30 years been able to extract record-level productivity from employees while keeping the wages of their workforces essentially flat – it might be argued that the US is the last place in the industrialized world to look for innovation in participatory leadership.
Is that the case? Breakwater put the question to one of America’s leading futurists and influential in the study of work: Stowe Boyd, Managing Director at Gigaom Research, a New York-based think tank. Boyd suggests the US is indeed undergoing a transition in its political and corporate culture, one that is likely to require revolutionary change. He agrees that hidebound American companies driven by a singular focus on shareholder returns will resist change – but argues that the passing of the leadership baton from an aging cohort to the Millennials now coming of age in American business will make more inclusive leadership inevitable.
The examples of US companies adopting more democratic organizational structures have included a small elite of highly-digitalized companies. But what is the incentive for the biggest companies, whose executives are doing rather well under the old model, to change?
There are two schools of thought about this – one a more industrial mindset and the other more philosophical.
The philosophical approach usually focused on the future of work – ideas having to do with a more democratic workplace, driving higher degrees of employee engagement, higher degrees of personal autonomy, individuals wanted more meaning and purpose in their work. You’ll hear arguments that increased diversity leads to better decision-making. There are hundreds of themes that tend to cross-reference each other.
On the other side, the industrial approach is less about making the company more humane, and more about organizing the company around the new Digital Reality of marketplaces and competition, and the connection to an increasingly digital consumer. That’s the Digital Transformation Wave, if you will.
These two approaches actually share a lot of themes – they’re really two ends of one dimension. But the industrial side is more focused on a more technologically oriented marketplace, reaching out to customers who are always online. From this perspective, companies that don’t want to be disrupted out of business need to accommodate a whole long list of new ways to do what they do – rethinking marketing or product development, acquiring a more agile mindset. These companies are really driven by an existential dread of being driven out of business. And the approaches used to get employees in line with the changes needed tend to be more hard-edged.
So even from the industrial perspective, the company has to be concerned with how it gets people onboard, how much autonomy can be pushed to the front line, how much transparency you can achieve, how to maintain alignment with a top-level strategic vision without mechanistically telling employees to do their jobs and shut up.
The old command and control model is generally seen as going away, to be replaced by more self-motivated, higher-performing business models. But the degree to which this is actually changing the way work is managed in corporations is wildly variable. One of the issues is that we don’t have a lot of models of success for democratically run organizations in the US.
The examples you hear about are Zappos and Patagonia.
Yeah, but Zappos is looking like a disaster. It’s not a poster child for Holocracy. Neither is Medium, which is doing better, but it’s a smaller company and has a much more uniform culture. Even they have defined their own practices and haven’t adopted a model like Holocracy whole cloth. Patagonia and Gore-Tex have been around for many years, and they have the reputation for being more democratic than most organizations, but there’s a question as to how open and egalitarian they really are.
Thomas Piketty and others have observed that in large US corporations, the senior executives have become an aristocracy…
Oh yes. I’ve written about this recently – our businesses are largely oligarchic. The elite have control, and much of what they spend their time doing is indoctrinating people, so that people know what they’re supposed to be doing, applying principles that the elite have decided are the ones that the business should be based on. Their legitimacy as leaders is derived from the promise of their being productive, that the business will be better off because of their leadership.
It really isn’t based on the consensus of the people who work for them. Quite the opposite – the business is run by sliderule accounting and if it will save the company a lot of money to downsize a plant in Toledo, Ohio, that was built with public subsidies, and export the jobs to Mexico, that’s what they’ll do. And the Board of Directors nods approval, because the purpose of the business is to provide value to the shareholders, and everything else is secondary.
There are significant differences in the culture and practices of business in various parts of the world. In a place like Denmark, you don’t see the extreme stratification we have in the US, where CEOs make 350 times the average salaries of their employees. In many countries, there are aspects of the political culture that make it feasible to impose controls or tax incentives for reducing the disparities between the management strata in companies, and ensure that people who work for a living don’t have to live in poverty. In the US, those issues have sadly slipped off the agenda in the last 30 years.
So isn’t this a unique set of conditions that work against the development of more democratic business models in the US?
Well, the best examples are new companies being founded here by people who believe business should function differently. Can it work in the largest companies that have command and control ingrained in their cultures? It is likely to require a succession of revolutionary changes, starting with tax policies that reduce the incentives for companies to offer their senior executives these astronomical compensation packages and recover the wealth that’s accumulating among those elite executives and their investors. That’s a cultural revolution that would have to happen.
The degree of populism in the US now, among average American of all political stripes, reflects the profound dissatisfaction with the level of inequity in this society. This is no longer a radical fringe – this discontent is mainstream. And if you zoom into what this means inside any given business, I think we’re going to see significant changes that are strongly influenced by these macro forces that are roiling the society in which these companies operate.
That’s going to manifest itself in many different ways – not just adoption of Holocracy or its various knock-offs, but a large variety of experiments in how companies can organize themselves in order to involve people in decisions, and share the pain and the successes as the business culture goes through this transition. But it has to be demonstrated that if you operate in a different way, the company can be more successful, people will be willing to maintain their productivity, people can spend more time doing productive things and less time struggling against internal friction, and so on.
But the advantages also have to be clear to investors, who then have to demand these changes. It can’t be just a thought exercise, where it’s assumed that these changes will lead to better financial results. It has to be borne out empirically, in the results of actual companies making these changes and seeing better outcomes.
The changes will happen in the US, and if history is any guide, the changes will be quick. A good model is the introduction of email and the re-engineering of processes that that brought about. A significant driver will be technological, a new wave of thinking about business, relying on technologies to accomplish part of the transition. But I suspect we’ll also see the elimination of the old-style, hugely stratified business models, with 15 levels of hierarchy, in favor of flatter organizations or genuinely networked organizations with significantly greater degrees of autonomy.
You’re writing a book on this transition. Are you talking about changes you expect to see in the next five years, or 10 years, or is it 50 years?
Oh, I’m sure there are going to be significant changes in the next five years. Change is already happening in the US – it’s just not happening in a uniform way. But the half-life of businesses is dropping all the time. Instead of lasting 50 years, companies typically last only 15 years, or less. That means more businesses are being started all the time, and they start from new principles. That increases the likelihood of new ideas at least finding the opportunity to be tested.
And they will be started by Millennials – the largest generation ever. They’re different, and they’re becoming the dominant element in the workforce. In the next five years, they’re going to go from being middle managers to being senior executives. It’s unlikely that these people will hold onto business models that made sense to the Baby Boomers.
In managed services, the state of the relationship between client and provider is key to a successful outcome of the contract. The signing of the contract is the start of a journey to be shared by two separate but interdependent teams.
But what really happens once the new or renewed contract is signed? Contract management begins with spreadsheets and reports on Service Level Agreements and Key Performance Indicators – the description of the services and the legal terms and conditions. Often, the collaborative relationship between the teams who have to manage the work and meet those SLAs and KPIs is barely even discussed.
The question of how to make the contract actually work is difficult to reduce to a concise set of rules and metrics. Addressing it requires an array of “soft skills” that are difficult for many executives to internalize. While the partnering companies typically have talent programs and incentives in place, often there is no collaborative program referenced in the contract, recognizing the joint responsibility of the companies for making the contract work.
Whether the business partnership has existed for years or the partners are starting a fresh new business relationship in Managed Services, companies that fail to address the relationship issues in their collaboration will face a range of issues:
• How to define and reinforce integrity in the relationship;
• How to merge different values in a joint set of working princples;
• How to bridge cultural differences;
• How accept and document accountability as a team;
• How to get team members on both sides to act in a self-directed way; and
• How to address tough issues and solve them together for the mutual benefit of the entire team.
These challenges have prompted Herlaar Business Coaching B.V., a Netherlands-based consultancy founded by two management professionals with decades of experience with global corporations, to devise a two-day training program to address the soft skills gap in Managed Service contracting.
Re-Inventing the Relationship in Managed Services is a an Action Learning program, which invites the participants to work with their own issues, projects and contexts, while applying state-of-the-art 21st Century Leadership concepts, methodologies and practices. It aligns teams and provides coaching on the job if required. This way, learnings can be immediately applied in day-to-day business between client and provider.
A dedicated, informed effort to meet the relationship challenges head-on can unlock performance potential in any collaborative team. Target outcomes from the two-day workshop include:
• Higher performance among the managed services team members;
• Better collective team performance;
• Motivated and engaged employees;
• A vibrant place to work; and
• A deeper understanding of the motivators of a service, enabling the team to keep the services relevant to customers.
The training will be hosted by René and Lucy of Herlaar Business Coaching B.V.
Want to learn more? Contact Herlaar Business Coaching directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently we were asked in Flanders-Belgium to help in supporting local governance, administration and schools with the integration of children of refugees into the Belgian school system and into the fabric of Belgian society. Belgian legislation requires children from six-eighteen years on their territory to follow education. Our role is to host dialogue between all stakeholders.
Generally seen as one of the most impactful humanitarian crises of our time, large flows of refugees from the Mid-East and East are travelling into Europe. At the outer borders of the EU large temporary shelters have been put in place to address the first basic needs of the people: medical care and food, and take care of registration. The conditions in which this takes place are very poor.
Where authorities are talking, people take action and many citizens travel to these locations as volunteers; to welcome refugees and help to get the first needs addressed. As Otto Scharmer wrote recently in an article for the Huffington Post: “As Systems Collapse, Citizens rise”.
After their first registration, people travel on their own to their (temporary) destination country, awaiting the final decision of the government in the country they travel to. Upon arrival they have often traveled for 10 days and nights, through 11 countries and carry only few possessions. Due to the huge amount of people coming in, the time before a final decision for instance in Belgium on status is reached can take up to 3-4 months. In the meantime, they are free to move around but not allowed to work or apply for alternative housing. They must live in the shelter assigned to them.
We started our work some weeks ago. It’s easy to get deeply involved in all the personal stories from refugees, residents and the shelter staff.
Some of the refugees arrived as a family, some alone, leaving family behind or their family was killed in an act of war. Compared to the last wave of refugees around 2007, now the level of education is higher. Setting up a local shelter, welfare has to alleviate immediate needs, overcome language barriers and set up logistics in the shelter: food, registration, clothing, pocket money, helping people find their way to local shops, healthcare and so on. Local authorities face the problem of organizing the possibility to build shelters and provide housing. The local schools face the challenge of creating seats for the children, offering customized education and handling the tension the situation may cause with residents.
In his recent (2015) ‘A Force for Good, The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World’, psychologist Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence, describes the Dalai Lama’s approach to difficult situations; he can’t solve these complex problems, but he can offer all the fear, anger, suspicion and negative feelings a place in his love, compassion and forgiveness. This helps him to keep his cool in difficult circumstances.
Our approach is based on:
- Helping people to build capacity, so they can continue this journey on their own.
- The six needs of any human being: certainty, uncertainty/variety, significance, connection/ love, growth and contribution.
- The Cynefin framework of David Snowden, to get a good understanding of the complexity we are in today.
- Applying Art of Hosting practices of Participatory Leadership.
Over 700 (!) people decided to join the seminar: ‘Let’s Reinvent Organizations’ in The Netherlands, to learn more about what it takes to start a journey towards ‘Teal’, the next level of management.
Conclusion: Its not a nice theoretical exercise nor the next management hype. It is actually happening today and the examples are everywhere.
The conference brought together four key game changers in tranistion and organizational design to talk about their experience and share their views on how to make the leap to the next stage of management.
Jan Rotmans, Professor of Transition Sciences at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands kicked off. Prof. Rotmans is a scientist and an activist, hence naming his role as a ‘Scientivist’. Next to sharing his 20 years research experiences in how transitions actually work, he bridges the gap between science and reality by sharing numerous examples of where current systems fail and citizens take over. “We do not live in an era of change, but in a changing era”
“90% of the systems we operate in today, are founded in the late 19e century”, he argues. “E.g. healthcare, insurance, banking, governing, education, business organizations and also our unions, political party structure. They have brought us to where we are today and are not fit for purpose anymore. Now we need to move from ‘efficiency thinking’ to support the new initiatives founded by citizens. Leadership is in our society. Local energy companies, non profit insurance companies, personalized healthcare, it all surfaces today and becomes very successful. The most agile companies will survive, so you need to ask yourself: How agile am I ?”
Jos de Blok. A real life example of a Dutch company going Teal is Buurtzorg (neighbourhood care). CEO and founder Jos de Blok, decided to leave his job at a regular healtcare company to start his own company to bring back the values of healthcare to people. The traditional management power is with the people who actually do the work. Founded in 2006, Buurtzorg today operates at 850 locations in The Netherlands, with 9700 ‘colleagues’ and a turnover of 315 million Euro. Headoffice is run by 45 people and includes financial administration, client administration, 17 regional coaches and two directors (friends). There is no traditional organizational hierarchy, yet there is a strong hierarchy of purpose. Buurtzorg is sharing the knowledge into other countries like Japan and the US. “If your services are self-evident and relevant, there is no need to ‘scientifically organize’ it. It almost happens by itself’ he says.
“Our world needs to move away from ‘delivering monetary value’ towards 'striving for happiness' ”
Brian Robertson. One of the new ‘technologies’ to support the emerging management paradigms is Holacracy, pioneered by Brain Robertson. After getting frustrated in his corporate career, he started to expriment 10 years ago with news ways of running an organization. Today Brian helped already hundreds of companies worldwide to implement holacracy, including his own company HolacrayOne. Other examples are Zappos and Washington state. Holacracy is a new social technology for running and operating an organization. Its a purpose driven system, defined by rules which are very different from the rules which apply in traditionally managed organizations. A constitution, explaining the rules of the game and redistribution of power; a new way to structure an organization and redefine the roles and power authority; a unique decision making process to update roles and responsibilities; a reflection process to keep teams aligned and take action together. The next level of management asks for ‘heroic leadership’ he claims. “Real leaders are not affraid of letting go power. It’s about more power for everyone not about letting go yours”.
Frederic Laloux. The last in the spectacular line up at the conference was Frederic Laloux, author of his groundbreaking book ‘Reinventing Organizations’. In our December edition of our newsletter ‘Breakwater’ we explain a bit more on the outcome of his research with many companies managing in a different way. For his book he choose 12 companies, already operating 30-40 years in this different way, for a deep dive. The current hierarchy of our organizations is not capable anymore to deal with the complexity we need to deal with. Either being the world of our clients, customers, society or the world as whole. These highly complex environments require structure which allow for distribution of power and intelligence Laloux says. He found three breakthrough practices: selfmanagement, wholeness and evolutionary purpose.
About Wholeness he says: “the purpose of these new systems is that each individual can become the best version of him/her self. Today at work we are wearing the mask of the expert. Yet, we are more than that. We have two sides: a deeper part and a ego part. The deeper part is about our inner voice, deep listening and talking with intention. Most traditionally managed organizations don’t allow for this part to florish. Vulnarability is seen as dangerous for your career or job. The result is we do not bring life into the organization. Looking at the ego part, organizations only allow our expert vision, our rational self, to be present. People are not showing up fully at work with who they are. At home they do. Today’s organizations need to chew on the question, how not fully showing up at work, helps in creating the best version of yourself”
René Herlaar is founding partner at Herlaar Business Coaching. Helping organizations to build the capacity to go ‘Teal’, so they can continue this journey on their own. Aligning teams and coaching on the job.
Herlaar Business Coaching will also offer an open registration Participatory Leadership training program 3-5 March 2016. Here you can learn the concepts and work with the methodologies and formats as a basic skill for implementing Teal or next level organizations.
After a corporate career of over 30 years I decided to break from the pack a few years ago and start my own business. In the last 17 years I worked in a vibrant place and travelled a lot. It was intense period of my life where I met many people. I had the opportunity to connect to many cultures and worked with many people and teams. The nature of the work required intense and long working days with others. Actually I spend more time at work and with colleagues then with my family, but that’s another story. Solving tough problems together, laughing together, moaning together and sometime you cry together, when you loose a dear colleague for instance.
It actually feels if a real human connection is developing. You care for each other.
It’s amost like a flock of birds.
Al those connections seem to vanish into thin air, when a bird decides to leave its flock. From one day to the other, connections break and the flock starts to focus on its own survival, following its leader. When catching up with the flock to touch base, the flock is happy to welcome you. If you do not, their flight just continues. It seems that ‘connections’ get a different meaning.
The need for Connection is one of the six fundamental needs that people have in common. (A. Robbins). The drive to meet these needs is encoded in our nervous system. In our western world we have been developing organizational cultures around the paradigms of competition, profit and key performance indicators. Modern companies act like a machine. And what happens when a part of the machine needs to be replaced?
The ‘human touch’ in organizations is very much dependent on the type of leader, the bird leading the flock. In our society, who is becoming a ‘leader’ is mostly determined by background, the ability to pay for a specific university education and mostly based on knowledge.
A few break from the pack though and start organizations based on different paradigms. Dee Hock ( VISA-US), Jos de Blok (Buurtzorg-NL) Jean-François Zobrist (FAVI-F] and Ricardo Semmler [SEMCO-Bra] to name a few. In the 21st century, organizational cultures are transitioning to the next level of consciousness. They put the higher purpose of the organization and its citizens first, have distributed decision-making and are anti fragile. They act like a living system.
Listening with attention to the needs of the organization and acting with intention to fulfill the human needs of its citizens develops a purpose driven culture, increasing productivity. Staying relevant to the customer, playfulness, accountability and efficiency are at the core, hence delivering unprecedented results.
I wonder what would happen when a part of a living system needs to be replaced…
Do you dare to take the first step and break from the pack?