Learning, collaboration and empowerment are at the core of how percolab works (accompanying and stewarding organisational and social innovation and transformation of working and learning cultures). Not so surprising then that we are involved in and inspired by the international Art of Hosting community and initiated the training event The art of (inter)action that takes place from January 10-12, 2013. Nor is it so surprising that we were driven to find a new, practical and powerful team model for organisations, based on Art of Hosting, which we call Équipage.
Art of Hosting is about “hosting meaningful conversations about things that matter” and Équipage is “a transformational approach to learning and collaborating”. The two have a whole lot in common; both help to step into a new paradigm and practice and to work with the emerging future beyond the traditional committee culture and training models. They are both about functioning from heart, consciousness and courage.
An Art of Hosting training event is a three day intensive experience for a group of people of any size to develop and deepen participants’ capacity to participate in and host conversations for one self and for others. An Équipage cycle brings together a small group of people (up to 20) for a common purpose for a minimum of eight four-hour sessions spread over a few months.
The Équipage cycle can be useful for a variety of contexts:
ii) An advanced pedagogy for training, such as a training for launching a social enterprise (a collaboration of the Commission scolaire des Affluents, l’Institut du nouveau monde and percolab).
iii) An organisational culture, as is being done by Mandalab, a citizen living lab, since spring 2012.
The Équipage model/practice is a form of Art of hosting. There are two core pillars that mutually reinforce one another:
I) Deep collaboration and collective wisdom
We need to trust and step into in the power and potential of the group. By paying attention to what emerges in the middle, we can be surprised and inspired by what arises. Co-creation, co-design and co-learning processes go beyond what any individual could have achieved or imagined.
The potential of the group is amplified by shared leadership that tends to the well-being of the collective. Entering into a shared responsibility modus operandi, though a simple concept, takes a rewiring of some entrenched habits. The roles and methods of the Équipage model are all designed to help to step into this new way. Each person runs their own learning/working process – beyond usual roles of authority.
The strength of these pillars depend on some key ingredients:
Action learning. Developing our capacity as reflective pratitioners using real work, real challenges, real projects as our basis. This isn’t new, Microsoft, Shell, Boeing to name a few have programs in collaboration with the World International Action learning to do just this.
Mindfulness/authenticity/presence. The key to deep change requires developing capacity for mindfulness, to get beyond the head and into the heart. There are many ways of cultivating this. More and more organisations (such are Genetec’s Personal Excellence Program) are building on mindfulness as the key to the development of leadership capacity.
Quality dialogue. We have begun to understand the importance of giving attention to the quality of our relationships. This means developing our capacity to listen, not just to each other, but to ourselves and the whole group. This is the art of generative dialogue and thinking together.
And a few rules of thumb to keep things in check.
- Problems are opportunities, for learning and for movement.
- Stay in adaptive space. Plan, but just a bit, to cultivate agility and to play with opportunities.
- Open and share, deliberately cross-pollinate, bring people into the group, and spread ideas.
Depending on the purpose of the group the type of activities that go on will vary. Typically we
- do feedback loops (do/observe/reflect)
- prototype and experiment
- hold emergent co-creative processes
- Learner drive and commitment comes from self-direction.
- Deep learning requires a certain time investment.
- Tending to the details helps authenticity and presence.
- With a little practice, we can get beyond our ingrained habits.
- Thinking together and generative conversations, are key to our future.
- Initiative taking and leadership capacity for the service of others can be cultivated in everyone.
Perhaps Équipage is simply a practical form of Art of Hosting with deliverables? They are both about a paradigm of practice, an every day stance as a learner and believing in the capacity of human beings.
For more information about Équipage contact email@example.com