Going Horizontal: How do you really want to work?

Curiosity and excitement about horizontal organizations coexist with concerns and cynicism. Most of today’s work force is disengaged and the current ways of working won’t be able to take us into our future. Even if we know all this, we still struggle to figure out what to do come Monday morning.

What if we stepped back to reexamine how we really want to be working?

For over 10 years I have been using our company, Percolab, as a lab of  how an organization can function. With clients, colleagues and international friends, we try things out and sense make, in a never ending learning process. In 2016 I began offering workshops on the topic: Demystifying Self-Management. They helped people connect with the notion and explore some basic elements. In 2017, at SXSW in the USA, with Edwin Jansen, we gave a panel on Growing a Company without Bosses. It was a provocation and we were stunned by the response.

Weeks later I signed a book contract with my favorite publisher, Berrett-Koehler: Going Horizontal: Creating a Non-hierarchical Organization, One Practice at a Time. It is a practical book. It builds on the fabulous work in the field of new ways of working, such as Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations. Going Horizontal is all about the practice. It offers seven domains of practice to help anchor new habits and mindset as they develop. But Going Horizontal is more than a book, it is also a community and a series of practical trainings.

A conversation on the Future of Organizations with Frederic Laloux at the annual conference of the Quebec society of HR professionals

Who shows up at a Going Horizontal training?

In Antwerp, Belgium, six countries were in the room. Some people had specific questions while others wanted to make sense of their own experimentations. In Quebec City, Canada, workers from a pulp and paper factory joined Lawyers without Borders, an IT professional (recovering from a less than satisfactory foray into self-management), and consultants and students. Going Horizontal connects across domains and job titles.

A deep dive in Spain

The next stop is in Spain the 11-14th October, 2018 for a four day residential training in a castle in the middle of a 200 hectare forest outside of Barcelona. Beyond the enchanting venue, will be a unique learning experience. This training is offered by a powerful international team:

  • Dr. Salvador García, professor in Personal Development, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at the University of Barcelona,  Founder of Imagine Lab, Author of “Management by Values” and “Values Intelligence” and one of the top business speakers in Spain.
  • Carolina Escobar Mejía, Agile coach and Founder of the horizontal organization Somos Mas
  • Phoebe Tickell, Learning innovator and Social entrepreneur with Enspiral NZ & Schumacher College UK.
  • Nil Roda-Naccari Noguera from Percolab Spain and yours truly from Percolab Quebec

The day to day challenges of participants will be the basis of the program. The seven domains of practice of the Going Horizontal framework will help to grow our strengths and overcome our blind spots. Together we are exploring the new rich and yet unexplored territory of all that Going Horizontal can be.  Via each training the community grows as participants can become champions of horizontal practices in their local context.

If this speaks to you, please join us in Spain! If you know someone who should be there, please let them know.

Either way you can pre-order the book Going Horizontal now via Amazon.

If you would like to collaborate to offer a Going Horizontal training or virtual book club in your area, please contact info@percolab.com

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Continuous learning

If you don’t know about Connectle yet, you should! It is an ecosystem for change-agents to explore and implement new ways of working.

They host international live streamed conversations on the future of work and share the videos thereafter.  Percolab was recently invited to join a conversation on the hot topic of Continuous Learning.

Social Entrepreneur Phoebe Tickell  hosted the conversation with Samantha Slade (Percolab)  Harold Jarche (JarcheConsulting)  Susan Basterfield (Enspiral) and  Sabrina Bouraoui (Shades of Gray).





Thanks to Mara Tolja for making it all happen and the great videos.

Join in the upcoming live streamed conversations and check out the entire video collection: Connectle



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Invitation : Discovery Art of Hosting France, January 31 – February 2, 2018


  • Lieu

    Sommières, France

    Adresse : CART, 31 rue Emilien Dumas, 30250 Sommières, France

  • Date

    January 31 to February 2, 2018

  • Heures

    Dès 17h30

  • Organisateur

    Percolab France

For more than twenty years, Art of Hosting has modelled a way forward in collective intelligence all over the world. Come discover for yourself, during a 3 day intensive training in the beautiful south of France #AoHFrance

In addition to the usual fixed rate to cover the hosting and teaching costs (€1250 *) we are therefore innovating by also inviting you to participate in a shared economy experiment. This is a cooperative approach whereby the financial responsibility for the seminar is shared by the community of both participants and hosting team. For this seminar, we invite your willingness to open up to different ways of seeing ourselves and the world. In practice, this means that you will decide on the sum of money that represents the richness of these 3 days, taking account of the costs of the event, its value to you and your own financial resources.   Payment will take place in two installments: a first instalment, the same for everyone, before the seminar, and the second at the end.  1st instalment: 450€, payable in advance on this website : he minimum contribution needed to organise and run the seminar (logistics, materials, communication, website)  2nd instalment: at the end of the seminar, you will choose the amount to honour and appreciate the work of the hosting team. We will be dedicating time and attention during the seminar to open this conversation – always an enriching experience – about the value of this seminar to you and the ways in which we as a community can cover the budget. You can find a more detailed explanation of this financial model and its ethos at http://leaderparticipatif.weebly.com

* Percolab est un organisme de formation exonéré de TVA. Cet enregistrement ne vaut pas agrément de l’Etat.

* Percolab is a TVA exempt training center

  • Nom de l’organisateur/trice

    Nadine Jouanen, SAS percolab Europe

  • Contact

    Courriel :  infofrance [at] percolab.com

    Téléphone : +33 6 17 79 83 10


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Renewal of the competency framework for the HR chartered association of Quebec


The Human Resource (HR) profession needs to step into its future. The entire HR system in Quebec is build around the competency framework; university programs, admission into the chartered association, inspection, as well as professional development.  By improving and updating the competency framework the whole profession will be carried forward. The chartered association chose, for the first time, to do this via co-creation. They invited in HR professionals and people interested in the future of HR to go beyond thinking through what they wanted and also to contribute to its production.

Percolab’s role

Percolab designed the co-creation process in collaboration with an HR professional. The process integrated multiple voices in the field in a creative and constructive way, mixing wisdom and experience of HR professionals with inspirational examples, creative thinking, conceptual frameworks of the future, and collective sense making.   

A radically creative process that had three phases:

  1. Capture what is useful in what already exists and reveal the possibilities and dreams, for both the format and content of the framework.
  2. Iteratively develop the new structure of the guide via a series of workshops with the HR community.
  3. Validate specific sections of the guide with targeted stakeholders

To support the entire process, particularly with the context of participants coming in and out of the process, a visual strategy was put in place. Over 200 people contributed to the different steps of the process and were aided by an evolutive mural.

The workshops and the facilitation and the visual tools were all Percolab’s responsibility. The strategy, writing, and presentation of results were a shared responsibility with the client.  



  • The creation of a simple, practical competency guide
  • A guide that has the support and pride of the HR community and will be well used from inspectors, to university program design, and HR professional development & certification.  
  • An example of a competency framework for HR professionals in Canada and the world  
  • Integration of two new domains of HR competence – innovation process and technology



Evolutive mural by Paul Messer, Percolab


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L’art du débat en mode dialogue

Comment travaille-t-on dans le débat quand on est une organisation qui pratique le dialogue?

À la récente Nuit des débats, qui se tenait le même soir à Montréal, Paris et Dakar, Percolab a apporté cette question aux deux débats que nous avons tenu.  Notre hypothèse est que pour qu’un débat puisse se dérouler sur le mode d’une conversation constructive qui accueille la diversité des perspectives il faut créer des conditions.

Le choc des récits: Montréal vue de l’intérieur et de l’extérieur

Dans le premier débat nous avons invité les participants à s’identifier comme “insider” ou “outsider” sur un spectre. Les gens se sont positionnés et se sont racontés l‘histoire de leur positionnement. Nous avons découvert que dans tout le groupe seulement deux personnes étaient nées à Montréal! Dans un second temps, nous avons invité chaque personne à identifier deux choses appréciées de leur ville et deux choses qu’ils n’aiment pas, et à les écrire. Les personnes présentes sont ensuite venus placer leurs réponses, en les lisant à haute voix. La table était mise ; nous nous connaissions un peu et nous avons vu la diversité des perspectives sur la même ville, dans la salle. Certains adorent la neige et le froid et d’autre les détestent. Le “débat” qui s’en est suivi avait plus la saveur d’une conversation collective. Et pourtant des choses profondes et parfois difficiles se sont dites durant les 90 minutes.

C’est ce qui se passe quand on met en rencontre des expériences de la diversité Montréalaise. Nous portons tous en nous les deux pôles des récits sur le ville: nous tenons tous le positif et le négatif. Cette soirée a été l’occasion d’explorer cette dualité en chacun de nous et de jeter un nouveau regard sur nos expériences de la ville sous cet angle.

Le second débat était centré autour de la question de l’autogestion comme faux remède ou vrai soutien  nos problèmes de société, et a permis d’explorer quelques-uns des décalages et le paradigme de l’auto-gestion, encore méconnu. Vous êtes curieux d’en savoir plus sur ce dernier point? Venez participer à notre atelier sur l’autre-gestion le 4 mai prochain à Santropol Roulant…


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Un territoire comme un commun

“Le Collectif des Garrigues a pour finalité de rassembler et de valoriser les expériences et les connaissances sur la garrigue, de contribuer au rapprochement des acteurs du territoire, et de susciter la réflexion sur le futur des garrigues, préservant et développant les spécificités de ce territoire, dans le respect des milieux et de sa vie citoyenne.”

nadineNadine Jouanen de l’équipe percolab, basée à Montpellier, France, emmène notre travail dans le Collectif des Garrigues. Le dernier webzine du collectif a fait un zoom sur Nadine. Le voici, reproduit ici :

Quel est votre lien avec le Collectif des Garrigues?
J’ai découvert le Collectif à mon arrivée ici en 2014. Je renoue avec ma région d’origine après 30 ans passées ailleurs dans le monde! Il m’aura fallu tout ce temps pour découvrir que mes racines étaient plongées profondément dans la garrigue. Ma jeunesse, passée à Nîmes, a ancré en moi ce paysage, les odeurs de thym et de pin, les caillasses et les vignes. Manu et David sont venus me chercher pour participer au bureau en 2015 et j’ai dit oui sans hésiter tant l’intention du Collectif des Garrigues colle à mes valeurs, ma vision de cette région et de l’animation citoyenne, multiple dont a besoin un territoire.

Que pouvez-vous apporter au Collectif et que vous apporte-t-il en retour? 
J’espère pouvoir apporter un surplus de participation, puisque c’est une compétence forte que je suis soucieuse de propager autant que possible. C’est la raison pour laquelle je travaille souvent avec l’équipe pour préparer le déroulé des ateliers, les rencontres, les forums et faire en sorte que l’intelligence collective se manifeste à plein. La reconquête des biens communs, et la gestion de nos communs est un autre axe important pour le Collectif et j’aimerais que mon action au plan national et international ait un impact positif pour une meilleure reconnaissance du Collectif comme acteur clé pour notre territoire sur ce sujet sensible et tellement important.
En retour, le collectif m’apporte une meilleure connaissance, profonde, multiple et transversale de ce bout de terre qui me tient à cœur.


Quel projet vous motive le plus?
Je crois que c’est le projet global, c’est à dire le croisement entre tous les projets du Collectif. Cette vision du territoire dans toutes ses dimensions: géographique, humaine, économique, historique, culturelle… Je le vois bien en ce moment, où un nouveau groupe, Patrimoine et Arts Vivants est en train de se former et que je suis ravie d’accompagner. C’est formidablement enrichissant et c’est une chance incroyable que de pouvoir participer, modestement, à la reconnaissance de notre Garrigue et à son développement harmonieux. Je le dis souvent: vous vivez ici, adhérez et venez participer à nos chantiers, vous n’allez pas en revenir!



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