Hey you,

Have you heard of Percolab? Do you know who we are? Do you know what we do? Can you help us explain ourselves, our work and our values to the whole world?

Here’s the deal:

Percolab has been around for 10 years. We’ve got a North American team based in Montreal and a European team based in the South of France, and a whole bunch of other teams ready to pop up all over the place. We are a flat, non-hierarchical, self-managed organization that not only practices what it preaches, we support other groups in shifting their management paradigms too.

We work along 3 basic principles:

  1. collective intelligence: we are smarter than just me
  2. collaborative practices: together we go further (and deeper) – just ask for help already!
  3. self-determination: people in situations are the experts of those situations – nothing about us without us.

Our work with clients can take the form of a workshop, a consultation process, a training, an organizational retreat, a video, a strategic planning process, a website, an organizational reboot, a social lab, citizen co-design, an infographic, and a bunch of other formats we haven’t bothered to name or simply haven’t invented… yet.

We work in and with just about any sector and types of folk you can imagine and the reason we can do that is because we observe and understand complexity and the deep recurring patterns that pop up in just about any organization (OK, all of them!).

The good news:

  • Our phones and emails are constantly beeping with requests from organizations who want us to work with them
  • Most of those calls and messages come from people who have worked with us before, participated in one of the many projects we are involved in, or heard about us from a friend, a colleague or even their dentist (really).
  • We do good work. Not only do we work well and with deep respect for the humans we are involved with, we also do work that is good for the world. Directly or indirectly (ok, sometimes a little subversively) we are trying to shift The System to be healthier, kinder, and in service to life, people and the planet (not the other way around).
  • We are multilingual and international
  • We are nice and wicked smart and collectively pretty good looking (really, go check our team page). We’ve got a nice selection of accents. Some of us are serious and some of us are sassy and some of us are sweet. We are all thoughtful, kind and creative.
  • Every single one of us can produce content! We can write, draw, take photos, make videos…
  • We have really good ideas and insights and are awesome critical thinkers. We even have a visionary genius in our midst (shhhh, don’t tell her, she might blush).
  • We regularly have people say stuff to us like: “Hey, really thanks for that…” “I never saw it that way before…” “We need to change our thinking…”
  • We are transparent, we like to share ideas, we like to build community
  • We belong to 3 huge international movements: The art of hosting, the commons, the shift to self-management and our expertise is recognized and valued in all three networks.
  • We are learners. We are really good at feedback. We are really good at asking for help.

The bad news:

  • Every single one of us is better at doing the work and thinking about the work than talking about and explaining our work
  • If you want to make a person from Percolab freeze, you just have to ask: “So, what exactly does Percolab do?
  • We are humble, we totally recognize that every single idea we have (or anyone else has, hmph!) comes from somewhere and we value and recognize that. Which makes us really good at talking about other people’s stuff and not so good at highlighting our specific spin which is usually quite interesting and useful and unique.
  • We work in complexity so that kinda makes it… complex… to speak about what we do
  • A common comment we get: “Wow, I have no idea what we just did there but that totally changed my understanding of my life and the world, thank you.” Uhhh…. you’re welcome?
  • We take ideas from any school of thought we fancy and make it our own. We are the champions of mash-up. Maybe we might even get a secret pleasure of defying categories
  • We are all busy working on stuff and some of us tend to neglect (or avoid) putting our thinking and work out there.
  • We aren’t really savvy on communications stuff and how to maximize the impact of what we put out there

So we wanna be seen!

We need support from a person who fits with our flat, self-managed, hyper-curious culture, who gets what we do and why we do it and why it’s important. We want to work with someone who is willing to dip into our circle (that is our management structure), immerse themselves in our culture, learn with us and help us learn how to better get our message out to the world.

What does that mean?

We have some ideas but maybe you know stuff we don’t and can totally up our game. We would like that! Internally we set our own salaries based on our deliverables, and we would like this contract to work like this as well.

Stuff we do know!

  • you’ve got to be wickedly French-English bilingual
  • you’ve got to be able to edit us
  • you’ve got to have experience with some serious communications skillz
  • you’ve got to be collaborative, curious and a learner
  • you can’t rely on telling us what to do (we refute authority and we are like herding cats)
  • you have to inspire, engage and motivate us to produce content
  • you’ve got to know all about the interwebs and those new-fangled appy things
  • you’ve got to be able to find the simplicity in complexity (and understand that statement)

If you have read this to the end, are smiling, feel a little quiver in your heart, checked our team page to see if we really are good-looking (told you!), googled complexity, and have shouted at the screen because of how crappily we communicate our message, then perhaps you’d like to meet one of us for tea?


The Percolab Crew

P.S. Feel free to drop a line to elizabeth@percolab.com

Methodologies and tools: