Work after the crisis

The COVID-19 crisis sent many workers home. Organizations needed to turn to telework and many find themselves turned upside down. At the very least, telework requires technological tools to deal with the lack of physical proximity. However, telework does not have to be a simple transposition of office-work to home-work and virtual tools. At its core, the current need for telework is an opportunity to create the future of work, which is based on a new culture of collaboration.

Since 2007, at Percolab, we have been experimenting with this new work culture based on a radical practice of collaboration. Whether you are side by side in the same space, or whether everyone is at home, collaboration is built around a few fundamental beliefs:

  • a global purpose; to accelerate the socio-ecological transition;
  • agency and the leadership of each individual stemming from autonomy and trust;
  • taking care of relationships by nurturing and re-establishing them, when necessary;
  • day-to-day learnings and maintaining the learner’s posture;
  • balance between the individual and the collective through shared decision;
  • the individual and collective capacity of human beings to self-organize;
  • transparency from the very beginning, making actions visible and accessible.

In her book Going Horizontal, our colleague Samantha Slade presents tangible practices with which we can embody these convictions. This set of practices, that we use and share, has developed for years with our customers, our partners, and sister organizations. These practices have been refined through multiple experiments and learnings, allowing ownership and creation of a greater common meaning. Furthermore, our approach is intended to be gradual and pragmatic so that everyone can acquire this new culture without fear of an unsettling transformation.

In our work of supporting teams, we observe that many people are affected by deficient, ineffective and painful collaboration horror stories. They have deep scars that keep them from re-engaging in collaborative endeavours. Nevertheless, we also all have rejuvenating collaborative experiences. For this reason, we call on organizations to build strong collaborative cultures in order to prevent the current need for telework from fulfilling Morten Hansen’s prophecy which states that poor collaboration is actually worse than the absence of collaboration.

The speed of COVID-19 transmission highlights our global interdependence. It reminds us that we must make this interdependence a strength in order to overcome this crisis. By joining the common venture of taking care of each other and of nature, we give meaning to the ultimate reason behind our existence. We recognize interaction and connection as the rudiments of everything that lives. This widens our field of vision and naturally changes the way we make decisions. This crisis is like a springboard that seeks to propel us forward. And the organizations do not have to be cubicles and silos in which we’re confined. Work can be a rich and complex environment in which we can reveal the best of ourselves.

With hope that the common question ‘in which cubicle are you?’ becomes ‘in which garden are you?

Article written by Denis Côté, associate member of Percolab Coop

Domains:
Segments: health | |
Methodologies and tools:

Porter un regard positif sur le réseau de la santé avec l’approche enquête appréciative (AEA)

 

“Very great change starts from very small conversations

held among people who cares.”

 

Tout le monde a son histoire avec le réseau de la santé. Les nouvelles le concernant sont rarement joyeuses. Comme société, la limitation des ressources exerce une pression constante sur le système. Le dévouement des acteurs du soin fait pourtant l’unanimité. Comment bâtir ensemble comme communauté sur cette force vive.  

Les professionnels[1]qui y travaillent nous témoignent vouloir donner un service exemplaire. Ils ne savent plus comment faire mieux, plus vite, avec moins. J’y ai travaillé pendant vingt ans. Je me suis repositionnée pour l’observer et le voir plus globalement. Je suis allée voir ailleurs pour revenir avec de nouvelles idées. Ce n’est pas plus vert ailleurs, ni aux États-Unis ou en France. Les défis sont énormes. J’oserais dire qu’ils sont à la hauteur de l’engagement de ceux qui y travaillent. Pour nous,  l’utilisation de cet engagement intrinsèque est un générateur de vitalité sur lequel nous pouvons bâtir en utilisant des approches collaborative, telles que l’approche enquête appréciative (AEA). Celle-ci est unificatrice et puissante, pouvant soutenir le système de santé dans les défis auxquels il fait face.

Le livre Pratique de l’Appreciative Inquiry dans les établissements de santé sera lancé au Québec le 30 mai prochain à Montréal. Pour l’occasion, les acteurs du système sont invités à vivre une expérience de l’AEA qui vise à mettre en valeur les forces du système et les histoires de succès et ainsi générer un élan de vitalité et de créativité pour aborder le futur avec espoir.

Le livre propose d’abord d’explorer les questions génératives et de l’appliquer à trois grands thèmes relatifs au monde du soin : le patient, le travail d’équipe et l’organisation. Ses auteurs, Whitney et al., souhaitent offrir une référence aux professionnels pour leur permettre de développer la pratique de l’AEA comme philosophie. Ils présentent la question positive comme un outil transformationnel du système. Le dernier chapitre de la version française du livre est un ajout précieux où sont relatés des témoignages de l’apport de l’AEA dans des établissements de santé en France. Mon collègue Thierry Brigodiot nous transmet avec soin l’expérience vécue. Finalement, sept pratiques appréciatives sont formulées spécifiquement pour les soins de santé et auxquelles on peut s’exercer autant dans le travail que de façon personnelle.

Le 30 mai prochain**, vous pourrez écouter les histoires appréciatives vécues au Québec et prendre un moment pour partager un regard sur ce qui fonctionne bien dans le réseau et présenter votre pratique de l’AEA. Nous souhaitons cocréer avec les participant.es un narratif positif et inspirant, qui donnera un élan pour agir ensemble,  se mobiliser dans la pratique de l’AEA et ainsi rendre plus fort le mouvement d’amélioration perpétuel du système.

Venez « imaginer ce qui se passerait si vous pouviez créer une culture de soins de haute qualité qui célèbre le meilleur des soignants, patients, et des familles, qui embrasse les opportunités d’amélioration avec optimiste et qui construit une collaboration basée sur la confiance et la conviction réciproque que le meilleur réside en chacun de nous »[2].

—————

**Ajout du 1er août 2019: Deux nouveaux événements auront se tiendront le 24 septembre 2019 et le 22 octobre 2019 de 18h à 20h30 à surveiller dans la page événement de notre site Percolab.com . Détails à venir.

Écrivez à stephanie@percolab.com pour réserver votre place!

 

[1]Le terme « professionnels » est utilisé de façon inclusive. Chaque métier ou corps d’emploi est considéré comme professionnel, puisque soumis à des standards élevés. Il y a plus de 300 titres d’emploi dans le réseau, incluant médecin, gestionnaire, infirmière, travailleur social, ergothérapeute, électricien, cuisinier, préposé aux bénéficiaires, etc.
[2]Whitney, Diana, et Al , Pratique de l’Appréciative Inquiry dans les établissements de santé”, InterÉditions, 2019 p.16. Traduit par Christine Cayré.
Domains:

Segments: health | |
| | |
Methodologies and tools:

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

Domains:


Segments: health | |
| | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
Methodologies and tools:

| | | | | |

Principles and processes for co-designing self-organizing events

It’s easier than it sounds. If you organize events, this is for you.

The international Art of Hosting community has developed a different way to design gatherings. There is an underlying pattern that has been fine-tuned and experimented around the world for over 20 years. No matter what the convening topic, from collaboration methods to water management, to financial matters, it is possible to design, organize and meet with the flavour and feel of life, because they are the result of an underlying pattern.

Participants and conveners do not necessarily get to see this backstage, (how the hosting team works together through the design/preparation day and onwards) though everyone is sensing its existence. Over and over, it has laid the conditions for groups to experience a functional self-organizing operating system, live an enlivening experience, access deep co-learning, and do good work. A friend with decades of event organisation explains it as an update of the system software we have been working with for a long time; a 2.0 version, if you will. This is my attempt to share the pattern in a practical and helpful way, without reducing it to a simple recipe to follow. The pattern holds deep consciousness and wisdom, and I hope I am honouring it well. It begins with three principles.

It is wise that a facilitation team spends some time together just prior to a convening. The length of time will depend on elements such as the duration of the convening, the familiarity between the team members, the challenges and risks. Typically, for a three-day event, the hosting team will spend one or two days together prior to the event. For a very short meeting, the hosts will spend a shorter time.


Principle 1: Responsive design — Wait until as close to the gathering/training as possible to design the program

Certain aspects related to organizing a gathering/training can and should be done well in advance of the event, such as the venue, food, decorations, lodging, budget, registration, communication. What the team also does upfront is getting to know the context more, and getting to know each other a better, so they become a real team. As for the design of the actual program, if we want it to be acutely responsive to the context and needs that connect to the convening, to the tiny changes, local and beyond, that are forever taking place right up to the first day of the convening, then it makes sense to leave the programming to just prior to the event.

Friendly warning: We have become so accustomed to developing our event programs months in advance of an event, that waiting until just prior to the event may generate a certain level of anxiety.

Principle 2: A strong container — Give importance to the invisible field that holds a meeting

If we want power, depth and flow in our gatherings then we will need to accord time and space to build what we call, for lack of a better word, “a relationship field” or a “strong container”. This is the invisible field that holds the potential of a group. It is the collective presence and the quality of the relationships between the team members that make up the quality of this field. If this is strong and healthy, it can facilitate generative conversations, paradigm shifts and deep connections. With it, the event team will stay in healthy collaboration even if the event brings stormy weather. This can mean taking time to be together, play, sing, cook, share silence, whatever flows. This is how friendship and familiarity grows. Being in good relationship with yourself and with others helps to enjoy and benefit from the diversity of others.

Friendly warning: We have become so accustomed to time management for performance that giving time and spaciousness to being together may cause some anxiety.

Principle 3: — Learning edges, self-organisation and community of practice — Practice our own medicine

Every work session in the preparation is a micro-example of what is being created. How you are imagining the event should be showing up during this preparation time. If you want participants to harvest online, the team should start during the design days. Be in this practice with the team before the event and you will be practicing well at the event. The practice contributes to the container. If we want the event participants to experience deep learning, then the team should share their learning edges with each other. If the team is trusting and trying something new during the convening, beyond our fears, with the support of each other, then we are modelling that for the whole event. There is life in the trembling and this is being in a community of practice.

Friendly warning: We have become so accustomed to showing up with our expertise that it can be uncomfortable to reveal our learning edges.

How do we design together?

When we finally get to design the actual event our reflex is to jump in directly. Go slow and begin with the following. By doing these steps, the design that is needed will reveal itself. Embody the principles described above in the actual design time.

Need, purpose and participants

Take time to strengthen the connection to the need underlying the event and then to the purpose. Since the purpose is the invisible leader it needs to be held clearly by the whole team. The original call for the event began with this and so should the design. It is the centre of the work.

Team learnings

What is the intention or learning edges of each person in the team? If we want to facilitate learning we need to be in learning ourselves. If we embody the work we strengthen it.

Sensing in

Take time to understand the context, the people who will be coming, what is going on around to be more in tune and responsive to what is needed. Listen with all your senses, on all kind of levels.

Outputs — Acting more wisely for the world

Good work should always yields real results. The Hopi Indians say: “Will it grown corn for the people?”. What is the convening going to create that will be useful for the world?

The venue

The venue can support the quality of the convening. When it is possible spend some time at the venue? Connect and feel the flow in the space. How can the event make use of it? Are there any outdoor possibilities? Imagine the space and beauty unfolding. Embrace the constraints that come with it.

Friendly reminder: It is not either or, you need the analytical and planning capacities together with many soft skills.

How do we design for self-organization?

When the time comes to actual designing the event, the same principles apply.

  1. Clarify responsibilities/teams

If the event goes over a few days, create sub-teams. One way to approach this is a team for each day, a team for space and beauty and a team for documenting (harvesting). It can be helpful to identify how many spots there are in each team; then it is clear if people are in a single team or multiple teams. When it is time to decide who is in which team, in a self-organizing framework it is important that each person choses for herself. It can be useful to invite people to think about their offering and their learning edges before and then place pens on the table and in silence everyone writes their name where they are feeling they should be. It is important to note that the sub-team have a role of stewarding the tasks, not of executing all the activities and work of the day.

2) Clarify the flow and structure

Each team spends time designing a flow of activities for their area of responsibility. It is NOT yet time to dig into the design, only identifying the flow of activities (ex. team hosts, team coaches, participants) and the number of each. Then, to ensure that all the parts work together, the teams share their flow and activities and receive comments. Friction points and blind spots will be revealed. The teams then have a bit of time to produce a second version of their flow and activities if necessary. The group then comes back together to agree on the design. In this way everyone is aware and in support of the total design.

3) Activity designing

Only now each person identifies the activities/roles they will be responsible for, individually or in teams. Now each activity can be designed in detail. Those for day one will take priority. Some will be done prior to the event and some will be designed during the event with (some of) the participants (during breaks or evening).

4) Inviting in

During the first morning of the event, participants are invited to step in with their own activities or proposals within the scaffolding structure set up by the team. This structure holds the space so that the facilitation/hosting and documenting/harvesting can be done with the ample participation of all, in an open and flexible way. When the preparation work has been done – attending to all the details with care — the principles described above allow the loose structure to be held with quality and rigour. It can appear chaotic but the freedom is held by a container that supports coherence, alignment and freedom. It allows us to open up to what is possible and alive. This is how we organise amongst ourselves.

The Art of Hosting way creates a self-organizing operating system, an edginess of possibility, a depth of learning and a quality in human connection that often eludes us in other types of gatherings and meetings. Events all over the world are organized in this manner with great success, from the European Institutions, to local neighbourhoods, from businesses to professional networks.


Learn more about Art of Hosting and upcoming trainings.

Thank you to Ria Baeck for contribution and support in writing this article.

Domains:



Segments: health | |
| | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | |
Methodologies and tools:

| | | | | |

Harmonizing organizational change

Percolab accompanied the cooperatively-run Clinique Dentaire Rachel through structural and cultural change with the growth of the clinic.

By hosting a six-phase emergent workshop process – using techniques such as visual-thinking practices and collective sensemaking – the process cultivated “collaborative leadership” to clarify, anchor and align their systems and working culture.


Domains:



| |
Segments: health | |
| | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | |
|
Methodologies and tools:

| | | | | |

| | | |

Art of Asking for Help

How comfortable are you at asking for help? How clear are your requests for help?

Have you ever thought that we can improve our asking for help skills and even approach asking for help as a practice? Our awareness of the specific type of help we are asking for and the words we use to ask for help can be fine-tuned. Indeed, the more our request for help is precise the higher our chances of obtaining the help we actually want and avoid frustrations on both sides (feelings of not being heard or not being appreciated).

At percolab we have developed a simple tool to support the development of our asking for help culture. We have seen how it can open up space and deconstruct preset minds. We have noticed that it can work with everyone.

Before you dive into the typology, think of a moment when you offered help recently and think of a moment when you asked for help recently.

Jot down your examples and then read through the typology and see where they fit. If your examples are not in the typology, let me know so the typology can evolve and strengthen with our collective intelligence.

1. Ask me questions (coaching)

2. Show me how to . . . (demonstrate)

3. Tell me information or perspective (local knowledge/experience based)

4. Give me expert advice (expertise based)

5. Think creatively with me (idea generation)

6. Give me feedback on my idea, model etc. (enriching)

7. Be my audience/participant (practice)

8. Provide me moral support (emotion)

9. Give me a hand… (physical, action help)

10. Loan/give me something (material support)

11. Protect and care for me (abuse support)

12. Make sense with me (intellectual/intuitive)

13. Motivate me (kick in the butt)

14. Step in with/for me (solidarity)

15. Can you listen to me (attention)

Now, write down two requests for help using the typology. Go and ask someone for help. If the person can’t answer the first request, try the second one. How was that? Did you notice a difference?

As collaboration and participatory leadership are on the rise, our capacity to excel at asking for help is becoming all the more important. The time of the hero leader who could figure everything out on his or her own is over.

It is kind to ask for help. Do not trust someone who cannot ask for help”.

Note: Feel free to adapt and adjust this typology. Think of it as a commons. I invite you share how you are using it and how it is evolving with your usage. here or email sam@percolab.com

Domains:



| |

Segments: health | |
| | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | |
|
| | | | | | | | | |
Methodologies and tools:

| | | | | |

| | | |
|