École42: the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life!

What is the common denominator between a billionaire, a computer science school and self-organization? Not this is not Bill Gates. But École42. During one of my trips in Paris, I had the privilege to visit this very special school (école=school in French). A school over computer science that provides no diploma, has no professor, and starts with a swimming bootcamp. Curious now?

The Genesis

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The Four Gears of Future Proof Management

The nervous system and the body are not one and the same. Management and organization are not one and the same. However I often start by analysing how to change management in an organization before looking at the organization as a whole. Management is the art of getting things done via others. By looking at it first, it gives a simple and concrete start for change to create future proof organisation. So here is my copy/adapt/paste take on what is future proof management and its 4 gears.

What is management?

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The Transformative Impact of Stories

Once upon a time, there was a great knight… We all like stories. Yes, we do!  Ever since human beings sat around fire in caves, we have told stories. We all liked our parents to read us stories before going to bed. In our adult lives, we read books, go to movies and attend plays. But stories are also a fantastic medium to carry the messages of values or transformation towards a future proof organisation. So what does it take to bring back story telling in the workplace? If you wonder about the purple bull, keep reading…

Story telling

Beyond Budget Frustration

Take any employee of a company, ask him or her his/her top frustrating business process. My bet is that you get either the budget allocation process or the yearly performance appraisal (the 2 being linked btw in most organisations). This blog post is about alternative ways of dealing with the former. So we are going to talk about “Money” “Money” “Money” but …not only 🙂

Riding a bike

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In Values We Trust!

The first question people ask me usually when it comes to new ways of working is where to start. To this question I often reply “what are your values?”. There comes the embarrassing moment as I get usually two sorts of answers. The first is…silence and perplex faces😃. The second is “it is written somewhere”. I exaggerate just a bit but it is where it all starts. From an ambitious and inspiring purpose comes a set of values that will govern how an organization lives. These values are the most vital elements to create engaging workplaces.

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My Unusual Suspects

Being truly into future proof organizations, I am always looking to get inspired by organizations that have to some extend successfully transitioned to more soulful workplaces. However often similar examples pop up in presentations or discussion to learn from. Be it Buurtzorg, Favi, Morning star or GE. Nothing wrong about that, they are great organizations but lately I have been searching for my unusual suspects that would also illustrate key principles of future proof organizations (like self-organization) off the beaten tracks. Let’s me share with you my top 4 and I am looking forward to hear yours.

Professional Sport

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The Power of Three

In the quest of finding how companies are organizing themselves to face an ever more complex and diverse environmentwhile keeping their employees highly engaged, I am privileged to be able to visit or study a number of what I call Future Proof Organizations (FPO). While doing so with companies as diverse as Altassian (an enterprise software company ), Statoil ( an international energy company and the world’s largest offshore operator) or General Electric (an multinational conglomerate corporation) in the past months, three main principles arise where Future Proof Organizations are organizing themselves very differently.

The backbone values 

It is not a cliché. Read more

Is life without a boss a utopia?

 What is the common denominator between Mark Vletter at Voys.nl and Ruben Timmerman at Springest.nl. Both have set up a company that functions without bosses. They have found the key to operate at large scale, with a system based on peer relationship, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus. They have enable organizations to self-organized.

Self-organization is one of the key pillars of liberation for organizations that favor happy and engaged employees. Utopia some would say. Not really. It has been around in other sectors for as far as one can remember. Read more

The Evolution of Organizations: In what stage is your company?

In the roughly 100,000-year history of humanity, we have gone through successive stages of consciousness. At every stage we made a leap in our abilities – cognitively, morally, and psychologically – to deal with the world. With every new stage, a new way to collaborate, a new organizational model was invented. Frederic Laloux identified in his book “Reinventing Organisations” several stages. To understand the evolution of organizations I made a summary of all these stages.
Red Organizations

In the Red paradigm, starting around 10,000 years ago, organizations are structured around a strong leader who has absolute power over others. Power structures are constantly in flux as subordinates jockey for position, rather like wolves in a wolf pack around the alpha male. Red Organizations can still be found today in the form of street gangs and mafias. Read more