The impacts of COVID19 on the economy show that the way we do business today is economically unsustainable. Business owners and decision makers are in crucial need of alternatives to business-as-usual in order to create resilience for crises to come and to become part of the solution rather than the problem.
WEAll, Sistema B, World Fair Trade Organisation and SenseTribe therefore invite business owners, decision makers and other stakeholders to commit to seeking out ways to contribute to an economy that is not only economically viable but also socially and environmentally resilient:
Business resilience: We commit to give as much importance to resilience as to efficiency in our business model and value proposition. We commit to building resilient business structures, allowing us to respond to a changing environment and to build capacity to deal with crises effectively.
Human wellbeing: We commit to building balanced stakeholder relationships, so there is trust and commitment to one another. An important basis for building capacity for effective collaboration in moments of crisis.
Environmental wellbeing: We commit to re-evaluating how our business can make a positive contribution to our current environmental crisis, making our business part of the environmental solution, not the problem.
How can Art of Hosting help us navigate uncertainty and evolve in times of isolation and global crisis?
Our world is in flux. COVID19 has surfaced the drawbacks of our current way of life, leading us into uncharted waters. The pandemic has created global unrest by illuminating economic and social inequalities even more. It is clearer than ever before, that the world is changing rapidly and all of us, inevitably, are part of this process. What if this is the opportunity that we have been longing for, the beginning of a new era? What if this is the right time to change the current status quo and imagine a future of living within our Planet’s limits, for the good of all?
Based on the assumption that our world needs fundamental change, the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations practice has been supporting organisations, communities and groups to “be the change” for the past 25 years. It is a practice that prioritises diversity and collaboration where people can discover and cultivate new collective intelligence together. By learning and applying participatory methods, models and theories, we become more skillful in navigating chaos and complexity individually and collectively. Being a global community of practitioners expands the potential and impact of learning, increasing our ability to respond in times of crisis.
We would like to invite you on a quest. We invite teachers, parents, managers, community organisers, politicians, all who are seeking a way to meet this new future which is emerging to join us. We are creating a digital space, where we would like to share and explore together with you the essence of our practice. Together, we invite you into a learning space where we can exchange knowledge, experience participatory methods, explore mental models and theories of complexity, change and systems thinking. We will explore new forms of leadership, based on Living Systems – where interconnection, collaboration and self-organising around purpose lead to results for the good of all.
We invite you to bring your questions, ideas, hopes and dreams and dive into a collective inquiry together. Let’s navigate into these unknown times with an open heart and mind to discover new possibilities.
Who is this for?
Anyone who wants to develop collaboration and participation skills – public service professionals, entrepreneurs, social innovators, NGOs, leaders in business, educators, and anyone who see themselves stepping into new ways of leading.
We will learn, explore and practice
Participatory methods of engaging small and large groups in conversation.
Forms and strategies to build conditions for co-operation and collaboration.
Worldviews and models that will help you to work with complexity.
New perspectives, tools and practical ways of engaging a diverse group of people to discover new ideas and solutions by working generatively with complexity, conflict and emergence.
Process Design, designing and planning the process before implementation, as a structure for new potential and possibilities to emerge.
Be prepared to:
Generate new and collective knowledge that you can apply to your context
Listen to stories from different people, places and perspectives
Contribute to other people’s learning by sharing your insights, questions, projects
Deepen, develop and design your ideas, projects, goals, initiative, questions in a collective learning space
Join an international network and community of practice and connect with a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds
Maria Scordialos with Dimitris Stratakos, Maya Rimer, Mira Bangel and Julia Hoffmann (Visual Recording) decided to collaborate and cocreate this online learning journey, as a response to the current global health and economic crisis.
As stewards and/or seasoned practitioners of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations global community of practice, they offer trainings and immersive learning on participatory leadership, living systems, and design practices for living and working in complexity, particularly in contexts of chaos, crisis and collapse.
The Human Workplace – a Blueprint for Remote Companies
A remote organization is built on trust. Trust is the single most important driver for collaboration and high-performance. Once you trust yourself and your peers, a whole new range of leadership possibilities open up.
We also know that remote organizations are mostly more effective. Today on a venture capital network exchange one tech founder shared: “Since we’ve been working remotely, we’ve delivered in a week what we normally did in a month”. This is not a surprise for me anymore. I have the feeling that I know why it is like this.
For the last 15 years I’ve been thinking about “how to organize collaboration”. I grounded my thinking in a lot of publications by well known companies such as Google, Zappos, Buffer, McKinsey and many more. Even more than reading and researching, I’ve experimented a lot and gained lots of experience and insights. At Zalando, I facilitated the agile transformation and scaling Tech from 120 people to 2.500 in 3 years. We had a hundred of teams to work with and with every one I made a unique experience. Overall the experience has been stressful and overwhelming – which shows that I was in my growth zone: meeting the unknown, experiencing something new and trying to be comfortable in uncertainty. I enjoyed this very much.Over the last two years I’ve conducted my own research and studied pattern of high performing teams, also at Zalando.
What I want share in this article is the insight of those 15 years of work.
It’s a blueprint for how to build high-performing remote organizations based on trust and the patterns and principles of some of the most successful companies around the world.
The blueprint is designed to cultivate…
Trust between members of the organization
Self-responsible organization members
Empathy for “new hires” and the questions they have when they join the organization
Clearly distinguished organizational aspects
Hyper-growth readiness and the ability to work well together at scale
…and saves you a lot of management overhead (/headache).
It helps you as founder to think, organize your thoughts and build up a mental model that enables you to develop your organization with focus and clarity
It helps you to maintain, explain, align and develop your culture despite or esp. during hyper growth — it helps you to build “a learning organization” that is resilient and responsive
It helps you to co-create a human centered workplace where people’s happiness and health lead to high performance and outstanding business results. It doesn’t do this for performance reasons alone, rather for love & care for humans.
How do we cultivate trustful relationships
We build the organization based on a positive human mental model and principles such as trust, honesty, appreciation and self-responsibility. These human principles are the source of the organizational principles.
Example: The human principle of self-responsibility leads to the organizational principle: Everyone can take ownership and therefore can & should make decisions independently but aligned. As a result, we structure the organization in a way that allows people to pick their topic/teams (see “How we structure”) and decentralize decision-making (see “How we make decisions”).
We do this because we believe workplace happiness and health leads to high performance / valuable contribution.
One company using this blueprint is BRYTER. In the following remote session it’s co-founder and CPO Michael Hübl shares their insights and practices of how they “cultivate trustful relationships”:
“In 2018, we decided to go fully remote. Our entire company operates remotely. We have a remote-first structure in our DNA which means we know how to build, run and scale a business remotely. We know how product development, customer success and marketing teams work in a fully virtual environment. We know how it feels to provide an enterprise-ready solution – anywhere. So we want to share our learnings and experiences with you all. In this online session, we will run through how we organize the collaboration of 70+ people in different countries and timezones. We will talk about the importance of communication and knowledge sharing in order for all of us to make rapid progress with our work and product.”
BRYTER is the leading no-code platform to automate expert knowledge. Its intuitive toolbox enables professionals to build, manage and sell interactive applications without programming skills. BRYTER is especially geared towards experts in law, finance, tax and compliance working with complex, conditional and scenario-based content who want to automate recurring and standardizable decision-making processes. BRYTER operates offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, and London and supports professionals in over 50 international law and consulting firms, corporates and public bodies with the automation of professional decision-making.
In this webinar Mic mentioned the “Caring Circle” as an advanced practice – which brings together a lot of the practices Mic shared in this remote session in a simple and powerful format.
With the “Caring Circle” you can learn how can we care for each other in challenging times, deepen human relationships and build a sense of togetherness remotely?
We see our customers as human beings. With empathy, we think about what they need in their workplace to get their job done. How they feel when they are using our product. What success means for them and their company.
That’s why we have a customer success team and call our customers “champions “— it is part of our job to help them to become champions.
We believe that customer empathy enables us to build a product that adds value for our customer.
How we structure
We work in cross-functional groups where we have every competence at hand to act, deliver and make decisions independently. Sometimes this is an ideal state, but we know the closer we come to this, the better we can collaborate.
We learn together in communities of practice. This is our home base of like-minded people where we give and find support, mentorship and care.
We believe that a responsive and scalable structure enables healthy hyper-growth and collaboration at scale.
How we make decisions
We make decisions “together alone”. Following the principles of trust and self-responsibility everyone can make a decision when:
we follow the companies north star(s) / objectives
it is based on a real personal topic, need or tension
we make sure it is safe enough to try and we do the risk assessment for this
we are willing to follow up on the consequences
When a topic is more complex or more people are involved, or we do not know how many can be affected, we activate our collective intelligence. We follow processes and procedures – lean and small in the beginning, and more formal and powerful ones when needed – to collectively assess a decision and mitigate risks.
We believe that distributed decision-making enables us to take the right decisions fast so that we will stay effective and react fast at scale.
How we do leadership
Leadership means to care about culture, structures and context —it means to take care of co-workers without violating their self-responsibility and the trust we have in each other.
When we take leadership we want to strengthen ownership, self-responsibility and trust in ourselves and others. It is a coaching mindset that enables others to use the given processes and procedures of the organization. It is about co-creating local and structural / organizational improvement and optimizations. It is about taking ownership of conflicts.
It is like gardening.
We believe we need and profit from ownership and an entrepreneurial spirit on all levels, in order to be successful as a company.
How we improve personal & professional
We learn from each other and with each other. We learn from like-minded people and people with more experience. We learn from the experience of others. We reflect our experience (the good and the ugly) honestly with others and learn.
We do not have a failure culture – we have a learning culture. We organize as communities of practice and go through events and sessions self-responsibly: following our human centered principles. We grow as a human, not as a function. And we grow together.
We believe that when we learn, the organization is learning. And we need this learning to be competitive on the market.
How we plan and align work
We plan work based on direct customer feedback. We work in short iterations to handle complexity and respond to change fast.
We use clear objectives and key results to align our work. We own our objectives and have a clear understanding on how business impact / success looks like.
We have clarity of who is doing what and regularly reflect about how we can improve our collaboration, keep the flow and stay in the high-performance zone.
We believe that to navigate well in complexity, react to change fast, build the best customer value possible, we need the freedom and skill to adjust on a daily basis in alignment with the common north star so that we can work effectively & efficiently.
What we see is – and what we want – is: the more you implement the blueprint as your organizational model, the more business impact you create.
In summary, what you get is
A way to organize and grow your remote company – without stopping operations
A human workplace blueprint that boosts your business model
A way to keep your trustful culture during fast growth
It attracts talents and seniors that want to take ownership and responsibility
Readiness for healthy hyper-growth and working at scale
In the last days a lot of people I trust encouraged me to publish the blueprint now. Thank you Mic, Benjamin, Juke, Mira, Raffa and Andrei. I also have the feeling that it is the right time. So now I am curious what reactions and questions arise in you after reading this article. Send me a direct message with your feedback or use the comment function to share your reaction and insights.
The sudden exponential spread of Covid19 and its impact upon our known way of operating daily professionally and personally, is requiring us to be extremely creative in our response. With most team members confined at their homes, establishing a new rhythm that enables businesses to continue in the midst of disruption is both a challenge and an opportunity. Whether you are leading a team or take part of one and whether you are already well versed or not in working remotely, learning and adapting during and for this period will be crucial.
Join us in a journey to:
Establish sound foundations to work remotely & obtain the full potential of what already exists in the organisation.
Define and agree on the practices and routines that best fit your organisation and context and select the most appropriate tools.
Inquire into existing processes, workflows and responsibilities and adapt them to fit the current circumstances.
Create the space for team members to grow in autonomy and responsibility, contributing their hidden potential and additional capabilities in this moment in time.
We invite you to 3 training sessions where, starting from your team / company needs we will jointly co-create a sound map of structure, processes, agreements and attitudes, to enable you to maintain an appropriate level of activity. These training sessions will be designed and conducted on the principles of continuous learning and adaptation:
This training will help you to:
Define your key needs of collaborative remote working to maintain core business
Engage in a process of adapting to unfolding changes in environment to enable the journey through this period
Identify and unlock additional individual / organisational capacity and explore the opportunities this situation might bring
We recommend a minimum of 3 facilitated team conversations with intact teams (executive) and a follow up session to evaluate progress and define next steps.
For a number of years we have been immersed in a context that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. At this moment in time, in the midst of Covid19, the need to make sense and understand the context we find ourselves in is key, and developing organisational capability to address a continuing changing environment for today and the future is vital.
Join us in a journey to:
Reaffirm the intention and core of your organisation, the focus on what matters, for today and the future.
Discover what dynamic capabilities bring to increase the ability of your organisation to respond to and create disruption, whilst focussing on the core.
Learn about complexity, what it means to your organisation and what helps to take decisions in a complex environment.
Explore alternative approaches and models for strategic decision making (The Business of Wellbeing, 3 Horizons …)
We invite you to 3 facilitated conversations in which to experience the initial application of complexity based theoretical approaches to your organisation and its specific needs. In these conversations, we will create and model for you, the conditions to engage in the conversations that matter for the healthy continuity of your organisation into the future.
Engage in conversation to clarify organisational purpose enabling alignment of organisational intention to specific short term and longer term actions.
Learn about new approaches to enable purpose-driven organisations, sense their context and develop the inner compass to navigate VUCA conditions.
Experience participating in conversations that matter and learning about creating the necessary conditions for them.
We recommend a minimum of 3 facilitated team conversations with intact teams (executive) and a follow up session to evaluate progress and define next steps.
This experiential learning through facilitated conversation, will bring great value to intact teams in need of defining next steps for their organisations in today’s context whilst enabling their future.
Over the past few weeks, journalists, copywriters and communicators have been challenged to provide clear and trustworthy information related to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID19). But writing about health has been a constant challenge for our communications team at SenseTribe. For over five years, we’ve been creating health-related content for social media channels. In this short article, we’re sharing five tips on how best to communicate health topics on social media, based on our experience and expertise.
Choose your sources carefully. It is difficult to share scientific-based content with a wide audience, but it is not impossible. And that is why big companies, governments, agencies are hiring copywriters to do it. Make sure to use reliable sources and data from public health organisations, such as the World Health Organization, ECDC in Europe, NHS in the UK, CDC in the US and so on, as well as research centres from public and renowned universities.
Publication date matters. When writing about health topics, the publication date is relevant. Pay attention to articles that are published 2 years ago or older. Indeed, science and health topics are constantly evolving as research into them advances. Be aware of the latest updates in cases of pandemics, such as COVID-19. These topics have hourly updates and you may be sharing out-dated information.
Technical terms may confuse your audience. Social media content must be informative and easy to understand. Reliable information doesn’t need to use scientific and academic terms. More and more health organisations are using language that is understandable to non-specialist readers to inform them about complicated diseases and vaccine-related topics. Follow their lead, make a simple post to catch your audience’s attention and add a call-to-action to get them to read the source your information came from.
Illustration and graphic representation for complex subjects. Creativity is a powerful tool for complexity. Make designers and illustrators your close friends, they are awesome professionals that have the power to simplify complex subjects into beautiful and well-explained images or, in some cases, animations. If you have budget problems, don’t worry, the World Health Organisation has a communication toolkit for each topic available for free. You find visuals, animations (GIF) and infographics available for download from their website.
Comments are not personal. People will comment on social media posts with strong statements, sometimes using rude words and aggressive statements. Keep in mind it is not personal, especially if you’re writing on behalf of an institution. The role of the content creator and community manager is to provide reliable and trustworthy information. Personal discussions will happen, and you, as a moderator, just make sure people remain respectful and that no fake news takes over your page’s engagement. And always remember, it is not about you, but a general opinion on the subject.
These are our most important observations. We believe we can make an important contribution to communicators that are trapped at this time of worldwide concern. We have an important role to play now, helping institutions to share reliable information and helping people to receive trustworthy updates.
If you need our support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Meaningful Communications’. Our team will love to co-create ideas to help with your communication strategy.