Interactive Workshops

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At the leading edge of business are self-managing organizations that eschew conventional structures and operate more like living systems in nature, with the capacity to self-organize, respond continually and intelligently to change, and evolve to a greater complexity and order. Absent are centralized planning and top-down decision making. These organizations believe their people to be creative, thoughtful, trustworthy adults that are capable of making important decisions. And they have a lot of fun working together.

The following interactive workshops are based on the research of Frederic Laloux in the seminal work Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness. They help leaders and teams understand and implement the foundational concepts for creating a self-managing, fractal organization. Knowing the necessary conditions for establishing an adaptive, thriving culture enables you to create a pathway to implementation.

For conventional organizations that are not quite ready to make the leap to self-management, the workshops in the Daily Practices section can be customized to introduce aspects of self-management in these environments.

Fractal Organization Overview and Structures

    Fractal organizations are characterized by self-organization and self-management. Instead of a hierarchical “predict and control” pyramid, fractal organizations have a decentralized structure consisting of small teams that take responsibility for their own governance and for how they interact with other parts of the organization. Unlike the highly static nature of conventional organizations, the fractal organizational structure is characterized by rapid change and adaptation, as adjustments are continuously made to better serve the organization’s purpose. The sessions in this module include the following:

  • Fractal Organization Overview

    An overview conversation provides curious leaders with an understanding of self-management operations and how they differ from conventional organizations.

  • Self-Organizing Teams and Their Structural Models

    Self-organizing teams embody personal empowerment, freedom, and trust. Their decentralized structures can vary depending upon organization size and industry. Participants design models that meet the needs of their organizations

  • Staff Functions and Work Coordination

    Self-managing organizations typically accomplish more with fewer people due to increased efficiency: specialist staff functions are owned by operating teams or contractors. Temporary, volunteer task forces perform functions that require heavy central coordination. Participants create agreements for embedding staff functions in teams and creating task forces.

  • Board and Ownership Roles and Responsibilities

    The board and top ownership must hold worldviews that are compatible with this freedom-based work environment. These individuals bring perspective, diversity, and expertise to important decisions. Participants define roles and responsibilities for the board and founders

    Business Processes in Fractal Organizations

      Non-profit, for-profit, and institutional organizations that adopt self-management structures have similar operational requirements as conventional organizations. However, the processes that they follow are unique and simpler and emphasize the personal responsibility and accountability that enable individual freedom and creativity to thrive in these environments. The conversations in this module help leaders and teams develop new approaches that require less time and fewer resources. The workshops in this module include the following:

    • Strategy, Innovation, and Product Development

      Strategy happens organically, all the time and everywhere, as people toy with ideas and test them out in the field. Worthwhile innovations display evidence of beauty, creativity, and service to the organization’s purpose and therefore to society. Participants create agreements for adaptive strategy processes.

    • Sales and Marketing

      Responsibility for sales and marketing is distributed throughout the organization through self-managing teams who have direct customer contact. Participants discuss embedding sales and marketing functions within service and production teams.

    • Purchasing and Investments

      The person who suggests an investment takes the responsibility to conduct and monitor the purchasing process. Participants create processes for creating team investment budgets and purchasing procedures that can be challenged by peers.

    • Budgeting and Controlling

      Budgets are established only if a forecast is necessary to inform an important decision. The advice process keeps spending in line with the needs of the organization. Participants discuss methods for making budgetary decisions in accordance to present-time demands.

    • Environmental and Social Management

      Because environmental and social practices arise from a sense of personal and corporate integrity, fractal organizations often take a systemic approach to improve the environment or social structures in which the organization is active. Participants discuss agreements that allow teams to take action in these areas.

    • Change and Crisis Management

      Change management is effortless, because people embrace change that they personally initiate. Occasionally a crisis may require suspension of the advice process because of the scale or urgency of the situation. Participants discuss different situations where crisis management may be necessary and design ways to address them.

      People Practices in Fractal Organizations

        Fractal organizations foster the values of personal responsibility and accountability. Teams take charge of most people practices, such as recruiting, training, target setting, and compensation decisions. Leaders are mentors, coaches, teachers, and helpers. Role flexibility enables real-time change and decisions that immediately serve the needs and requirements of both external and internal customers. The workshops in this module include the following:

      • Recruitment and Onboarding

        Recruitment is led by the team in need of a new member. Participants develop processes for recruiting, welcoming, and training new colleagues in a self-management organization.

      • Training and Coaching

        Everyone is encouraged to develop their roles and expertise. Coaching practices tend to be embedded in the organization and available to all. Participants develop agreements for leadership and peer coaching.

      • Commitment, Working Hours, and Flexibility

        People have the freedom to choose and agree to their own working hours, which motivates them to be fully responsible for their work. Participants discuss methods for implementing and monitoring self-set working hours.

      • Objectives and Target Setting

        Teams and individuals are intrinsically driven to fulfill the purpose of the organization. Objectives emerge and change with shifting conditions. Participants practice listening to the organization’s purpose to plan next steps.

      • Feedback and Performance Management

        The transparency inherent in fractal organizations means that all members of the organization are constantly receiving feedback. Performance is managed primarily at a team level through peer feedback and emulation. Participants create agreements for sharing feedback among peers.

      • Compensation and Incentives

        People set their own salaries with guidance from their peers. There are no individual or team incentives, as these practices foster internal competition and skew behaviors. Participants discuss processes for self-setting salaries.

      • Jobs and Roles

        Instead of assigned positions and job descriptions, people play a multiplicity of roles, often self-selected and fluid. Jobs emerge from the roles and responsibilities that reflect the interests, talents, and the needs of the organization. Participants develop processes for operating with flexible roles instead of using job descriptions.

      • Dismissals

        Dismissals are rare in fractal organizations and departures are mostly voluntary. Participants create peer-based mechanisms for resolving situations with dismissal.

        Daily Practices in Fractal Organizations

          Fractal organizations bring out the best in people by enabling their full creative expression and natural ability to thrive. The conversations in this module help leaders and teams envision their organizations operating in a joyful manner and to articulate the culture and values that reflect their personal and corporate integrity. Team members learn how to make decisions by following the advice process. Sharing all information, positive and negative, prevents silos and promotes trust throughout an organization. Conflict resolution practices prevent gossip and promote open and honest communication. The sessions in this module include the following:

        • Decision Making

          Self-organization allows members to take responsibility for making decisions without the need for approval or consensus provided that they follow the advice process. Participants learn how to use the advice process and develop agreements for making decisions.

        • Meetings

          Usually far fewer meetings are necessary as a result of responsible decision making using the advice process. Participants develop specific practices to ensure that members engage with each other and the purpose of meetings in a respectful and productive way.

        • Conflict Resolution

          In self-managing organizations, time is regularly devoted to surface and address conflicts in individual and group settings. In the interactive exercise in this session, participants practice techniques for resolving conflicts.

        • Information Flow

          Information is made available to everyone equally; there are no secrets, because freely sharing information helps to build and maintain trust within the organization. Participants discuss how to share information freely.

        • Culture and Values

          Values that are often present in fractal organizations include trust, transparency, collective intelligence, wholeness, and authenticity. Participants develop documents that provide a vision for a safe and productive workplace.

        • Creating Team Trust

          Self-management thrives when individuals feel free to be themselves in the workplace instead of wearing masks. Participants create ground rules for how people interact within the organization that include accepting emotions and conflict, avoiding demeaning speech and behavior, and questioning one’s own perspective.

        • Team and Community Building

          The strength of connection between people in fractal organizations tends to produce an environment where collective intelligence is encouraged and flourishes. Participants develop a common language and agreements for people to express their feelings and thoughts.

        • Mood Management

          Mood management is integral and crucial to creating a space in which the intended outcomes are achievable and the purpose of the organization is served. Participants discuss the combination of worthwhile purpose, self-direction, and collaboration that contributes to elevated mood.

          Contact Janna Raye to schedule a complimentary consultation.