The unconscious desire for hierarchy

Natural hierarchy emerges between two people when one sees themselves as relatively more dominant and the other sees themselves as relatively more submissive in the relationship, and this pattern is accepted by both. Influence in such a relationship is asymmetric (it flows more in one direction than the other) and it is accepted. At work, people like it when this happens.

Continue reading “The unconscious desire for hierarchy”

Make your idea better with a toolbox of 7 letters

You are not like a robot automatically executing tasks, just running the business. No, you see new issues and then come up with new ideas for action to improve things. To make your ideas better, you think. But that takes time and from Monday till Friday you don’t have a lot of spare time lying around. How can you think well in little time?

RENEWAL is a toolbox of letters to make your ideas better.

Continue reading “Make your idea better with a toolbox of 7 letters”

How to use and not use business frameworks

Do we need all those business frameworks? Consultants are infamous for churning out 2x2s. A business book does not sell without a good symbolic framework. Strategy presentations are full of maps and frameworks. Where to compete vs How to compete. Products vs. Segments. Blue Oceans. Market attractiveness vs. Competitive advantage. Isn’t that just bla bla, mind games, corporate mumbo jumbo for the board, people showing off their smarts etc?

Continue reading “How to use and not use business frameworks”

Fluid Organisation

Today the publisher sent back the now fully designed inside of our book, The Fluid Organisation. First in Dutch. English version will follow, probably in the summer.

So much is being written about the need for organisations to move to a next level. Our book gives you the handful of practical methods that bring that reality within reach. The key is not soccer tables in the lunch room or searching for the soul of the organisation, but it is all about allowing and triggering everyone to proactively share information and identify issues for discussion, to make sure these are discussed, and next actions are decided, based on the wisdom of the crowd. This so-called ‘action circle’ needs to spin and spin at all levels: operational and strategic, individual and team and organisation.

Continue reading “Fluid Organisation”

Duda Leadership

This week Martijn van der Erve (CEO of Erve Group) and I gave the next presentation of our Duda Leadership framework, and after all these months this time it was professionally filmed to share in the company!

Pure self-management, where everyone is equal in influence, is not effective. We know this from theory and our own practical experience. Asymmetrical accepted influence is still required, and to achieve that we need people to demonstrate leadership.

Leadership is the driving forward of the organization. Although this used to be the privilege of the top echelon, we believe everybody can lead, recognizing this will differ person to person.

Continue reading “Duda Leadership”

What organisations can learn from Harari’s dataism…

In his book Homo Deus, the sequel to Sapiens, Harari invites us to consider that humanism may get serious competition from dataism.

Humanism is the ‘modern day religion’ that posits that not God but humans are the highest authority.  When you have a tough decision to make, humanists recommend you to discover your unique self, to listen to yourself, to follow your heart, and to do what feels good.

Dataism posits that data are the highest authority, that the world consists of data flows and that the merit of any entity consists of its contribution to data flow, to data processing.  One of the ideals of dataism is free flow of information.

Continue reading “What organisations can learn from Harari’s dataism…”

Ask for solutions or for next actions?

Just got back from the twice yearly global strategy days of a client in textiles. Istanbul is a great location for this: symbolically it is the bridge between West and East and there are many direct flights from all the continents.

The approach we took for these global days is the Fluid Strategy process as described in our forthcoming book “The Fluid Organisation: an ideal mix of hierarchy and self-management”, co-authored with Filip Lowette.

After a minimal amount of presentation, we created breakouts for each main strategic issue (based on issues contributed by all teams in the organisation).

And what I want to stress in this post:

We did not ask the breakout groups to end up with solutions, but to focus on next actions.  It is impossible to develop a full solution that everybody is happy with, it takes a lot of time, and it will be out of date soon. Much better to discuss about the direction of the solution and to define the next actions needed to start moving in that direction. When the breakouts report back to the full group, or back to the rest of the company, we ask them to name the next actions and who will take them, and check whether anyone has an objection. Result: lots of energy and momentum, and lots of action after the meeting.