When size doesn’t matter

Some Data
23 Days of work, 14 Facilitators, 100+ Participants.

In this number we are glad to share a story of courage. It is the story of some people from a multinational high tech company who understood that, even if you are a big player in the worldwide market today, it is paramount to recognize that everybody needs to evolve their way of working. In particular, they wanted to implement adaptive governance in one of the most important divisions of the company.

Human potential
It is always a magical moment when we meet a new group of people for the first time, to start a project. It was November 2016 when it happened with the 12 members of their Staff and the feeling was that of a huge amount of human potential closed in a cage of formality and rigidity. The “iteration 0” has been like Pandora’s box, but with the deep awareness that everybody already knew what was inside. The time to face it had simply arrived.

Smallest step
As usual, we started with the smallest possible step, to release the maximum potential of the group at that given moment, which in this case was to re-design their monthly staff-meeting. To be precise, it was for them to re-design their monthly meeting by themselves. What we did, in fact, was to facilitate the process while providing them with that all the knowledge required, which, as always, was already in their minds and their guts. By doing so, a lot of seeds have been planted and in the following months the fruits showed.

Navigate the complexity
Once the ground was ready, we started to raise the bar. We started helping them to evolve their way of navigating the complexity of their work, introducing a rhythm of evolution of their tools and their practices to make them more agile and adaptive, both from an operational point of view and in decision making processes. In the meantime, they were changing their organizational structure, and this required very deep work on organization design. A lot of stimuli coming from all around them started to shake the ground.

If you want real change, tools and processes are just the tip of the iceberg. People make the difference. That’s why we fostered a very deep work on each person of the Staff and on the relationships among them. This step represented one of the most crucial moments in the entire path: the culture started to visibly change, the tools acquired a deeper meaning and people started to realize their real development potential. That’s why when we proposed to involve the entire division for two days, they picked up the phone and organized an incredible co-creation event with more than 100 people.

Radical change
Now we are going to conclude the project and in these months we are running the last iterations with this group. It has been an incredible journey during which we have seen radical changes take place and we are leaving them with the awareness that the path has just begun. At the same time, as always with real evolution, other parts of the organization have started to feel the need to evolve, just like their governance board is doing. We are sure that amazing things are going to happen.

“Maybe we are the ones who are creating our own barriers. In these two days we had no agenda, no slides, no laptops and everything worked perfectly. Perhaps we are setting ourselves limits.”
I. C. during iteration 5.


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 4


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