O p e n     F l o w     
DESIGNING  ORGANISATIONS  FIT  FOR  THE  FUTURE       
INSPIRATION      •      INTEGRATION      •      INNOVATION  


REINVENTION

CONVERSATIONAL  LEADERSHIP

Increasingly it is becoming clear how quickly organisations are becoming obsolete, replaced by disruptive technologies which themselves also quickly fade away into oblivion. If organisations are to survice, they need to constantly reinvent themselves. Most of our bureaucratic structures of the past are too static and make this practically impossible - organisations need to apply loose 'chaordic' fluid structures that can adapt easily to changing circumstances - like bamboo bending in the wind - and they need to be able to do this at lightning speed and to do this themselves, with no or minimal help from outside. How can organisations reinvent themselves? What are the key reinvention skills? Conversational Leadership is one core competency. There are others.

Conversational Leadership is about enabling people in organisations to have the deep heart-felt conversations that matter across the organisation, about issues of real concern and passion that will help them and the organisation work towards aspirations and vision. Coaching could be said to be one form of guided conversation; rather than coaching individuals, however, we are more interested in facilitating group conversations with a view of harnessing collective wisdom. We also call this facilitative leadership.

We find that people in organisations have lots of meetings, many of which are quite meaningless and unproductive; on the other hand what we don't see much of are authentic conversations and communication that really matter. This is the area Conversational Leadership seeks to address. The Japanese refer to the baseball term 'CATCHBALL', from the throwing back and forth of a baseball referring to the two-way nature of communication in forming ideas and policies. The most important aspect of catchball is the catching of the ball, or in communication terms LISTENING.

FACILITATION SERVICES: Based on client needs we can facilitate 3 kind of activities:

  • OPEN SPACE DELIBERATIONS
  • PARTICIPATORY CIRCLE MEETINGS
  • GEMBA WALKS THROUGH FLOW OF ORGANISATION

Related information can be found on the facilitative consulting page.


Reinventing Your Workplace Hackathon

Shifting your organisation to respond to the demands of the future

You know the workplace needs to keep changing.

  • Are you keeping up?
  • Is your organisation able to adapt to the changes happening around you?
  • Is it responsive to complex, ambiguous and unpredictable circumstances?

Change? But how?
You know that your organisation needs to reinvent itself. Business as usual is no longer adequate. You know you need to change. Yet you’re not quite sure where to go, how to move forward, what to reinvent. What should you change to? And how can you go about it in a way that sticks?

Transformation
Self-management is often quoted as a feature of the future workplace. Yet you cannot manage self-management, that’s an oxymoron. Moreover you cannot manage the process of shifting to self-management either – the shift itself has to be self-managed, in other words has to be led and co-created by everyone affected.

Shifting at Scale
If you’re a small nimble organisation maybe you can fumble your way through, somehow reinventing the organisation organically. But if your organisation is larger, how do you transform your workplace at scale? Turning a tanker around is not easy, so how do you do it, how do you make a tanker dissolve and reassemble itself as a new being, much like the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly without any recognition of its former self?

We cannot, nor can any other consultancy (whatever they tell you), do it for you! But we can help you start down the right track. Let's start with a Hackathon.

Which form of organisation should you turn to? You may have heard of many new forms of organising and working, such as Lean, Agile, Responsive, Conscious, Beyond Budgeting, Theory U ,Teal, Distributed Leadership, Circular Economy, etc.. But you are not sure which to turn to. Which way to go? What new system to adopt? Indeed who should choose? How can you get your whole organisation to reinvent itself, in a self-organised way, to reinvent the workplace in a way that is aligned with new ways of working? Especially as the old change management methods do not work any more.

Open Space Technology enables collaborative innovation - to explore new ways forward - at scale across all teams, all departments, across the whole ogranisation. We invite you to participate in a cross-functional conversation exploring change in your workplace to be more innovative: a 2-day Reinventing Workplace Hackathon. To be transformational it must be cross-functional, pan-organisational!

For more information go to the Reinventing Work Hackathon page


Organisational Transformation:

Inviting all affected to staff to co-create transformation together at scale. Check out Caterfly's Open Smart Transformation. Allow your staff to go into an experimental beta-stage cocoon, a kind of co-creative bubble, which has a clear beginning and clear end, delineated by a pan-organisational Open Space event at scale.

Check out Caterfly.



WHAT IS OPEN SPACE?

Open Space Technology is designed to enable participants in large groups to have deep conversations that matter, unleashing co-creativity and inspiration by listening to the hearts and minds of all. The approach is holistic and allows the tacit knowledge of participants and community to be drawn out to resolve highly complex issues. Open Space, based on a 'marketplace' of issues, is largely self-organising. It is also a great innovation and large scale planning tool due to the increase in synchronicity it triggers.
See: CATERFLY


Open Space in Action - example
 
Open Space - another example
 
From Originator, Harrison Owen

WHAT ARE GEMBA WALKS?

Gemba Walks also encourages conversations that matter but in a completely different way. Here we're dealing with leaders in an organisation following the organisational, operational or communication flow of their organisation with a view of identifying bottlenecks and blockages which are preventing a smooth achievement of aims. Following the principle of "go see, ask why and show respect" those most in the know in the flow become enabled to articulate some of the key issues, and this allows people to discover better solutions to improve flow.


The Art of Hosting (AoH) is an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systematic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges. As such AoH applies a combination of the above.

On occasion we may also employ World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) or similar approaches (dynamic facilitation, future search, u-presencing), many documented in Liberating Structures,for more structured discussions suitable for solving specific problems collectively, or where time is very limited.


If you have any question or would like to discuss anything raised, please give us a call or send us an email.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7117 8648  OR  EMAIL  US

Inspiring organisations to be more innovative, engaging hearts & minds holistically, and to create great client & community value with least effort, cost and harm to ecology
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