personal & corporate EVOLUTIVE transformations
Old systems that were built on mindsets of mechanistic linear thinking, simplistic viewpoints and predictable models act as traps that keep us from evolving past short-term strategies, fear-based governance and “fight and flight” reactions. In order to truly manoeuvre through the seas of uncertainty that are constantly rising around us and shape the future, we must construct a new understanding of how the world actually works - we must move beyond adaptation or resilience as our only reactive response to the future, and begin cultivating a ecosystem of continuous evolving change.
Definition of EVOLUTION
a : an unfolding, opening out, or working out; a gradual process of continuous progressive change and development from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state
b : a process of change in a certain direction
c : a movement that is part of a series or pattern produced, or seemingly produced, by such a series of movements
Definition of TRANSFORMATION
a : to change in composition or structure
b : a qualitative change
c : an extreme, radical change
d : to change in character or condition
Business & Organisational EVOLUTIVE Transformation
When business is faced with tough challenges, and/or compelling opportunities, to change is simply not enough. Evolution is required—and in our increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, circumstances, more and more often, demand nothing less.
Business Evolutive Transformation requires profound shifts that go to the core of the business. They represent for us the transformation of entire systems of organizations, not just merely promoting frameworks/models/tools/techniques and client-sitting like most traditional consultancies do. Deep Transformation requires confronting and changing the organization’s identity and strategy, leadership and culture, practices and processes, products and services. Business Transformation is the process by which a business reinvents itself for a sustainable future in complex and changing environments.
Deep Transformation demands hands-on, persistent and courageous leadership combined with full-hearted engagement from your entire organization, suppliers and customers to make it work and sustainable, resulting in continuous evolution.
Our approach is designed for those who are ready to challenge current working practises. We can help you to spark new attitudes towards work, to distribute leadership, to increase participation, or seed self-management. This is what we usually provide:
Inspiration, ideas, the latest thinking and proven practices in new, progressive and participatory ways of working and doing business.
Practical, tested and actionable tips and collaboration tools to begin experimenting with new ways of working that empower individuals, teams and the whole organisation.
Even if we are talking about big and complex companies that have tried before and can not change, we believe that if we start with the right individuals that have the power to change locally, the movement will eventually spread globally in a ripple effect!
That is why we work on helping companies to set up movements on topics such as purpose, consciousness and self-awareness, cognitive diversity, transformational leadership, sustainability and inclusiveness.
Reinventing Business & Work ModelS
Lasting and sustainable change doesn’t result just from working on things, creating habits or on certain tools, frameworks, methodologies or systems. Truly lasting change is within people themselves; something they can take with them on their personal journey through life and through which they might also inspire others.
This kind of change and possible transformation springs from dialogue and conversation and isn’t limited to organisational boundaries. It crosses and bridges them; might even blur them, it can be much more profound than working within the framework or context of the organisation. Real meaningful change can only be Human.
There is a good reason for this. Most inspiring workplaces find a unique way to success by empowering their people and creating the right mindset and context for them to be their true authentic selves and flourish, co-creating a workplace where every voice matters, everyone thrives, flourishes, succeeds and finds meaning, and where transformation, transcendence and innovation happen naturally.
What kind of organisation do you want to create?
Here are four simple steps that can help you start:
Raison d'être. What is our reason for being? Why do we exist and what's our purpose? Why do we do what we do? For what do we want to be recognised and remembered?
Search for inspiration. The most progressive organizations understand that they rarely need to re-invent the wheel. They know it has probably been done before. So, try to search both inside and outside your organization for inspiration. Study how others may have faced similar issues, and find good sources of inspiration that can be adapted to your context.
Listen to your people. The most progressive organizations have leaders who truly listen. They constantly ask others: “What do you need to feel well about your work and make it better, more effective and efficient? Is there any way that we can be more productive? What are the constraints that are blocking your work and the progress and success in the organisation? What support do you need to be able to perform better?” Using these very valuable inputs, ensuring adequate communication and that all are heard, are perfect drivers for action and great buy-in. The key is doing everything that's possible to implement the suggestions—thereby promoting trust, participation and respect among all.
Safe-to-fail Experimentations! Arguably the most important thing about progressive organizations is that they are not afraid to try and do it. Because it’s only with constant experimentation that they move on and evolve. And when this is done well, we see that new ways of working in the workplace are rarely more than a combination of inspiration, brain-heart-gut congruity and wise sense—they also have the capacity to change lives for the better.
Vanguard Ways of Leading, Managing and Working
The way we work, which is mostly underpinned by unproven and outdated assumptions about human psychology and behaviours, as well as productivity and performance expectations models and methodologies from the XIX and XX Century managerial and economic sciences and books, is making human beings psychologically and physically ill.
Developing an evolutive transformation approach will allow us to design the organisation around the impact that we’re trying to achieve together, and use that clarity of purpose and reasoning to shape and guide the work to constantly evolve the business in a sustainable and meaningful way. This will enable people to contribute and ensure that they all have the opportunity to do it, regardless of who they are or what they do – across functions, divisions, levels of seniority, and even beyond the formal boundaries of the organization.
In the same way, giving autonomy and empowering our people, combining it with a cross-functional approach, while holding them accountable, so that everyone has the clear drive and ownership to do what needs to be done, as long as they've sought the advice (not permission) from the colleagues who are affected, enables a great and quick way to improve the work and outcomes.
Adopt an experiment → learn → iterate approach to all work, combined with a steady rhythm of inspecting and adapting on a frequent basis.
Transparency and easy access to information are key, so we have to make sure that all information is easily accessible and open to all by default.
Reinventing the concept of business, leadership, management and work to maximize human potential:
For a sustainable human future, we need to intentionally redesign organizational strategy, structures, systems, processes, cultures, competencies and careers in ways that are decentralized and increase the contribution of humans towards the 3 Ps - People, Planet and Prosperity. This means a shift from human output and efficiency to innate curiosity and inquiry, problem-solving and collective value creation for a broader purpose. Crafting work around human creativity and ingenuity, in ways that are inclusive and transcend traditional borders, limitations, assumptions and beliefs will lead to an organic and natural flow of work that matters, positive results, value creation and innovation.
Designing systems that balance the purpose and needs of the business with the people who operate in them to achieve the right performance that can create maximum sustainable value, wellbeing in the most effective and efficient ways.
With design learning we delve into situations that are ambiguous, making sense of it and starting to ask the right questions
Inquiry & Critical Thinking
Questioning may be natural, but the inquiry is strategic.
Humble philosophical inquiry is the essence of an executive’s job. It’s the fine art of drawing someone or something out, of asking questions to which you do not know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person or situation. Philosophical inquiry is the essence of an executive’s job. Philosophy, unlike other fields, offers no assumptions, just relentless inquiry. By subjecting every belief to critical reflection, individuals start down a path of inquiry that can lead to genuine comprehension, better business decisions, and, eventually, wellbeing and joyfulness. But that only happens after a deep and somewhat painful period of introspection and reflection, which will often involve abandoning the deceptive stories we tell ourselves.
This means that we’ll deeply examine our own beliefs, sometimes for the first time. While psychologists aim for a therapeutic approach, philosophical counsellors (who do not treat those with mental illness) focus on identifying and dispelling illusions about one’s life and belief systems.
For making smart decisions, critical thinking skills matter more than IQ. - Adam Grant
Critical thinking allows leaders, managers and collaborators the ability to consider evidence carefully on all issues from all viewpoints in order to access all possibilities and scenarios to determine what is the best way, decision or realistic solution when developing a strategic focus, plan of action or solving a problem within the organization.
Critical thinking should not be confused with being argumentative or being critical of other people. Although critical thinking skills can be used in exposing fallacies and bad reasoning, critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive talks and tasks. Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen arguments. We can use critical thinking to enhance ways of working and doing business.
“Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose — in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.”
- Larry Fink
There is a lot of evidence that shows that Purpose is essential to an individual’s psychological well-being.
At work and outside of it, people tend to improve in focus, they flourish and are more resilient when their activities are meaningful.
Do you have a purpose for being in business that actually draws to the forefront the best everyone has to offer?
What is your company’s core reason for being, and where and how can it have a positive impact on people’s lives, communities and society?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it means that you don’t really know why you do what you do, for whom you do and the impact that it has.
The future belongs to organisations that embrace a more responsive, inclusive, human, purpose-led way of being.
The Purpose should be at the core because having a purpose leads to better clarity of meaning, values and vision. The Purpose is the cornerstone and reference point for the existence of the business. Why we do What we do and for Who we do it. It’s about what we Care passionately about, what we are good at and what the world Values and Needs from us. It's How we communicate, share values and differences, nurture curiosity, listen, act wisely and fairly. It’s how good work gets done, with well established and clear prioritization, accountability, responsibility and continuous improvement, evolution, innovation and adaptation.
Therefore, Purpose delivers meaning and focus on customer need and value, and as a result of it, a clear sense of direction. The right purpose can be powerful in many ways as well as in underpinning the long-term success of the business, way beyond the mere impulsive reacting approach of the business as usual in survival mode.
Crafting business models that do well by doing good.
Profit is critical to the continuing success of any business, its sustainability and its ability to meet the future needs of customers.
But a profit-first motive seeds self-interest, politics and short-termism.
Businesses should compete around the value they deliver to their customers but this doesn’t happen when companies are swimming in red oceans, just competing for price, margins and profit, destroying value all along the chain.
Fundamentally, organizations exist because they improve and/or simplify the lives of customers, colleagues, and communities. This is an organization’s transcendent purpose. The only reason clients pay for a company’s product or service is that in some way it makes their lives better or easier. Every organization can identify and measure its transcendent purpose and assess whether it is being fulfilled or not.
Transcendent purpose can be distinguished from an organization’s transactional purpose but they should work in syntony. Every business has processes that allow for efficient transactions, from ordering materials to producing goods and services to their delivery to customers. The transactional purpose is the quotidian “doing” of business that is vitally important to turn a profit. The transcendent purpose is a bigger concept: how the organization serves people and their needs.
We are also on the brink of a post-purpose era as consumers challenge hypocrisies in messaging, product and brand behaviour.
Purpose must be much more than just a mission statement full of pretentious banalities or a commitment of hollow platitudes. It should define the organization’s value proposition to all stakeholders and it must be deeply embedded within the organizational culture, the brand and the experience that is delivered. It’s not only a matter of storytelling but essentially of storydoing.
Building that sense of purpose into the company from the top down requires a continued demonstration of the connection between that purpose and the company’s business model.
Purpose is not meant to be just the latest marketing buzzword. Some businesses are already changing how they operate and what they stand for to have an authentic and impactful role in society. The evolution of social impact from a “nice-to-have” philanthropic function to a true purpose-at-the-core approach has the potential to solve a lot of the societal challenges and problems that we face today.
We don’t think up a purpose.
We discover or rediscover it.
It is already within each and every one of us and it is what founds, forms and binds organizations.
The mere act of triggering an inquiry into purpose begins the quest.
What’s needed is relatively clear: it’s a deep reflection on the corporate identity:
What is our core reason for being, living and working? How can we turn that into a reality and where can it have a valuable positive impact? Are we useful? Now more than ever, we need clarity to understand the deepness and possible answers to these questions.
Doing so means moving from business as usual to a less travelled path that may pose a lot of new other questions and challenge us into unknown territory. Does this mean we’ll lose focus on results? Will transparency expose painful tensions and unfairness? Will our boards, management teams, employees, and stakeholders want to embark on this journey and support us, or will they think we went crazy?
When an individual or organization focuses on making meaningful change in the world, it stokes passion, inspires action, and injects powerful significance into their life and work. A clear Purpose guides people through change and transformation and intrinsically motivates them to genuinely lead from wherever they are.
Done well, a corporate purpose is energizing, inspiring, and creates a shared reason for being and doing.
We are here to help organisations better understand what it means to have a purpose-led organization, what makes a purpose worth having, and how to deliver shared value. Discover the amazing power of Deliberate Intent.
We assist organisations in doing the necessary inner work to clarify their purpose(s) and develop new ways of doing business and working that may create conscious, meaningful, sustainable, healthy and joyful work and value that can generate wellbeing and positively impact lives and communities.
Let’s uncover the core drivers and strengths at the heart of your business, unlocking the boundless energy and passion that comes from connecting with the source.
Purpose is difficult to get right, and easy to get wrong. As more companies pursue purpose, not all will do so authentically. Consumers can sense inauthenticity and they not only pay attention to the nuances of how a company operates but share that information with their networks.
Invite people into your story. By giving people a voice, companies can spark a movement greater than their own brand. Beyond integrity in products and processes, consumers today want brands to take action on issues that matter.
Organisations that take the time to deeply understand their DNA and relationship with their people and society and build purpose-led strategies into operations are much more likely to create healthier work environments that create value for everyone and win over consumers with a unique competitive edge.
Purpose is rarely static; it should evolve over time, as the organization itself and its people changes and adapts, that’s why it should be evolutive.
“Purpose today is a buzzword. Only a few companies are able to have their purpose truly permeate internal rituals and processes, management, innovation, and the actual customer experience.”
- Fabio Milnitzky.
Purpose is best communicated as a story in which the reasons, origins and struggles may be featured.
Why did the founders start the company? What do we want to be remembered for at the end of our careers? What is the organization doing to create this legacy? Does everyone in the organization share this vision? These kinds of questions get at the deep “why” of the organization, and a Purpose narrative can be built from it.
Purpose narratives should describe how the organization, its products/services sought to improve the lives of others: employees, customers, community members, and the world at large. They necessarily focus on people’s needs, not on self-aggrandizement.
If it is not a story, it should be a clear, succinct and memorable message or thought process.
For this effect, we usually make use of our Inquisitive Thought Focus & Prioritization Framework. This framework leads us to question everything, focusing on the most relevant vectors of Why we do What we do and How we are doing it, namely in terms of Value, Impact, Flow, Improvement, Cadence and Consistency. This is the kind of exercise that you can never repeat too much.
Purpose has an impact when everyone knows and embodies it. Purpose narratives with passion and turmoil are better remembered than stories that just state the facts. Passionate narratives are also more likely to incite meaningful action.
There are usually two kinds of approaches around stories in the corporate world today: Storytelling companies that convey the story of their brand, business or product by telling that story, usually through PR or paid advertising and Storydoing companies that consciously convey their story through authentic meaningful actions.
Storydoing companies use their core story as an organizing principle for activities throughout the company, as well as in any communication that they create.
Authenticity and transparency are primary. Instead of trying to portray a perfect but fake image, we should show the reality as it is, the flaws but essentially the progress that is being made, admitting that we are not where we want to be and that we are still making the possible sustainable efforts to get there. That's also the beauty of being on a journey to become more purpose-driven.
Share your progress as Patagonia does in its annual B Corp report. They show they are not perfect but that at least they are making deliberate moves in the right direction, showing progress, transparently, every single year.
This builds trust: a bold combination of transparency and progress.
All this combined represents a catalyst to achieve right-performance cultures that provide a conducive environment to experience Joy at work. The positive feedback between Purpose and Trust is captured in the equation: Joy at work = Trust × Purpose.
Trust affects Joy through the interaction of oxytocin and dopamine, making it feel good to be in a trusted environment. Being trusted by others also keeps chronic stress levels low, eliminating drag on Joy. Going further on, understanding the value the organization creates
for society, its Purpose, provides a second oxytocin stimulus, while helping others is also a powerful oxytocin booster.
“There can be no joy in living without joy in work.”
- Thomas Aquinas
This is not about trying to make people happy at work. Joy is the result of working in an evolving ecosystem that is conducive to success, fulfilment and a meaningful sense of purpose. Joy arises naturally when people want to be at work and are intrinsically motivated, challenged and recognized for what they do.
”The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music. We made the iPod for ourselves, and when you are doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much”
- Steve Jobs
Caring and going beyond emerges best when there is a transcendent purpose involved. There are always things to do at work that are unpleasant, but most people are motivated to do them when they understand that it serves a greater good.
Sense-making & Understanding Value
Navigating Complexity and Uncertainty
Decision-m(t)aking & Negotiation
Transparency & Radical Candor
Trust & Sociopsychological Safety
Inclusiveness & Cognitive Diversity
Collaborative Leadership & Culture
The Digital Leaders
Robust and Resilient Leadership
ReGenerative Leadership & Culture
The Rise of the Transformational Catalyst Nourisher Leader
Being and Working as a Team
How to build teams? How to improve teamwork and cohesion? How to foster a healthy environment?
Team Work, Working as a Team & Teaming
Flow, Cadence and Synchronization
Human Workplaces Design
Self-conscious human-made structures: Evolution of nature, beings, organisms and organisations
The Nature of Organic Evolution
“The problem is not with our organizations realizing that they need to transform; the problem is that organizations are using managerial frameworks and infrastructure models from past revolutions to manage their businesses in this one.”
— Mik Kersten
A lot of companies seem to think they can buy agility.
But that’s not the way it works. It’s about the mindset. It’s the community, the relationships, the trust, the leadership, the culture, the tech, and the infrastructure, all together.
Business Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative business solutions, where people are aligned around value and can be reorganized as needed when conditions shift.
Business Agility happens when you remove the existing limitations, constraints and impediments by transforming the organization into a sustainable ecosystem that can enable organic workflow so that true and relevant value can be created, shared and delivered to customers.
A truly agile business reads the market, makes pre-emptive actions and celebrates an overriding purpose. For instance, LEGO observes Trends in the offing and takes action well before necessary.
To achieve Business Agility, it’s fundamental to create a Learning Organization, where employees at every level can learn, grow and evolve so that the organization can continuously mirror that in order to be able to mould and adapt to an ever-changing fast-paced world.
This can also enable an Innovative Culture, where employees are encouraged and empowered to explore, experiment and implement creative ideas that can enable future value delivery.
To close this cycle, a Continuous Improvement mindset and approach should always be present, where there’s a commitment of every part of the enterprise to focus on continuously improving its solutions, products, and processes.
There are many misconceptions about Agile, so here’s a brief disclaimer of what Agile is not: Agile is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Agile is not a magic formula that will instantly save your company. Agile is not a step by step way of doing things. It is not primarily about efficiency or productivity and there is no single way to “do” Agile.
Without a proper approach for evolutive transformation, Agile and others alike will only work as plasters on broken bones and more like dextrose pills: They may deliver short bursts of energy, followed by a swift return to the original state.
One of the most important ideas of Agile is that people are what is most important. We can set up whatever best practices or processes, use the best technology available, but without good human integration and interaction, none of that will properly work or represent a competitive advantage.
The frameworks, practices, and techniques that have come from Agile are all designed to help people intentionally create teams and work environments that can foster fast-paced value (determined by the customer) creation and effective and efficient right performance.
Agile development is adaptive (responds well to change), iterative (repeats the process), incremental (adds small pieces of value), and collaborative (requires many hands and minds).
The Agile Mindset promotes collaborative, cross-functional teams and a way of working that allows for fast feedback, constantly measuring if we are delivering value and adjusting things at any time if needed.
Therefore, Being Agile means using the right tool for the right situation at the right time.
One of the best ways to improve the workflow and be more effective and efficient is to be radically transparent about the Why, What and How we work and visualize it clearly, both at the macro and micro level, to certify it’s aligned all along the way. To this effect, it’s commonly used Kanban, which is a Japanese word that means signboard or signal. Kanban's focus on flow, by visualizing, limiting and measuring work, so we can get clear insights into optimizing workflow performance.
Many managers affirm that “Agile sucks and doesn’t work”, that they now have more problems than before, but that only shows that it’s already working, it’s already showing all the dysfunctionalities that exist within the teams and the organization.
The Japanese word Kaizen means "change for better". Moreover, it means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. Furthermore, all problems should be seen as opportunities to improve.
At the core of Lean Management is the understanding of the value for the customer, then the identification of the value stream and optimizing the flow to eliminate waste (things that don’t bring value to the end product) and avoid unnecessary effort, let the customer pull value and last but not least ensure continuous improvement without forgetting that it’s the people the essential success factor.
The lean leadership philosophy enables the individual worker to actively contribute to change and continuous improvement. Instead of correcting or teaching, the aim is to empower. A correction of the processes from the outside would only tackle the symptoms in the short term, but would not result in any sustainable change.
Kaizen is a competitive strategy in which everybody at the organization works together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements, creating a strong culture of constant improvement. Kaizen is about building a culture and a natural way of thinking where all employees are actively engaged in suggesting and implementing improvements to the company.
We can help companies drive evolutive transformation in culture, on how they work, and how they organize around value to accelerate meaningful and valuable outcomes for their customers. As coaches, we can drive alignment at the leadership level, assess where the organizations are today, design and execute the approach that will help accelerate the realization of BEing, Purpose, Value Creation, Workflows, business outcomes, mobilize agile teams, and embed agility at the core of who we are and how we operate. Working independently or with a team, the primary responsibilities include working with stakeholders to understand the “I”, “What”, “Why” and “How”, and translating that into a plan of execution to deliver tangible and intangible outcomes and results.
Wellbeing & Joy
Healthy and Salutogenic Organisations
Consciousness & Self-awareness
The four fundamental enablers of Human Life Experience
Finding your True Authentic Self & Seeing and Living Life just as it is
Consciousness & Self-Awareness: Metacognition
Perception and Perspectives
Egoic mind limitations, sociocultural programming and self-imposed belief systems
Finding Your Inner Self - What life is all about and what really matters - What do you want from life in general and from business/work in particular
Purposes, Goals, Habits, Patterns
Inner Congruity - Frameworks, tools and techniques for continuous inner processes experimentation (Living consciously: Wellbeing and Joyfulness)
From Storytelling to Storydoing
Conscious NeuroLeadership: The Three Brains of Self-Leadership - Brain-Heart-Gut Congruity (Leading rationally from the heart with intuition)
Healthy Generative Relationships
Human Capabilities & Skills
Page Under Development
“A good question is not concerned with a correct answer. A good question cannot be answered immediately. A good question challenges existing answers. A good question is one you badly want answered once you hear it, but had no inkling you cared before it was asked. A good question creates new territory of thinking. A good question reframes its own answers. A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics, and business. A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario. A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not known, neither silly nor obvious. A good question cannot be predicted. A good question will be the sign of an educated mind. A good question is one that generates many other good questions. A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do. A good question is what humans are for.”