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Anna Elgh on self-managing teams and shifting conflicts at Svenska Retursystem

...nd I do appreciate to have the opportunity to speak on this podcast. I think it's a fantastic podcast that you are producing. And well I started as a CEO in 2014 and Svenska Retursystem is a truly circular company providing the Swedish food industry with crates and pallets for the entire supply chain, ...more
...nd through doing that, we could increase the motivation and engagement from from all employees. So that was really the starting point. And the former CEO, he retired when I came to the company, and he was actually taking most of the decisions. So it was a huge change that the company was in need of. S...more
...Lisa Gill: Yeah, there's got to be some catch, right? How did you navigate that as CEO and as the person championing this transformation? How did you hold the space for people to ask those questions and to handle that tension, I guess? ...more
...isa Gill: What were some of the things that got you through that difficult period? Because as you say, I can imagine it must be really difficult as a CEO, especially as you said, coming from a long career of doing things in a particular way, and being really good at doing them in that way. It must have...more
...relearn a lot of what was old truth to me exercising a managerial role. So I think that has given me a lot of energy and I think that's why I'm still CEO in in Svenska Retursystem. I've never been in a position for as many years as I have been here but I think that is what giving me also a lot of energ...more you mentioned (IT and the other two teams) that they're still self-managed, that they haven't reinstalled the manager. How do you see your role as CEO now and I guess, what does leadership look like generally in SRS now? Anna Elgh: It's fantastic because I've released and gotten so much more time a...more
...nagers that I used to be. So if the organisation should take a decision that "no we must go back, we must have more hierarchy", I don't think I'm the CEO for that company. So that's where I stand but it's not my decision on where we go but I would surely see consequences for my own part if they decided...more
... say. I mean, the hardest part of moving towards a self-organising company is the fact that it is the organisation: the employees itself, not me as a CEO that have to lead the way. And if you don't stay in that, and realise that I think you are back in the hierarchical way of thinking. So if I have to...more

Frederic Laloux with an invitation to reclaim integrity and aliveness

...ay, “Frederic, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I don’t even understand your question.” I gave them examples. Like I knew that he was the CEO of a fashion brand and I had seen some of their advertising and it was horribly objectifying. There was basically this semi naked woman lying down wi...more
... if I don’t do them. What do I do? I don’t know.” Or, maybe it’s something else that is shocking. You know, maybe it’s the income inequality, like a CEO makes 20 or maybe 300 times the salary of the lowest paid person. Am I okay with that? I’m not no longer okay with it. But that’s our system. I don’t...more
...d is that all of the fears were ego fears. It was that they would be seen as a failure in their circles of CEOs, they wouldn’t be invited to whatever CEO retreats and think tanks… but there was no real danger to their lives in any way. It was just an ego fear, but it’s a real fear. And I wanted to hono...more
...n to have it…” and just amazing things that start to happen. I think a lot of it starts with truth telling. I mean, a few months ago, I spoke with a CEO of the home care division of cleaning products of Unilever. And he is brutally honest about his business — both internally and externally, he’s talki...more
... you are still trying to solve that problem. For them, you are still having a role in this. But let’s actually look: the tension wasn’t with you, the CEO, the tension was between the teams that are overstaffed and understaffed. So a possible intervention is to get representatives from these teams to ta...more

Bill Fischer and Simone Cicero on Haier and the entrepreneurial organisation

...ith in people who are closest to the market and relating to their potential. So I’m curious on what your thoughts are about Zhang Ruimin how he as a CEO is able to hold the space for this organisation to evolve and to be the way it is, which is really quite radical in comparison to most large scale or...more
...te radical in comparison to most large scale organisations we know today. B Fischer: I think that he’s unique. I think that I have never met another CEO who compares to him — in both his intellectual curiosity, and his determination. And, you know, we talked about six incarnations, at least, dependin...more
...n the same camp of this slightly outdated heroic archetype of a leader. But he has this lovely phrase about creating a system where everyone can be a CEO of themselves. And I’m interested in what your experience is of leadership more generally at Haier and how leadership emerges. What does leadership l...more
...Yeah, I think the pressure that they put on the individual — it’s really huge. It resonates with Peter Drucker — you mentioned this idea of being the CEO of yourself. That’s not really Zhang Ruimin’s words but Peter Drucker’s words that Zhang Ruimin repeats all the time…it’s a company where individuals...more

Miki Kashtan on the three shifts needed for self-managing organisations to thrive

...rough that story, I will pull out a very core principle. I was once working with an organisation that was a nonprofit service organisation, and their CEO was retiring after 25 years of service. So it was a big, huge transition. And it was looking at some point, like this search process wasn't going to ...more this search process wasn't going to be successful in time. It was a totally traditional organisation. So there were five of them right under the CEO. So it looked like they were going to suddenly have to co lead the organisation for a while until they found a new CEO, which of course, leaves open ...more
...e five of them right under the CEO. So it looked like they were going to suddenly have to co lead the organisation for a while until they found a new CEO, which of course, leaves open the question, why do you then need a CEO? [Laughs] We will leave that aside for the moment. And so I was supporting the...more
...o suddenly have to co lead the organisation for a while until they found a new CEO, which of course, leaves open the question, why do you then need a CEO? [Laughs] We will leave that aside for the moment. And so I was supporting them in preparing for that possibility, which in the end wasn't necessary....more

Gary Hamel on busting bureaucracy for good

...nd what the cost of bureaucracy is? Gary Hamel: Well, I just got very curious because everyone complains about bureaucracy. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has said it's a disease. Charlie Munger, who's the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has said it's a cancer. So CEO's are prett...more
...hairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has said it's a disease. Charlie Munger, who's the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has said it's a cancer. So CEO's are pretty hard on it, and yet I meet very few who have any kind of a credible plan for actually killing it. And it seemed to me that one of the fi...more But we're not at the point where you can buy some kind of off-the-shelf playbook from your consultant of choice. Secondly, even when you have a CEO who understands this needs to happen - and I think there quite a few progressive ones out there - they are often stymied by the next layer or two of ...more things we have to invent. And secondly, you have to find a way of going around those who have a vested interested in just stalling. Because for a CEO - we look at these people as being amazingly powerful - but most of them certainly don't feel that way. Most of them are intensely frustrated by the ...more

Nand Kishore Chaudhary from Jaipur Rugs on love, collective consciousness and self-management

...esults for themselves, what for you is really important? NK Chaudhary: I think the problem starts when we create our own identity, as a manager, as a CEO, as the owner of a company. Then we mix two things together, we mix our identity with our role. Our role is separate and our identity is separate. So...more
...use I think that's what many people are afraid of, as you say, to sort of let go of having ultimate power, to let go of being the hero, if you're the CEO is scary and feels like a loss for people sometimes I think. But if you keep role and identity separate, it doesn't have to be a loss. NK Chaudhary: ...more

Amy Edmondson on psychological safety and the future of work

...y anybody. We often think of leadership as maybe even a higher level or form of management, but that’s leadership with a capital ‘L’, maybe, it’s the CEO or the business unit manager. But leadership with a small ‘l’ is the small things you do to make a difference, to influence others… Even a subordinat...more
...elf forward. You can make a difference. I think so many people, and my heart goes out to them, think: “I’ve gotta wait for some boss to fix it or the CEO to change hands.” In fact, most of us underestimate the impact we could have if we just decided to be brave and committed to making a difference. Eve...more

Jos de Blok on Buurtzorg and the virtues of humanising, not protocolising

...erviewed them in the garden. We had cups of tea, kind of true Buurtzorg style, so it's really fun to now get the chance to talk to you as founder and CEO and the person who started it all. So yeah, thank you for being here. So I thought maybe we could start in the present moment. So if I ask you what's...more

Peter Koenig on source, money and consciousness

...this particular body? And who are the people there? And very often, these people are not necessarily in these management positions, it needn't be the CEO or somebody who's got the so-called powerful positions. And that's what makes this source work very fascinating, because what I've found and felt ver...more

Edwin Jansen on how people adopt self-management at Fitzii think, they don't give you their real feedback, they don't bring their whole selves to work because they're afraid, and I like to say, even if the CEO is the Dalai Lama, people are still going to be afraid to give that person feedback, to tell them what they really think, to ask the big, hairy quest...more

Margaret Wheatley on leadership and Warriors for the Human Spirit

...ind of machine of Big Brother. So we all got excited when some corporations, some corporate leaders started learning to meditate. One of them was the CEO of Monsanto. And at the time, my colleague was in a meditation group in which he was part of this - this is just when they are coming up with Roundup...more

Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz on acting your way into a new kind of organising with Liberating Structures

...owl. And we had them doing the work. And Henri and I were both going, wow, this is still a bad meeting. Is anything happening? And then the boss, the CEO of the whole thing, stood up, very excited, kind of waved his arms, just said out loud: “Everything we just did, that's a final decision. That's the...more

Aaron Dignan on being complexity conscious and people positive

...he cost and bureaucracy will be far greater than the cost savings that you incur. And there's an example in the book from Favi, in France, where the CEO came in to find that people were waiting, you know, to get permission slips for up to 30 minutes for new work gloves. And you know, the cost of the d...more