Transcripts

Systems

Ep. 37 Miki Kashtan on the three shifts needed for self-managing organisations to thrive

...d a lot of concrete advice. Miki talks to me about what she believes are the three fundamental shifts that need to happen within us as humans and the systems that we're operating in, in order to collaborate in a self managing way. So it's a really deep conversation about navigating power, about mindset shi...more
...s that people lived in. So fundamentally, our structures are not designed to attend to needs. And if I want a really resilient, robust self managing system, sooner or later, it will need to realign itself with needs. Because otherwise, there comes a moment where it's like, wait a minute, we're self manag...more
...Lisa Gill: Yeah, that's so interesting, because so many people working in self managing systems, have this complaint and say to me: "the one thing we're really struggling with is, you know, how do we get people to take a shared ownership of the ...more
...ic of power, and patriarchy, which I know is something that you've written about and explored at length as well. And, again, I think in self managing systems, this is another total paradigm shift. And it's more complex I'm learning than just "let's change this manager-subordinate power dynamic." There's so...more
...l, that is where nonviolence really gets tested. So they're internal changes. There are also changes in the structure because if you don't change the systems and the agreements within which you operate, then it requires individuals to be saints. So ultimately, for self management to really be institutional...more
...es, and we have such a cool purpose, we don't have to look at it. So I think of exclusion criteria as being part of what I call a conflict engagement system. So it's one of five core systems that I think are there, in every entity they exist. And if you don't define them, you inherit them. I will say what...more
...se, we don't have to look at it. So I think of exclusion criteria as being part of what I call a conflict engagement system. So it's one of five core systems that I think are there, in every entity they exist. And if you don't define them, you inherit them. I will say what I mean. But let me first say that...more
..., in every entity they exist. And if you don't define them, you inherit them. I will say what I mean. But let me first say that a conflict engagement system is the set of agreements that a group makes about what to do when there's conflict. And if you don't have that system, if you don't have clear agreem...more
... say that a conflict engagement system is the set of agreements that a group makes about what to do when there's conflict. And if you don't have that system, if you don't have clear agreements about how you handle conflict, you're going to inherit the way that conflict is handled in the dominant culture. ...more
...e, or they will call a restorative circle, or they will do whatever else is in the agreement, then I am not alone holding the conflict. And it's that system that needs to hold within it the piece about conflict escalation. When conflict is not contained, and it continues to escalate, under what conditions...more
...gate for consequences? How do you do it with as much love as possible? All of these things, every group needs to work out. That's not at all the only system, I said, there are five of them. There are more systems. Most of them are specific to this or that group and the things that it needs to do. The five...more
...ve as possible? All of these things, every group needs to work out. That's not at all the only system, I said, there are five of them. There are more systems. Most of them are specific to this or that group and the things that it needs to do. The five core systems are... the first one is: decision making s...more
...id, there are five of them. There are more systems. Most of them are specific to this or that group and the things that it needs to do. The five core systems are... the first one is: decision making system, which addresses questions of who makes which decisions, who else is included, who finds out about it...more
...s. Most of them are specific to this or that group and the things that it needs to do. The five core systems are... the first one is: decision making system, which addresses questions of who makes which decisions, who else is included, who finds out about it, and what processes are used, etc. And so, you ...more
... else is included, who finds out about it, and what processes are used, etc. And so, you know, if a group decides to use the advice process, then the system is this: who makes which decisions? Anyone can make any decision. That's the purest advice process, it gets modified in Holacracy systems based on ro...more
...ss, then the system is this: who makes which decisions? Anyone can make any decision. That's the purest advice process, it gets modified in Holacracy systems based on roles, but essentially, who makes which decisions? Anyone can make any decision. Who gives input? The people who are affected, and the peopl...more
...s to be jumpstarted, people don't just start doing it just because they hear it's there because of the internal and external obstacles. So that's the system. Then the second system is the resource flow system, which is where the resources come from, and how do they get distributed? What happens to them? ...more
...le don't just start doing it just because they hear it's there because of the internal and external obstacles. So that's the system. Then the second system is the resource flow system, which is where the resources come from, and how do they get distributed? What happens to them? And there are many, many,...more
... just because they hear it's there because of the internal and external obstacles. So that's the system. Then the second system is the resource flow system, which is where the resources come from, and how do they get distributed? What happens to them? And there are many, many, many different ways, and if...more
...es come from, and how do they get distributed? What happens to them? And there are many, many, many different ways, and if you are in a self managing system, you need to work out, especially if the sum total of how people want to use the resources that are within the organisation – which is not just money...more
...to be through dialogue? Are you going to say, "so and so has ultimate authority"? All of these things need to be worked out. That's the resource flow system. The third system is information flow, which is basically about how information moves around. And in self managing systems, information flow is vital...more
...ogue? Are you going to say, "so and so has ultimate authority"? All of these things need to be worked out. That's the resource flow system. The third system is information flow, which is basically about how information moves around. And in self managing systems, information flow is vital and critical beca...more
...t. That's the resource flow system. The third system is information flow, which is basically about how information moves around. And in self managing systems, information flow is vital and critical because if you want people to make good decisions everywhere within the organisation, if you really want team...more
...ted, because they will be afraid of the messenger being killed. And so you need to actually do something for information to flow. And then the fourth system is feedback, which is also absolutely crucial in a self managing environment. Because if you are over here, self managing something, and there isn't ...more
...t sufficient information about the impact of the choices that you make. We learn through knowing what impact we have on others. So those are the five systems. And those systems can be set up, to be collaborative, to be supportive of 'power with', to be supportive of collaborative decision making, to be sup...more
...ation about the impact of the choices that you make. We learn through knowing what impact we have on others. So those are the five systems. And those systems can be set up, to be collaborative, to be supportive of 'power with', to be supportive of collaborative decision making, to be supportive of empowerm...more
...t, etc. world. Meanwhile people are trying to do self management and going "why isn't it happening?" It's not happening because you didn't set up the systems and structures to support it in happening....more
...Lisa Gill: Thank you for sharing those those five systems. I think that's really helpful. What strikes me is how important it is to be really diligent, actually, and very intentional about how we are going t...more
...y helpful. What strikes me is how important it is to be really diligent, actually, and very intentional about how we are going to organise those five systems... Miki Kashtan: Exactly. Yeah....more
...Lisa Gill: I'm wondering as well... So we've talked a bit about communication. We've talked a bit about structures and systems. You mentioned those three shifts that need to happen; within the people who have structural power, the people who don't, and then the system itself....more
...es and systems. You mentioned those three shifts that need to happen; within the people who have structural power, the people who don't, and then the system itself. In terms of those first two, in a quote unquote traditional organisation, it might be the managers and the non managers. So, beyond structure...more
...n terms of those first two, in a quote unquote traditional organisation, it might be the managers and the non managers. So, beyond structures and and systems, what are the sort of human shifts that need to happen? What can I do as a human being to develop the mindset, the skills, the abilities needed to co...more

Ep. 55 Frederic Laloux with an invitation to reclaim integrity and aliveness

... my own thinking. And just in my own life, just facing the fact that so much of what we do is deeply destructive. That the very basis of our economic system is an extractive system that does just irreparable damage to the planet. One way that I framed it at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis was that...more
...st in my own life, just facing the fact that so much of what we do is deeply destructive. That the very basis of our economic system is an extractive system that does just irreparable damage to the planet. One way that I framed it at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis was that the Covid virus seems t...more
...re we okay with that deep down? I remember a conversation I had with a group of CEOs in Brazil… I was asking them, “Where are you participating in a system where you’re actually acting out of integrity?” And it’s so interesting because one of them was honest enough to say, “Frederic, I don’t even know wh...more
...ve, I’m just asking everybody, “Are there things that you’re participating in?” There’s no shame or blame in that. That’s the reality of our economic system. We haven’t chosen it. We haven’t designed it. But I think that if we want to be real on wholeness, and if we want to be real around serving a real e...more
...hings was like, “It’s okay not to have an answer. By definition, these are big questions that are deeply woven into the fabric of our of our economic system. And so of course, we’re not going to have any an obvious answer.” But we’re so trained, certainly as leaders, right? And so the traditional paradigm...more
...ity, 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 know what the answer is. But can we stay with that question long enough until we stumble on the answers. And I think that is that is a key c...more
...re’s a there’s a juiciness in that honesty. So I think the part of no blame, no shame is super important, of saying, you know, we’ve inherited these systems. I’m disgusted by my trash, and I haven’t had the time, the bandwidth to go into the zero waste kind of lifestyle that other people might know about....more
...more than probably half the population makes in Belgium. How fucked up is that? And should I accept it? Try not to accept it? Am I participating in a system that’s hugely extractive — that pays way too many people way too little, that extracts all of that wealth to the top? And then I as a speaker, I come...more
...ng enough until until the answer emerges. And until you live yourself into into an answer, I think that’s the best we we can do. I mean, we are in a system that is so much larger than ourselves. And how juicy is it to ask these questions? I don’t know how you reacted when that person told you this. But I...more
...ble decisions. But all the questions that we were asking were questions that if they acted decisively upon them, would feel really risky to them. The system might eject them quite quickly. And so it was really interesting because we realised that they see themselves as being very powerful and their ident...more
...hing where you feel a lot of integrity. And you’re taking real risks. Right, and the risk might pay off and it might not pay off, you know, maybe the system will actually reject you. Maybe you’re ahead of your time and the system can’t deal with what you’re doing, maybe it will hurt your bottom line, it w...more
...ht, and the risk might pay off and it might not pay off, you know, maybe the system will actually reject you. Maybe you’re ahead of your time and the system can’t deal with what you’re doing, maybe it will hurt your bottom line, it will hurt your top line. What is your plan B? What else would you do in yo...more
...ivations. And then I go, “Okay, now we’re talking, now we know, and this is real energy.” So I couldn’t agree more with you. I mean, I am a bit of a systems geek, right? And I love to think about these systems like, you know, how could self-managing systems work… but ultimately, this is all just in servic...more
...ow we know, and this is real energy.” So I couldn’t agree more with you. I mean, I am a bit of a systems geek, right? And I love to think about these systems like, you know, how could self-managing systems work… but ultimately, this is all just in service to some deep yearning that we have, or some clarity...more
...n’t agree more with you. I mean, I am a bit of a systems geek, right? And I love to think about these systems like, you know, how could self-managing systems work… but ultimately, this is all just in service to some deep yearning that we have, or some clarity around like, “I will no longer do this.” But it...more
...nner collective component culture, right, this thing that we all share in our heads and an external collective component, which is all structures and systems. And so when you tell me you had this conversation with the leader, like, “I told people now, go into it, advice process, just do it, and then nothi...more
...uadrant], what is in their heads. But maybe there’s something else holding you back. And so for instance, one of the projects I would look at is the systems quadrants, and say, “Yeah, but most likely, there is still a manager there. Somebody who will fall back. And so people are clever. They know this.” S...more
...But I still know that the manager is there anyway. So if things get bad he or she will deal with it. So something shifts when we suddenly shift that system and the team is on its own and there is no more manager to fall back on. They immediately see if they do a good or bad job, you know, because their c...more
...ediately see if they do a good or bad job, you know, because their client is happy or unhappy. Trust me, they will start making decisions. But if the system isn’t set up that way, if they’re still having a manager and if they don’t see whether what they do makes other people happy or unhappy because they’...more
... lot in giving feedback but people often still shy away from it, right? Because we all are, to some degree, conflict avoiders. But if you set up the system in a way where the team is directly exposed to whether they do a good or bad job, if the team’s directly in touch with the clients who are happy or u...more
...L Gill: Yeah, I think it was Margaret Wheatley who used the analogy of a spiderweb and connecting the system to more of itself. And that’s the way to solve the problem, rather than trying to add something. F Laloux: Maybe I should just use this for a shamel...more
...change that I see since the book came out for me is that when the book came out, I think there was a real sense with a lot of people that our current system is broken. It wasn’t working. But then there wasn’t necessarily a lot of conversation about what else is possible. I think what has really shifted is...more
...sarily a lot of conversation about what else is possible. I think what has really shifted is for people who are interested in this, who feel that the system is broken, it doesn’t take them long to stumble upon that something entirely different is possible. Whether it’s my book or your book or other books,...more

Ep. 54 Bill Fischer and Simone Cicero on Haier and the entrepreneurial organisation

...cise Zhang Ruimin and put him in 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 eme...more
...look like elsewhere in the organisation? How is leadership encouraged? What does that look like? Do they have leadership training? Or do you design a system and leadership emerges? S Cicero: Well, I think there is an interesting aspect, which is the constraint definition. And there’s a lot of leadership ...more
...y complex organisations, they’re mostly managed by constraints. And this is an expression of complexity in general. When you need to manage a complex system, you need to work by setting constraints so that you can flourish within certain directions that don’t, for example, create asymmetric risks. **So I ...more
... flourish within certain directions that don’t, for example, create asymmetric risks. **So I think this is really one clear and key aspect of, of the system. B Fischer: And what I think is that everybody wants bottom-up type of innovation because we feel that there’s more energy and people are closer to ...more
...team who is a command-and-control bureaucrat, then it’s not going to work, right? How are people supported terms of those kinds of skills? Or is the system designed so that it’s self-correcting? You know, if you’re an autocratic boss-like character, no one will want to be in your micro enterprise — and m...more
...he changes. At no time has Haier ever asked its employees to take a flying leap into the unknown. They’re still using the same performance management system they used 35 or 40 years ago. It’s been adapted and adjusted and digitalised and all that sort of stuff. But you know, it’s still the same system. So...more
...ent system they used 35 or 40 years ago. It’s been adapted and adjusted and digitalised and all that sort of stuff. But you know, it’s still the same system. So it’s not like you’re being surprised by outside and inside — the changes have always been contextually driven. It’s always been outside in terms...more
...ity and thinking about the planet. And the other one is… you know, a few years ago, I went to visit a small organisation in the UK called Matt Black Systems, who have kind of a micro version of the Haier model, I suppose. But they are micro enterprises of one person, in the aerospace industry. And the own...more
...ina, your stipend or basic income is set by the state. So then if you don’t find an opportunity, in three months you are out. But when you enter the system — so maybe you can be hired by a micro-enterprise at first, but you’re not there just to work in a micro-enterprise. You are there because you can le...more
... you can be hired by a micro-enterprise at first, but you’re not there just to work in a micro-enterprise. You are there because you can leverage the systems that Haier has created to lead to becoming an entrepreneur. So it’s kind of a system that offers you several things. It offers you what they call thi...more
... a micro-enterprise. You are there because you can leverage the systems that Haier has created to lead to becoming an entrepreneur. So it’s kind of a system that offers you several things. It offers you what they call this Shared Service Platform. So legal, IT, HR and so on. But it also offers you what th...more
...kes it easier to enterprise inside the organisation if you’re passionate about the Internet of Things and technology, than outside. So it’s really a system that’s very porous. It’s a very porous organisation that you can imagine as a kind of accelerator. You end up inside of this accelerator if you are a...more
...L Gill: Yeah, that’s interesting. It’s very transparent criteria from the beginning that if you don’t generate more than your basic income, the system is kind of self-correcting, right? S Cicero: I told you, you know, this is a company that is really based on this idea of zero bullshit. ...more
...hat. And I wonder if there are some people that need just a little bit more and then could really thrive, that that aren’t really catered for by that system? So it’s, it’s not a criticism, but it’s kind of a wondering that I have. B Fischer: But I think that if you’re one of those people that -needs a li...more
...doing and the contributions that they make. And I think Simone’s right, you’re never too old to do this…but, I was thinking, where I work, we have a system very similar. We have no departments, we have no structure, everybody has the same base salary, I’ve had the same base salary for twenty years but in...more

Ep. 33 Margaret Wheatley on leadership and Warriors for the Human Spirit

...ite naive, was that, people will just greet it with open arms and be very thankful for it. Because the paradigm of the new science of self-organising systems, which is another way of understanding self-managing systems - you can organise and get order without control - that was the fundamental 'aha' moment...more
... and be very thankful for it. Because the paradigm of the new science of self-organising systems, which is another way of understanding self-managing systems - you can organise and get order without control - that was the fundamental 'aha' moment for me when I was studying the new science. I mean, I still ...more
...s well as all possibilities. So I'm not interested in - I no longer hold the possibility that we can create change at that level of organisations or systems. I know, we can wake people up at the individual level. And that's where all evolution occurs. And that requires dedication. It requires commitment, ...more
...le who think - oh, I could use my position, my influence my power, to do meaningful work again, it's just different work. It's not about changing our systems. It's about being present for what needs to be done having higher levels of consciousness, higher levels of awareness, and not doing it for self-aggr...more
...ll now - a summons to 'how are you going to use your leadership?' The old ways, the old aspirations are no longer valid. We cannot change these large systems, even though we know how to do it. What the methods and tools are, we have all of those. But it's not happening because of the other dynamics here - ...more
... new, but it seems like there's, they're sort of trendy at the moment. And there are books like reinventing organisations, and then there are sort of systems like holocracy out there. But I speak to lots of people who feel like there's something missing - the kind of human part and the mindset - I guess, t...more
... I mean, they're exponentially strong now. So it could be a holacracy. It could be bringing up any of the old words we used to use for self organised systems. It's our work, and that requires training. And it requires courage because no one's gonna sit up and say, 'oh, you're the hope of the future?' No, t...more
...e statement. I was a child of the 60s I served rather than protest, I was in the Peace Corps in Korea. In the 60s - we were committed to changing the system, stopping the wars. We were as energised and hope-inducing as any youth I meet these days. And here we are. We need to get a lot smarter about notici...more
...gised and hope-inducing as any youth I meet these days. And here we are. We need to get a lot smarter about noticing any of you who are interested in systems perspectives, look at the whole system, look at the dynamics, look at the conditions. And then you ask what's possible. That can be overwhelming, bec...more
...eet these days. And here we are. We need to get a lot smarter about noticing any of you who are interested in systems perspectives, look at the whole system, look at the dynamics, look at the conditions. And then you ask what's possible. That can be overwhelming, because what's possible, is more immediate...more

Ep. 26 Buurtzorg and the power of self-managed teams of nurses

...in patients homes. It was founded by Jos de Blok, who was himself, formerly a nurse. And he was really frustrated with how mechanistic the healthcare system had become and turning patients into numbers and dehumanising them. So he started Buurtzorg, because he wanted to create a business model where teams...more
... skills in your team. Jolanda: And Buurtzorg is also very far ahead in terms of the digital stuff, with planning for example. We have a very good ICT system....more
...Lisa Gill: Tell me about that. How does that support you, the IT system? Because I understand it's quite key to having self-managing teams at Buurtzorg. Chila: Because it makes everything very simple. You can find everyth...more
...nd everything. So for one client, you can order stuff for the client or materials for the wound or bed or whatever. So if you have the client in the system, then everything hangs on that client. So you don't have to fill any forms or make a lot of phone calls or whatever. So it makes it very easy. And a ...more

Ep. 45 Amy Edmondson on psychological safety and the future of work

...k that’s a really valuable dimension to talk about. AE: And I love how you just put that because to me that’s exactly right. There’s the structures, systems, tools and then there’s the human. And they both are equally important. I mean you can’t just come in however you might do it and sort of alter the c...more
...LG: It strikes me that, as you said, the systems piece and the human piece are both important, and it’s also the case that it’s not just leaders that are responsible for creating this climate of psy...more