Participatory leadership and the Art of Hosting: a personal and collective journey | Aurelie Valtat. Last week I took a 3-day training in participatory leadership, which is how the European institutions have repackaged the ‘Art of Hosting‘ approach. I had wanted to join this training for a couple of years now but never had the chance to do so due to conflicting priorities. Now that I moved to the European Commission, it was an opportunity too good to miss. And right I was! I had a fantastic time, connecting with like-minded colleagues, learning about them, about the organisation I work for and about myself. And I was pretty amazed to hear that the European Commission has already trained over 1500 people in participatory leadership, making it one of the few organisations in the world where this approach, although still marginal, is gaining ground and becoming more legitimate at all levels of the organisation.
What is participatory leadership? Here’s my personal mind map of what I learned at the training: The values of participatory leadership The process behind participatory leadership. Patterns for Agile Organizations - The Sociocracy 3.0 Remix Kit. Facilitation Resources – Chris Corrigan. Here is a collection of resources I use in my facilitation practice. By and large these resources support facilitation of participatory and self-organizing process at scales ranging from very small groups to large conferences. I use some of these tools directly and others as inspirations to design and create my own processes. The first section provides links to participatory group process that are inclusive and self-organizing to varying degrees. The section on process architecture and maps contains links to sites whose worldviews can inform process design from single meetings to large scale change. The next three sections cover more specific tools useful for particular purposes, and finally the last section contains links to sources of ongoing inspiration.
Taken together, this page could be said to form my facilitation manual. I hope it serves you as well. Start Here The Chaordic Stepping Stones. Group Process Methodologies Process architecture and maps Suites of Tools Specific Exercises. Work with source. Beyond hierarchy & holacracy: Truly responsive organisations love authority — Creative Order. Beyond hierarchy & holacracy: Truly responsive organisations love authority Industrial hierarchies Businesses in the industrial age became great hierarchical institutions. They were stable and lasted decades or even centuries. They employed the masses and delivered us the products we wanted (and many we had no idea we wanted.) Hierarchies do authority incredibly well.
Growing pains We have since learned that hierarchies have some big flaws. Hierarchies become de-humanising as the lines of authority represent power over people, not just creativity. Masculine competition is built into the operating system. Post-industrial hierarchies So in the post-industrial world we began to change the hierarchical model. But these are merely tweaks. Competition remains rife too. Enter self-management These flaws are the basis for today’s drive towards more networked, responsive organisations. At last, the hierarchy of power over people is gone, replaced by inter-linking circles. Authority has become a taboo. Designing a business for emergence and complexity. Here at NM HQ, we’re using a new approach to redesigning our business that I think is completely unique and possibly revolutionary. It’s based initiative and emergence, and perfectly suited to creating decentralised and purpose-driven businesses. It’s born out of the Source principles work of Peter Koenig, and has been created by NM associate and Very Clear Ideas founder Charles Davies.
Two people who are proving very influential in our ongoing transformation. I want to share how this is working in case it’s of value to others. First a bit of back-filling We started life as a web design and build agency, became a marcomms agency then a consulting firm. Over time our team make-up changed a bit to meet our client’s needs, but the underlying structure ultimately stayed the same. We had a sales and marketing function, a consulting team, some finance/ops people and a leadership group. In the past year, part of my work has been to make the company more purposeful and explicitly values-lead. Where does the purpose of a company come from? Where does the purpose of a company come from? To be purposeful, you have to have a purpose. Obvious really. But where does the purpose come from? Here are three very different models: 1. Some people believe the purpose can be designed and decided upon through an individual or group creative process. 2.
Others consider a company to have a ‘soul’ (and therefore purpose) of its own, which is distinct from the individuals within it. 3. The company is viewed as a manifestation of the need or vision of the ‘source’, the individual who took the first step — some kind of risk — to bring the initiative to life. You might have a strong reaction to these different models. So the question becomes, which framework is most useful to us as we go about developing purposeful organisations? Authenticity is essential because if the purpose isn’t real and deeply held, it becomes wallpaper which nobody believes in. Clarity is just as important. So, back to the three models. Designing Sensing Source principles.