Archive for August, 2011
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What is your organization’s unique role in bringing something creative into the world? What do you want its path to be? How can you get your own stuff out of the way? How can you achieve more voice and yet more speed and efficiency in the meetings? What happens when the structure of the organization ensures its differentiation from its owners?
This week Irina speaks with Brian Robertson, one of the developers of Holacracy – a fundamentally new organizational model that is based on the principles of dynamic steering. Brian has a background as software developer, entrepreneur and organizational expert. He is also the founder of Holacracy One. In this conversation Brian takes us through the principles and paradigm behind Holacracy.
Holacracy views organization as a liberated, differentiated entity with its own purpose in life, rather than as property or extension of the founders. One of the major paradigm shifts embedded in Holacracy is the shift from predict-and- control to sense-and-respond paradigm, that infuses every aspect of how we show up in organizations. Under the predict-and-control management, we try to keep our organizations in control with lots of upfront analyses, predicting where reality should be and then trying to control it in order to make it fit our predictions. This gives us an illusion of control. Sense-and-respond paradigm, on the other hand, requires that we respond to reality, rather than predict it.
Brian also talks about the way authority is distributed within the organization that runs with Holacracy and how the structure of the meetings prevents the founder of the organization from using their founder status to project and shut down the capacity of others to process their tensions. This also ensures that the founder is diffused from the organization. Finally, Brian shares some anecdotal evidence about the implementation of Holacracy in one of the organizations and explains how they at Holacracy One choose locations for their trainings and certification programs.
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Why is the assumption that we are supposed to achieve a 50-50 balance between our life and our work is not only unrealistic but also prevents us from being content with our lives? What keeps us stuck in the places we don’t want to be and from moving to where we want to go? What about failing that is so frightening to us?
In this episode Irina talks over Skype with Nicola Phillips. Nicola is an author and management consultant who has worked intimately with fear and the different ways of overcoming it, since 1981. She is the author of a number of book, the latest of which is “Fear Without Loathing: Why Life/Work Balance Doesn’t Matter But You Do”.
Nicola, who works with helping clients to stay with their fear without being panicky, believes that the place we are most fearful of is the place we probably need to be. When we are fearful about a particular situation, a good place to start is to ask oneself, “What stories have I told myself about this situation that make me frightened?” Learning to deal with our fears is about learning to separate the fear we have from our reactions to it and from the actions we take as the result of it. It is not about doing something (defending against fear) but about being (experiencing fear, staying with it).
Nicola also talks about how our fears drive us towards taking decisions, rather than making choices in our lives. She finishes the conversation by sharing some points on how to deliver bad news in the non-negotiable situations.
Featured music track:
We close the episode with the song The Love Won’t Go Away by Uppsala-based band Automagic, that is quite international: its members come from the USA, the Netherlands and Sweden.