Appreciating Systems

Appreciating Systems for Genuine Efficiency

#Permaculture as a form of #governance: initial ideas

I’ve been circling (!) into governance ideas (Holacracy, Sociocracy and Sociocracy 3.0) and Permaculture, recently. My takes on these are:

  • Holacracy is well structured but quite complicated to implement
  • Sociocracy is way simpler but leaves initial practitioner with a blank page syndrom making them needing to reinvent most of their work
  • Sociocracy 3.0 is modulable but complex to start with

And then I pondered recently on permaculture and management, and then onto governance and sociocracy, and discovered that you could use permaculture for governance (with bits of consent and circles inside, and double-linking and elections without candidates being nice additions). I still haven’t had the time to detail my ideas, but it mostly goes like this:

  • planning could use the OBREDIM (observation, borders, resources, evaluation, design, implementation, maintenance) permaculture design approach to structure issues
  • the circles (and sub-circles) are thought along the line of permaculture zoning like below. This also goes for analyzing issues and ensuring they’re properly contributing to the organizational ecosystem they belong to:

    • 0 = you,
    • 1 = the circle
    • 2 = the community/organization
    • 3 = the wider environment/ecosystem/bioregion where the organization resides
    • 4 = the nation
    • 5 = the world/Earth
  • governance could benefit from the seven levels, with the following correspondance :
    1. canopy: strategy definition
    2. low trees: roadmaps, tactics, policies
    3. shrubs: operational stuff: projects and actions
    4. herbaceous: nutrients: what are the recurring resources that will feed the circle?
    5. rhizosphere (roots): digestion: how can learning be reinjected into the organizational culture?
    6. soil surface (ground cover): protection: how can we maintain and preserve our culture (all the while nourishing it)?
    7. vertical layer (vines): interconnections with other levels and circles
  • and synchronization meetings (triage in Holacracy) or action planning benefit from the 12 principles to ensure the actions contribute the most effectively to the organization (do you create no waste? do you tap into renewable energy from people (ie in their strengths, not aside from then, etc. See my other posts on that)

That’s mostly it! When decisions need to be taken, you resort to consent after having clarified the issue using OBREDIM at all relevant levels (plants don’t achieve consensus, their behaviors mostly resemble consent to me). Elections are without candidates (plants don’t propose themselves, they each interact and structural coupling make some stand up given the local conditions). Circles are double-linked because it increases the communication channel variety through which complexity can express itself (the complexity is at most that of the communication channel). And of course a circle is the local ecosystem around a specific topic.

That way of organizing stuff also embeds elements from Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model. But I’ll let that proof as an exercise for the reader ūüėČ

Cr√©ation d’emploi fond√©e sur les forces #solutionfocus

Un article tr√®s int√©ressant sur des initiatives diff√©rentes en mati√®re de cr√©ation d’emploi !

On cherche les comp√©tences et les envies des gens, et on les aide √† construire un projet, presque auto-financ√© (en tout cas, en utilisant les aides normalement disponibles pour les ch√īmeurs pour plut√īt les aider √† construire un avenir). Bravo !

À lire ici :



Do Elinor Olstr√∂m’s principles to manage #Commons apply to Social Systems as well?

While reading this article here: I wondered if, just like I (and others) did with Permaculture principles, her 8 core principles could be used in social systems as well (if we consider that, today, mental energy in organizations might be considered as a commons and is in danger of disappearing because of “overgrazzing”):

  1. Clearly defined boundaries;
  2. Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs;
  3. Collective choice arrangements;
  4. Monitoring;
  5. Graduated sanctions;
  6. Fast and fair conflict resolution;
  7. Local autonomy;
  8. Appropriate relations with other tiers of rule-making authority (polycentric governance)

Well, it doesn’t seem as clear cut as with permaculture. We could make the following parallels (sorry for the¬† crude images in what follows. Union representatives, please stay away from this unsafe zone ūüėČ

  • workers’ mental energy is the field
  • managers are the villagers
  • work is the cows who graze in the field

There’s a first difference in that managers are both members of the group of cows and the field being grazed.

I can see how it could work to manage that (I mean, in an artificial, rigid, way with committees to monitor metrics, assemblies of managers studying the work and the health of the workforce), but nothing plausible seems to emerge.

And yet, with governance approaches (eg Sociocracy 3.0 or Holacracy or Reinvented Organizations), the problem seems to be addressed. But the distinction between cows and field has vanished (something not possible in the example of Olstrom of course). Which might have all to do with the difference between real, physical world (Olstrom) and virtual, services, mental world.

Du #SWOT au #SOAR : pour une mise en mouvement de l’entreprise vers sa #strat√©gie

Voici un excellent article qui pr√©sente, de mani√®re simple et pratique, le SOAR comme alternative plus compl√®te et plus efficace au SWOT. Une lecture rapide qui pourrait bien permettre aux responsables d’entreprise de lancer, enfin, leur entreprise sur le chemin du changement :

Merci Bernard !


Reblog: #Holacracy : et l’humain dans tout √ßa ? | IN EXCELSIS via @RomainBisseret

Voici un excellent article sur l’Holacracy vue de l’int√©rieur. √Ä lire en ce d√©but d’ann√©e !

La plupart des commentaires √† charge contre l’holacratie mentionne un caract√®re “non humain”. Or, les rapports humains n‚Äôont rien √† voir avec la fa√ßon de travailler ensemble. Voyons pourquoi.

Source: Holacratie : et l’humain dans tout √ßa ? | IN EXCELSIS

The other as key to exponential expression of #strengths #labso

December 12th, 2016 Posted in Change, Strengths Tags: , , , , ,

Quick thoughts: if I focus on my own strengths, I will tend to see others as a distinction from my owns and thus risk amplifying their weaknesses when compared to me (with all the Pygmallion effect possibly entering the scene)

On the contrary, if I intently focus on the other’ strengths, I’ll tend to find in them those that resonate with mine or which can connect to mine. In thus doing, I’ll build a network of connected strengths, stronger than my own only, because of the diversity of the sources involved (not just mine but those of others as well which will be able to compensate for my own weaknesses).

With an intent focused on the other, s/he becomes a mirror through which I can see my own strengths. Should s/he be doing the same, an exponential amplification happens between ourselves (a “mise en abyme” as we say in french): we help ourselves grow our own strengths!

Reblog: 10 Ways to Accelerate the Peer-to-Peer and Commons Economy (via @Shareable)

Excellent blog post by Michel Bauwens co-founder of the P2P Foundation.

Every day, a P2P society makes itself more desirable.

Capitalism might be seen as the evil here, but, if we take a perspective of ecological successions, we can see it like a (somehow) deliberate burning of a place: everything disappears in the end, but this releases fertilizers in the ashes for something new to grow.

Do it too often and you spoil the soil.

Do it properly, and you can intervene on the pioneer plants to build something better and more sustainable.

If we see capitalism as a burning of what could have been precious resources, then we might as well consider what could grow on the ashes of the leftovers. We are already seeing these pioneering sprouts in P2P, collaboration, sharing economy. Of course some of the pioneers are just seeds of the previous world (Uber, AirBnb, etc.), but they’re just preparing the soil for the next round of more robust plants/initiatives that will truly change the landscape.

I’m eager to garden in the future!

The 30 elements of customer value via @harvardbiz @alexis8nicolas: what about employee assessment?

Here’s an excellent (as usual) article from Harvard Business Value: It reveals results from a study about customers not being interested just by Quality,¬†Delays¬†and Costs (as simplified in¬†#Lean), but also by much more different criteria (30 in total):

The question raised by Alexis Nicolas is: Why about using these 30 elements to evaluate the perception of a collaborator about his job and the company he works for during periodic assessments?

The hierarchy is reproduced below, but to make a long story short, we could synthesize the levels with the following reading grid:

  • at the functional level: this corresponds to the traditional employee assessment where his/her contribution is evaluated. Only with much more details;
  • at the emotional level we could assess how the employee feels in his/her job and what are the factors inciting to contributing more than the job description;
  • at a life changing level we can start to identify how the job or the¬†organization is¬†helping the employee grow and whether (or not) it gives reasons for him or her to fight for doing the job;
  • and at the social impact level we can assess whether the employee feels the job as a way to contribute to something bigger than his life, toward the world: that’s what’s is the more motivating for someone and which has the power to turn a job into a life mission.

Thanks Alexis for the mind-blowing question!


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