Tag Archives: collaboration

Encounters for meaningful collaboration (a few words on our organisation’s purpose)

I procrastinated publishing this post long enough that our organisation’s official purpose changed meanwhile. :-) I still find it valuable to share though, as it expresses a nuance on our work that I enjoy.
Even if as a company, we now speak more generally about “beautiful work” (another blogpost will follow), “encounters for meaningful collaboration” are still the heart of what we produce and what we thrive on. I offer this to you, for inspiration and connection! – Martina

We say: Encounters, as in: meeting of real people: Real humans meeting real humans. In all their complexity. With all the potential for change.

We say: “encounters” rather than “meetings”: Encounters are fierce, intensely personal, piercing. They might start subtly, but they carry immense strength. An encounter will change you, and may change your life.

We say: Collaboration, as in: working together to build something. Solving problems. Doing it together as opposed to doing it alone. With shared ownership and active engagement of all parties.
Collaboration may be structured or free-flowing. Rules and roles may appear, change, and dissolve. Collaboration can be clear and collaboration can be messy. Sometimes it is both at the same time.

We say: Meaningful, as in: with purpose. With depth. With intent.
Sinnvoll. Zweckgerichtet. Intentional. We invite depth, feeling, intentionality. We quest into intimate questions of what is important and what not. We care for the personal meaning in what may look to the outside as shared or even collective, large-scale work.  Life is short. What is meaningful to you?

Meaningful collaboration is not: random. “For fun”. An “experiment”. It is dedicated effort towards something significant. Fun and lightness come naturally to the process, but they are not goals in themselves. Enjoyment may be: Deep joy arises when meaning is apparent.

As an organisation, Structure & Process creates “encounters for meaningful collaboration”. In our work as a team, with our clients, in our client organisations. We invite you to join us: to co-create, to collaborate, and engage with the world’s, our communities’ and our shared personal challenges.

We are looking forward to meeting you.

Successful Projects with Trello

At Structure & Process we value a good online infrastructure for collaboration. Since we often work together virtually, the online environment is important for us. We need good tools that help us get stuff done and are enjoyable to use at the same time.

We think we’ve got this figured out pretty well and we always like to share our practices. And so today we’ll show you how we use Trello as our main tool for online collaboration on projects and how it serves as our digital office.

The goal? To show you how to use Trello to make your project successful!

What is Trello?

Trello is an online tool, which you can use in your browser or as an app for mobile devices. It’s main purpose is organising information in a visual and flexible way. It can be used for organising stuff individually and organising work as a team or company. In this blogpost we’ll focus on using Trello for collaboration.

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What’s so great about it?

There are probably a few hundred applications and tools out there that can be used to organise and coordinate work. Here are some of the reasons why we are sticking to Trello:

It’s unlimited

Working with Trello is like having a huge office with a lot of walls, unlimited sticky notes, coloured pens, markers and everything else you need to create organised overviews.

Once your project or business gets bigger, moving to a new office is a lot of work. Opening a new board in Trello, however, is a breeze. As you grow, Trello can grow alongside of you.

Continue reading Successful Projects with Trello

Partner Meetings at Structure & Process

The Team at Structure & Process works from multiple locations. And while our online infrastructure (based on Slack and Trello) is great, from time to time we need to get together to figure things out in person, have some fun, and work on current projects in just one place. We call these gatherings Partner Meetings.

What are the defining characteristics of our Partner Meetings?

  • We have an Agile Agenda: Everyone can add items at any time, and we decide together in which order the items are processed.
  • The meeting has a facilitator. They are elected in the beginning and help the team to navigate through all agenda items.
  • There are scheduled unscheduled times during partner meetings: These allow space for personal exchange and fun together.
  • We work a lot. In those 2-4 days everybody focuses on Structure & Process work intensely, we dive into passionate collaboration.
  • During the meeting there is good food. Whether it is self-made or our favourite Asian food (when we meet in Düsseldorf), it is always delicious. We take ample time for lunch and other breaks.
  • Guests are invited. Besides the Team of Structure & Process, we usually have at least one guest at Partner Meetings: these can be external collaboration partners or candidates who are in the process of deciding whether to join us.
  • The Pile of Success collects all our processed agenda cards – a tangible symbol of our accomplishments in the meeting. We burn the pile ritually to celebrate our successful meeting at the end.

Here are some impressions of our last Partner Meeting in Düsseldorf in September.

Continue reading Partner Meetings at Structure & Process

Meeting as Business Partners (On the Client Relationship)

I have found it very satisfying lately to meet my clients not as their consultant, but as their collaborator.

Often, as a consultant, it is my job to open and hold a space for the client: The clients use it to speak about their problems, issues, situations, and I listen with patience and offer my perspective or advice. Consultants learn a lot about their clients. Often, the clients don’t learn much about their consultants. (Except that we are smart, and we are good listeners. Well.)

Consultants usually don’t share much about their lives as consultants, their own business development or their personal situation. And why would we?

When a space opened up in a client meeting early last month – we had finished the agenda one hour earlier than planned and found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands suddenly – I took the opportunity to share from the heart what was going on with my company, Structure & Process, at this moment: Continue reading Meeting as Business Partners (On the Client Relationship)

What is Holacracy?

Holacracy is a method for people to work together.

It provides a shared language and defined work processes – especially processes for running meetings –  that help create clarity on what-is-actually-happening and who-does-what and allows for easy adaptation of an organisation’s structure.

Let’s look into the details:

“Some of Holacracy’s features.” Illustration By Jordan Husney.
  •  “Shared Language” means terminology that helps mutual understanding. In Holacracy, “Tactical Meeting” “Governance Meeting” “Project” “Objection” “Accountability” “Domain” and other terms are well-defined. Collaborators know what it means when somebody speaks of a “tension” (a felt dissonance between what is (current reality) and what could be (purpose)).Compare this with conventional uses of “problem”, “issue”, “meeting”, “challenge”, “project”, “accountability” and so on: What do these words mean in your context? Is this understanding shared between everybody?
  • “Rules” give a fundamental structure for how to work together: who has what permissions?  In Holacracy, the rules for working together are codified in the Holacracy Constitution.What are the rules in your working context? Are they clear? Are they explicit? Do they change? How?
  • “Roles” allow for the differentiation of personal interests and egos from purpose-driven functions. Within a role, I might have a strong conflict with a coworker who is filling another role. The framework of role-based work allows processing this conflict into constructive action.
  • Holacracy offers a defined Process for Change. Any tension that anyone senses from any role can be processed into a meaningful change. Improvements do not stay stuck in politics, fear or inertia.

Continue reading What is Holacracy?