Tag Archives: meetings

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.

Wie funktioniert ein Holacracy Governance Meeting?

Holacracy ist eine Methode, mit der Teams oder ganze Organisationen sich selbst organisieren können. Ein Aspekt davon ist die Governance: Das Regeln der Entscheidungsbefugnisse im Team.

In einem Holacracy Governance Meeting organisiert ein Team sich selbst: Es klärt, wie die Verantwortlichkeiten und Entscheidungsbefugnisse verteilt sein sollen.

Holacracy verwendet dafür einen strukturierten, verbindlichen Besprechungsprozess. Er basiert auf Konsent-Entscheidungen und ist stark von Soziokratie inspiriert.

Dieser Artikel führt durch alle Schritte des Holacracy Integrative Decision Making.

Zu einem Überblick zu Holacracy siehe hier.

Structure & Process gibt Einführungen zu Holacracy und begleitet Unternehmen auf dem Weg zu mehr Selbstorganisation. Kontakt: Martina Röll, info@structureprocess.com

Holacracy ist ein eingetragenes Warenzeichen von HolacracyOne, LLC

 

Continue reading Wie funktioniert ein Holacracy Governance Meeting?

Links of the Week (Week 46/2015)

LinksoftheWeek

Here are our Links of the Week, curated from our link collection.

Leadership

A chef reflects on being a good leader for his team and what is needed for that. In a nutshell: Be the best, work the hardest, know your team. Read all of his 8 points to get the full picture: 8 Things That Actually Make You a Good Chef.

Meetings

Here comes a list with 8 other points. The author is pointing out how conventional meeting settings are wasting time and money, while people actually want to network, create and develop: How to Waste $270.000/h in 8 Easy Steps.

Organizational Development

7 is a nice number, as well. So, here are 7 recommendations how to refactor away organizational debt after the start-up phase in a company. The author argues that it is crucial to be aware of that debt and the need to repay it. Not taking care of it will lead to a loss of the valuable and necessary employees that built the company: Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse.

Personal Development

Life is a constant change. James Altucher wants us to embrace that change and transform this energy into a happy and satisfying life. In his article he answers more than 50 questions around reinventing yourself on a daily basis. One of them: Read a lot of books.

Auf deutsch:

Zeit Online stellt vier Initiativen aus der Start-up Szene vor, die sich aktiv für die Verbesserung der Lebenslage geflüchteter Menschen engagieren: Von Computerkursen über Jobs bis hin zu besseren Unterkünften. Start-ups für Flüchtlinge.

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

Use your hands!

Handsigns for Meetings

SPblog-handsigns

Have you ever attended a local party meeting? People get off-topic a lot. People argue louder and louder while one person repeats their point for a third time. You have a correction to some recently shared information, but there are 5 people ahead of you on the speaking list… You name it.

In these never ending meetings, I always wished to cut all these situations short. Here comes the answer: Our partner Lara has a method she calls „Use your hands“. She has compiled and illustrated the handy list of signs you can use during meetings.

These signs have their roots in sign language and in different activist movements. For example the Occupy movement uses them, too.
„But you don’t need to be an activist to use them, right?“, points out Lara.

She advises to introduce the signs before using them, and to explain how they make things easier. „I always draw them somewhere visible for the whole group, too“, Lara tells. In her meetings and facilitation situations, she usually introduces only a few of the signs to find out whether people are curious and enthusiastic about the idea.

Maybe I will take the list to my next party meeting and see how curious my fellow party members get.

What are your experiences in meetings? Do you find the signs helpful? Would you try these signs in actual meetings?

5 Steps to Building an Organisation

What are the essential steps to seting up and maintaining coherent, purposeful collaborative work? How do you build an organisation?

Giving a talk to participants of Berlin’s Climate-KIC accelerator program last week helped me clarify my thinking on this. I will attempt to sketch out a systematic way to to get from “a bunch of people wanting to do things together” to a working and evolving organisation. There are many ways to do this – this is one, that, in our experience, has often worked well. It is informed by the work we did with Nenásilná komunikace group and our practise of Holacracy.

This will most likely be incomplete or unclear in places – please do leave questions and comments below so that it can improve!

1) Clarify Purpose

Goal: Arrive at a shared expression of purpose.

Method: Story Circle Conversation with Convergence.

'The Circle Way' Book Cover

Get all founders together and host a circle conversation on purpose.

Continue reading 5 Steps to Building an Organisation

Fundamental Aspects to make Work Meetings work

I ran a session at Mobilecamp Dresden today, speaking about “improving meetings”.

Other than in my previous thoughts about good meetings, that were centered around open business meetings, possibly between partners who don’t yet collaborate or know eachother well, this session was centered around project group meetings. Some fundamental aspects that I find important to make a meeting work:

Continue reading Fundamental Aspects to make Work Meetings work

Template for a good meeting

After a meeting with a business partner today, I felt quite dissatisfied. Reflecting on the situation, I realised that I had not held the frame in which the conversation happened well: I had not influenced the situation well enough to make it function better for me.

To remind myself and prevent this from happening again, as an exploration to make something implicit explicit, and possibly as an inspiration to you, dear reader, here is a

Template for a good meeting

This can be a work in progress and evolve as we understand it better.

 

Version 1.0

  1. Setting up / checking in
    1. Check the physical space for any constraints or problems – light, sound, air?
    2. Check into the psychological states of all people – are they fully here? Anything that needs to be taken care of before we can start?
    3. Establish Purpose: why is everyone here? What made you come? What do you wish/hope for? (Consider using “Mad Sad Glad Afraid”.)
    4. Check the timeframe: how much time is available? (A good meeting with people who don’t know eachother usually takes 90 minutes+. Plan with 120 minutes if possible, then you will make it in 90. Sometimes it takes 120. Rarely it takes 60. People who know eachother can work something out in 45-60 minutes, but even here, most important things take 90 minutes. Be very, very aware when there are less than 60 minutes available.)
  2. Meeting
    1. Listen attentively. What is happening? What is really happening? Continue reading Template for a good meeting