Frederic Laloux and Reinventing Organizations

When Frederic Laloux’s book came out, it spread around the world largely through word of mouth. It reached me in 2015, during the time of working on the New Future Process. (You can see here the summary of the plan that emerged from this process and which, tragically, was never implemented.) Frederic agreed to give feedback on the work we were doing at the time, and the conversation we had turned into a friendship that continues to this day. The book is far less radical than the NGL framework and to a large extent accepts elements that our work questions and challenges, such as having CEOs, exchange-based relationships, and accumulation of profits in the hands of the few. At the same time, on the practical level, the specific systems and practices that Frederic synthesized through his research within organizations moved the entire field of organizational thinking into a new frame that is so much more collaborative, distributed, purpose-oriented, and based on trust that it effectively built a new road on which groups like NGL can travel with far fewer obstacles. The advice process, which Frederic synthesized from existing practices within the organizations he studied and which I have modified in ways that Frederic resonates with though is unlikely to integrate, has become a key element in our way of functioning. Also, we have been enriched by the understanding that with distributed leadership systems of feedback and a strong sense of shared purpose are vitally necessary to maintain cohesion. Exactly how to do all this within the radical nature of our experimentation is still an experiment unto itself. The packets in the “Purpose and Values” category except for the Vision Mobilization one are where this influence is captured within the packets, most especially the “Organizational Systems Overview” and the “Decision Making Systems: From Either/Or to Integration” packets.

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Nonviolent Global Liberation Community