[OSList] Fwd: reporting back from MIX...

Harrison Owen via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Mon Nov 24 14:21:10 PST 2014

Thanks a lot! I particularly liked: “His 3 key questions for an org seeking to transform are: 1)  "what would leadership look like, if no one had any 'command authority'?

2) Does everyone have a voice in the decisions that affect them? 3) Can innovation arise from anyone, at any time?”  I can’t remember who “he” was, but the questions are brilliant. Useful questions always are...Brilliant! Had he added, “Command Authority is illusory.” (and maybe he did) – that would be the icing on the cake. To be sure, people have the “title”, and the “authorities” – but anybody who has ever “been there” knows that is not how things work. It is how some folks say they work. Some hope they work... but at the end of the day, “Command Authority is a paper tiger. 


Reminds me of a situation of some years back. I had recruited a 4 Star Admiral (soon to be retired) at the “Executive Director” of something called “The Future of Hampton Roads.” A large community based/regional development organization with just about 1.3 million people. At the time that was about how many people there were in the US Army. The Admiral asked me, “What I had gotten him into?” – and I said, “Sir, I think it is about like being in command of the US Army without a shred of formal authority.” His response? “Oh... Sounds just like my old job.


Great person, great leader.




Ps – if you want the details check out http://openspaceworld.com/future_hampton.htm 



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From: OSList [mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org] On Behalf Of Rosa Zubizarreta via OSList
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 9:49 AM
To: Ashley Cooper
Cc: World wide Open Space Technology email list
Subject: Re: [OSList] Fwd: reporting back from MIX...


Hi Ashley! 

Thanks for your question... great motivation to begin typing up a few notes.
Here are some of my favorites...

Vineet Nayar: (paraphrase) Key role of CEO is to say "I don't know" (and to really mean it!);
 to NOT have all the answers, so that others will have room to contribute.

(bit reminiscent of OS, no? :-) 

Core values of CEO: honesty, humility, openness, vulnerability. He started off a bit slowly in his talk,
and then really warmed up in a very powerful way. His book is called "Employees First, Customers Second." I've not read it yet, but I plan to...

Frederic Laloux: His book "Reinventing organizations" is good, and, I really enjoyed him as a speaker. 
'Hacking the decision-making process' as key, in all the transformative orgs he's studied;
offered a model of a "third way" betw. hierarchical decision-making & consensus decision-making . 

Calls it the "advice process"... seeking to expand the range of each person's self-discretionary activity, while at the same time,

creating opportunities for input and alignment. 

Also spoke about how "no hierarchy" does NOT mean flat, but that more precisely it means no "power" hierarchy;

no one holds power over another ('command authority'). "When you take out power hierarchies, lots of natural hierarchies appear, based on 
passion, contribution, skills, expertise, etc.  We all become both leaders as well as followers of someone else. 

His 3 key questions for an org seeking to transform are: 1)  "what would leadership look like, if no one had any 'command authority'?

2) Does everyone have a voice in the decisions that affect them? 3) Can innovation arise from anyone, at any time?

Heiko Fischer, Resourceful Humans -- What would it look like, if organizations were as creative as the people inside them? 

His main point was, ask your own people... "How would you organize, if you could organize this organization the way you want it to be?"

Offer them range of possibilities to start the conversation so that they can see a spectrum... yet each organization will need to find 
its own solutions, based on its unique character. 

Someone asked, "was it terrifying, to give up all that power?" He said, "YES! We had to fight our own demons, in order to surrender to what we knew we had to do. As soon as we let go, it all came together... "  

Described process of getting there, with one organization; began with doing constellation work with entire executive team, asking them to respond non-verbally to question "how clear is the CEO's vision to you?" by physically standing in different locations of room. How honest and shocking the responses were...  

>From that physical experience, was able to start an authentic conversation. "We tend to focus on increasing motivation and increasing competency, but the third leg of the stool, enabling, that is hugely important -- removing the restrictions that are in the way of people doing what they already want to do, and are already capable of doing. To do this, leader needs to surround themselves with people who will honestly challenge him or her." 

James DeJuilo from Tongal was great  -- creativity set free, by crowd-sourcing filmed content...
a community that has a company attached to it, instead of the other way around... 

Helen Bevan and Jackie Lynton... very energizing.... crowdsourcing org change inside huge bureaucracy...


Leerom Segal and Jay Goldman from Klick Health -- "Technology Eats Bureaucracy"... 
creative applications of data and tech to empower people.

Book: "The Decoded Company" Collaboration software: Genome

and last but not least, my absolute fave...

Alanna Krause from Enspiral and Loomio. 

moving from the "tyranny of structurelessness", to tyranny-less structures...

Enspiral is network of social entrepreneurs, some of  whom developed Loomio (open-soutce collaboration software)

to support own transparent decision-making process, including collaborative budgeting.

Article: When Business Met Occupy: Innovating for True Collaborative Decision-Making <http://www.mixprize.org/story/when-business-met-occupy-innovating-true-collaborative-decision-making-and-true-empowerment> 

main job of leaders: 1) give good ideas a place to go, and 
2) recognize and value facilitation.


Ok... that's it for now...



Rosa Zubizarreta

Diapraxis: Facilitating Creative Collaboration
http://www.diapraxis.com <http://www.diapraxis.com/> 



On Sun, Nov 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM, Ashley Cooper <Ashley at mycelium.is> wrote:



Thank you so much for this summary. Are there any talks that you would highly recommend that we watch?






Ashley Cooper

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Learning Architect
 <http://www.mycelium.is/> www.mycelium.is


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On Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 7:44 PM, Rosa Zubizarreta via OSList <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:

Hi all,

In spite of the old-style format, I found the MIX  <http://mixmashup.org/mashup/events> to be an extremely inspiring gathering.

Below some extracts from an e-mail I wrote to a friend... 


The conference format was (almost) completely didactic, lecture-style, jam-packed, hardly any breaks. AND, as challenging as that was, the content itself was extraordinary, completely inspiring, beyond awesome. How's that for a contradiction?

The MIX folks are extremely bright, dedicated, and passionate about finding people and organizations that are totally breaking the mold with regard to new organizational forms. This includes young companies that started this way from scratch, as well as older companies that were originally hierarchical and have transformed in some significant way. They are doing their best to promote these organizations/networks/initiatives and their work.


So, great people from all over the world… successful non-hierarchical companies from all over the world….really good stuff! The MIX folks are aware that this work isn't completely new, that there have been innovative examples of successful non-hierarchical orgs at different times. At the same time, they also believe we are at a tipping point, where we need to have new organizational forms become much more widespread -- and, they are doing their best to help make that happen, through sharing the stories of successful examples, highlighting how each one is a unique journey, and pointing to underlying principles.


Very little room was allotted for participation from attendees, except during the lab day. At the same time, it was great to be hearing from the folks who have actually created these new organizations, or initiated change efforts within older organizations. It seemed that many of the presenters had actually opened space in their organizations in drastic ways, not as external consultants coming in but as founders and leaders and/or internal change agents. I was moved by their honesty and vulnerability, and by their openness in sharing their challenges and ups and downs and work-in-progress.


I can imagine the trade-offs the conference organizers may have been struggling with...  likely they wanted to offer as many of these stories as possible, yet at the same time were not wanting to make it a longer conference. Recently Chris shared a design on the AoH e-mail list, in a thread about working with experts, of having people work in ten different groups doing collective story harvests. Something like that could have been useful here, and/or useful for the next one-- especially if followed by a way for people to share the harvests with one another afterward. 


And, the organizers may or may not be ready for that... seems like there was some feedback about designing a more participatory event after the MashUp two years ago. Maybe it's still percolating? Anyway, what a fascinating mix we ourselves are as humans, such a bundle of gifts and challenges (still-unopened gifts), all mixed together! And all of us having so much to contribute, and so much to learn...


In sum, I found it a highly valuable experience, paradoxes and all, and very much appreciated the opportunity of meeting a community of passionate innovators, who share a deep respect for a diversity of perspectives and a diversity of paths...


with all best wishes,




Rosa Zubizarreta

Diapraxis: Facilitating Creative Collaboration





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