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COCOONERS
This is the story of a fast-growing scale-up
that, in a crucial phase of its lifecycle, decided
to bet on her internal, widespread wisdom —
aka the people — to engage in an emerging
redesign of the whole organization.
Started as a spot intervention to help them cope
with some suboptimal adjustments [...]
In 2011, as we published our first website
filling it with images of LEGO® bricks,
little we knew about what was coming! We
just had an intuition of the importance the
shared identity of many people who—like
us—had lived through the Eighties would
have for the future of work [...]
Embracing Organiza-
tional Emergence
Emergent Knowledge
Management: Big-Data
Made Wisdom
Meet the global serious
games institute
A word about Cocoon Pro What’s cooking in our LABS Meet LiquidOTM
OUR STORY IS YOUR STORY FROM THE FAMILY
COCOONERS IS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
MAKING IT HAPPEN
Read at page 14 Read at page 10 Read at page 16
LIVE FROM THE ECOSYSTEM
Neodata is a technology company focused on
two core competencies: big-data and artificial
intelligence.
Data (from internal sources or the public web)
contains a lot of key information about how a
company operates, what can be improved, and
gives it fuel in defining its strategy.
Read at page 4 Read at page 8
Read at page 6
BECOME YOU
N°14 - OCTOBER 2023
2
I
s the world better off because your company is in it?
Suddenly silence fell when this question was asked, a
few months ago, at a crowded conference on Regener-
ative Leadership. I have heard variations of the same
query many times over the past 15 years, but that day it felt
different. Attending were entrepreneurs and professionals
from all over the world for whom being able to answer a full
“yes!” felt urgent and relevant.
Recognizing that business as usual has become both ecolog-
ically unsustainable and a deadly entrepreneurial choice,
those business people were finally pondering: what if?
What if questioning the status quo of how we work, and why,
can open up a vast new field of possibilities, where wealth is
generated through rich human lives and a healthy earth, far
beyond what any short-term return can measure?
I bet these will be the kind of companies we will see thriving
10 years from now. Organizations that see people and the
planet as core to their purpose and strategy making, not out
of a philanthropic stance but as a pivotal choice with very
practical implications. Today, it’s the talents you have and
those you wish to attract that urge your company to switch
gears in that direction. As well as the stakeholders impacting
your balance sheets with their financial and buying choices.
So where do we begin? As Rumi said, there are plenty of ways
to kneel and kiss the ground. Pick yours. Scan the landscape
of your organisation, feel where the seeds of a more life-en-
hancing future could be planted. From products to culture,
through people and processes, weave the thread that can alter
the inner and outer ecology for the good.
Maybe it’s not easy, yet immensely
rewarding. Like everything truly valu-
able in life, it all starts with your full
‘yes’ and the cheerful discipline to act
accordingly.
WHAT’S UP
I
ntelligence takes brain mass—we’re told—happiness
takes time, and performance takes ambition. In truth, all
very harmful and limiting beliefs, strongly polluted by a
reductionist understanding of reality, a fragmented and
very limited perception of what we are. As these beliefs shape
the stories we tell ourselves and one another, loneliness, fear,
depression, and hopelessness fill our hearts and our streets.
On the contrary, when we look deeper into them, and shape
different stories, success becomes a playful game of truly being
ourselves, cherishing the here and now. In fact, we are a small
part of a much broader intelligence running under our feet,
into our lungs, and through our blood. And the embodied expe-
rience of this reality is the compass that generates the state
of perception we call happiness. Does this resonate with you?
If so, towards which idea of success should we perform? What
does performing really mean in the very first place? Once upon
a time, artists used to be the ones performing. They devoted
life to their art, in a deep choice. And the few stages available
used to choose them—an intimate relationship. Today, stages
are everywhere. Cheap, noisy, arrogant: disguised medioc-
rity, polluted beauty. We have come to believe that performing
means stepping onto a stage and getting applause: a very
harmful belief, hindering our innate ability to truly perform.
Yet, hidden in the very meaning of the word, we can encounter
the truth: performing is the full expression of our core art,
allowing complete manifestation to our true form, it means fully
becoming ourselves. Indeed, much of the performance happens
very far from any stage, it unfolds in and through acts and
conversations that are invisible to the many. In the organiza-
tional show-business out there, as much as
in the “personal development” arena, look
for deep care and selfless truth. You will
find very few stages bearing real artists,
while all the other shows and noises may
be distracting you from recognizing the
vast nourishing beauty performing far
from any stage.
3
H
ow can an understanding of systems and rela-
tionships help us rethink how we interact with
everything we have around us? How do we recog-
nize the right solutions? How do we not get carried
away by the easiest answer?
The “Warm Data’’ training with Nora Bateson taught me that
you can discover many more options if you recognize rela-
tionships that are woven into the complexity of the issues we
are working on. This process allows us to see new patterns
and to respond to them with a much broader comprehension.
When we are angry about things happening in the world that
we don’t understand, we often jump to the most immediate
conclusion, driven more by anger than clear reasoning. But
what may seem very obvious is not obvious at all. If you want
to make a difference in your context, you have to let go of your
convictions and open up to elements you hadn’t considered.
I read the story of Paolo Fanciulli and it made me think about
how our evolution depends on our mutual contribution and
understanding of interdependence. Paolo fighted against
illegal trawl fishing and, in doing so, created an underwater
museum with sculptures and deterrents that promote the
repopulation of the sea along the Tuscany coast. “Casa dei
Pesci” has become an underwater museum with many enor-
mous sculptures resting on the seabed at less than 7 meters
in depth, making them easily acces-
sible. With a different way of reading
the context, he created value at multiple
levels. The impact we can have on our
surroundings is much greater than we
imagine, and how we respond to chal-
lenges concerns not only ourselves but
also everyone else. We have power and as
everyone knows: with great power comes
great responsibility!
WORK HARD. PLAY HARDER
SOME OF OUR HIGHLIGHTS FORTHE FIRST HALF OF 2023
7ACTIVE CORETEAMS
13 PEOPLE INVOLVED
3 COUNTRIES INVOLVED
COCOON CORETEAMS
TALKINGABOUT US
7 NEW CONTRIBUTORS
5 PEOPLE SHIFTS
3 COUNTRIES INVOLVED
CP OPEN GOVERNANCE
3
I
’m not what it is supposed I am…
I’m complex—a complex human being. Like all of us. So
please don’t give me a badge with an adjective. I’m not only
a “talent”, even though I can have some brilliant moments;
I’m not only a “toxic” person (whatever that means), even though
sometimes I’m not helping you or I have my biases and you cannot
understand me. I’m not your “vitamin” person, even though I can
help you and/or accompany you in some areas of your life. I’m not
what you need to believe I am… and yes, I am as well.
I’m everything and I’m nothing you may think. Anyway I’m all
of that too. Please do not bias me. Let me have my moments, let
me grow and be what I’m not now, let me sometimes be “toxic”
(whatever that means): I deserve it and it is part of my humanity
and my nature, too. In nature there are some “toxic” beings, and
they deserve to live, just like everything else.
Please do not constrain me to your mental structures. I do not fit
in them, that’s for sure. I’m not good or bad: I have all the human
power for good and for bad, to be like I am now, and to be what
I want to be tomorrow. Please, do not label me for your books or
your conferences. I’m complex and I live and work in a complex
world. Please don’t simplify my world: people (we) deserve to not
be lumped into one category. I’m my own leader, not you. You
can be my boss, a good or a bad boss, you choose. You can be my
mate, a good or a bad mate, you choose. Leadership is in me, in our
working together, never in the things that you “allow” or “foster”
me or us to do. Not even all your Leadership
courses can do that, I’m sorry. You don’t
have that individual power, my friend; it’s
our collective power, not yours alone.
Anyway, I’d love to walk this path with
you, for us to learn from each other, and
to know more about each other, in order to
create a better world (whatever that means)
together. Shall we?
HAPPY
WORKPLACE
TELEPASS
BUILDO
1 OHANA MEETUP
2WEIRD CO-DESIGN SESSIONS
1 CHANGE PLAYING MEETUP
KEY INITIATIVES
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
STELIO
VERZERA
LETIZIA
PIANGERELLI
CLAUDIA
PELLICORI
INAKI
PEREZ
Neodata is a technology company focused on
two core competencies: big-data and artificial
intelligence.
Data (from internal sources or the public web)
contains a lot of key information about how
a company operates, what can be improved,
and gives it fuel in defining its strategy. So, the
focus now is on artificial intelligence, which
enables the company to extract value from its
business. This is our claim.
One of the key areas where we apply our
expertise is what we call emergent knowledge
management.
→ What is the emergent knowledge management
Knowledge management (KM) means identi-
fying, organizing, storing, and disseminating
information within an organization.
Knowledge is extracted from data that are not
just numbers but mostly text. We are talking
about the natural language of documents, web
pages or social media posts.
In recent months, together with Cocoon Pro,
we have specialized our work on a specific
aspect of knowledge, emergent knowledge. It
means that it is not defined by someone but
it is the unpredictable result of something
that arises from a kind of collective intelli-
gence. It is generated by nonlinear interactions
between companies, universities, institu-
tions, innovators, influencers, the public, the
developer community, a startup on the other
side of the world, or something else.
There are dozens of use cases and ideas that
we have developed based on this framework.
Cocoon Pro is very focused on human organ-
izations within the workplace and how they
evolve, so it was natural and exciting for us
to focus together on emerging knowledge
management. Key points of this research were
to understand who needs knowledge to do their
daily tasks and who benefits from it to lead an
organization.
→ How emergent knowledge management
helps daily work?
The employee of a large company (but also a
simple freelancer working alone) relies on the
ongoing work of others and the information
availabletoincreaseproductivityandtheability
to innovate. Achieving this in a complex work
environment means having a way to answer
- and a solution to - a range of questions: are
other teams working on similar topics? How
can the (temporary) results of their work be
effectively shared with other teams? Who
are the leading subject matter experts (in the
company)? What are the opportunities and
needs in the company’s learning process?
An emergent knowledge platform solves all
these problems at once by preventing key
documents from remaining in the database
underdust.Itcreatesconnectionsandidentifies
patterns within that key asset (a treasure
trove!), which is the sum of the knowledge of
every mind within the company.
Pushing it with alerts and intelligent user
experience is crucial: people do not have to
query the system, it is the knowledge that
goes to the people, solving their unknowns.
Artificial intelligence will consider people’s
interests and information needs, based on
different criteria and continuous learning.
→ How emergent knowledge management
helps organizations’ leaders
Volatility for each decision-maker is certain
in today’s scenario. Despite this environment,
it is necessary to have the best information
available, from stakeholders on the latest
trends and opportunities, from competitors
on emerging possibilities for synergies with
business partners.
A lot of information is on the Web. But it is too
much for humans. And too much to identify
correlations even with what is happening
within the company itself.
A knowledge platform allows the leaders to
receive all this information, with the effect to
enable an evolution of strategy of the company
according to directions that do not derive from
an explicit pre-established plan, but based
on what emerges from the sum of the actions
We are glad to share the pages of this number of Cocoo-
ners with Neodata, one of the most committed organisa-
tions when it comes to emergent knowledge management,
enabling organisations to create value and continuously
evolve.
neodatagroup.com
FROM
THE
FAMILY
EMERGENT KNOWLEDGE
MANAGEMENT: BIG-DATA
MADE WISDOM
of individuals, BUs, market, competition,
projects and teams. Strategic decisions will be
based and driven by data, by reality and not
hypothesis.
→ What to expect from the collaboration
between Neodata and Cocoon Pro
When a combination happens between two
different but complementary companies, many
interesting ideas and results can come about.
Cocoon Pro has a fantastic ability to analyse
and identify how knowledge management can
be a boost for a company and how it can be
introduced into internal processes.
Neodata has the technical ability to build
software architectures, algorithms, and
artificial intelligence models to collect, extract,
combine, and serve knowledge to organiza-
tional members.
Now more than ever, whether it is explicit,
implicit or even tacit knowledge, its evolution
always depends on the quality of information
available and the ability of people to process
it effectively. The goal of Cocoon Pro and
Neodata’s work is to maximize within organ-
izations the effectiveness of matching people
with the right information, in real-time.
At this point, knowledge can truly be applied to
navigating the emerging and rapidly changing
reality. Thus, knowledge becomes wisdom to
drive business.
COCOON PRO
WEB
HIGHLIGHTS
www.cocoon-pro.com
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
4 5
Serious Games System (SGS):
What is it, where does it
come from, and who is it for?
Criteria for Beautiful
Organisations
Unleashing organisational
resilience
How can a European consortium effectively organize
the work of multiple actors around the long-term
challenge of empowering an interdisciplinary
knowledge infrastructure, across cultures, the world over?
We, at Trainconsulting, have discussed and played
around with the concept of Beautiful Organisations
in the last few years. This has started to profoundly change my ...
Serious Games System emerges as a way to transition
from a guiding principle of “trust the method” to a guiding principle ...
PRODUCT
OR NON
PRODUCT
WORKINGDAYS
THE SWEET
SPOT
I
f this was the
priority at a more
operational level,
what were the
broader effects of
this fragmentation?
Indeed, it soon
became evident that
it also had an impact
on the adoption of a
coherent strategic
direction that
would effectively
align and actualize
efforts. The next
step (Iteration 2) was
therefore dedicated
to the main dilemma
the organization
was facing — and
no wonder, under
A
s it sometimes
happens when
you grow fast — for
example, when
you move from a
handful to more
than 70 people in
a couple of years
— the profoundly
aligned vision and
coherent execution
from the early days
gets eaten by a
highly fragmented
B
y actively
listening to the
system, we observed
how — in a fast-paced
environment largely
focused on results
— communication
and decision-making
tilted, in a way that
was not effective
nor conducive to
evolution. Therefore,
when we embarked
in the first step of
the intervention
(or Iteration 1) in
September 2022, our
work was focused on
This is the story of a fast-growing scale-up that, in a crucial phase of its lifecycle, decided to bet on
her internal, widespread wisdom — aka the people — to engage in an emerging redesign of the whole
organization.
Started as a spot intervention to help them cope with some suboptimal adjustments to the recent rapid
growth, it quickly evolved into a full-fledged organizational redesign spanning over more than 9 months.
the current
circumstances, had
so far remained
unsolved. In an
open and productive
session, we took the
time to focus on, fully
comprehend, and
assess the transition
from a service-
oriented company to
a product-oriented
company, with the
help of lean change
management tools
and methods.
OUR STORY IS YOUR STORY
A
t this point the
energy was
raised and people
mobilized, so that
we could dive into
the redesign of the
organizational setup
of the company, in
a way that would
organically and
dynamically sustain
its evolution.
Through four
iterations (of which
two in presence),
and with more than
30 people involved,
the system engaged
in an intense,
ever-evolving and
revealing quest that,
A
challenging
yet exciting
endeavour indeed,
for the sub-system
involved in the
redesign, who — with
the finalization of the
new organizational
setup — was called
to put in place the
equally critical
workstreams to enable
its implementation.
Disseminating
throughout the
company the
language and
from the definition
of a shared compass,
moved into the
iterative design of the
new core dynamics
and their integration
into an organic
system. So what was
this quest all about?
It was essentially
about finding the
sweet spot between
adaptivity and
stability that would
ensure the system to
thrive and evolve.
It turns out this has been an incremental
journey. How often do we embark on a
predefined quest, setting boundaries to
what can be achieved? How often do we do
that for the sake of efficiency?
In this journey, the actual transformation
happened as the organization opened up
to the emerging possibilities of what could
be achieved. Key to this was realizing that
the potential of the human component of
the system was ready to be unleashed and
to sustain a much more ambitious quest.
FINAL THOUGHTS
7WORKSHOPS PARTICIPANTS
45
SOME DATA
FACILITATORS
5 12
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
6 7
WHAT’S
NEXT?
MAKING
INFORMATION
FLOW
evolving governance
and decision-making
dynamics, in order to
nurture more effective
participation,
and to initiate the
reconfiguration of
information flows.
Now, how to do that
in a way that enables
full co-creation
mode? Thanks to a
microcosm of the
system providing the
full kaleidoscope of
people impacting and
being impacted by
those dynamics.
FRAGMENTED
REALITY
perception of how
reality has evolved,
of what the flaws are
and what you need
to make the wheel
spin. All in all, an
unintentionally
siloed perspective
emerged and the
system appeared
to struggle to move
in a consistent,
coordinateddirection.
So, what happened
along the way?
underlying principles
of the new setup now
became the stepstone
for a disciplined and
careful grounding
phase. This is where
we stand now, a
delicate phase in
which the success of
the whole transition
is at play, and where
our role, fully in
pull-mode, is that of
a supportive sparring
partner.
+
EMERGENCE
EMBRACING ORGANIZATIONAL
Here’s to the system of value flows we work in. Our ecosystem. No initiative, tool,
competence, result can exist without roots in the liminal spaces between these flows,
between organizations, across narratives. Enjoy.
Meet the global serious games institute
LIVE FROM THE
ECOSYSTEM
NURTURING SHARED VALUE
STUFF WE’VE LOVED READING!
Read the full article
Transformative imagination: linking reso-
nant action, deeply creative practice, and
imagination infrastructures
If In 2021, after years of campaigning and ramping up strategies,
Dutch activist group Fossielvrij NL are preparing a court case against
civil pension fund ABP, one of the world’s biggest pension funds.
What’s important: conversation between
Nora Bateson, Daniel Schmachtenberger
and Nate Hagens
An evening conversation with Nora Bateson, Daniel Schmachten-
berger and Nate Hagens.
Read the full article
In 2011, as we published our first website filling it with images of LEGO®
bricks, little we knew about what was coming! We just had an intuition of
the importance the shared identity of many people who—like us—had
lived through the Eighties would have for the future of work, as we be-
come today’s decision makers, entrepreneurs and facilitators.
Fast forward to 2016, we are in Milan welcoming the national press at
the first ever “LSP Fest” we have organized to introduce the beauty of
the LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) method to the whole of Italy. Fond of the
power of play, we’ve launched the event with the claim “Growingthebest
of LEGO® Serious Play®”. And that is exactly what happens: the general
public meets this method and resonates with the beautiful principles it
brings to the table. A space for expression for all participants to contrib-
ute. A playful way to join our thoughts and our emotions to craft better
ways forward. The recognition of the human being in her uniqueness as
the center of any path towards beautiful work and a better society.
Back then, among the different interpretations of the Open Source meth-
odreleasedinCreativeCommonsbytheLEGOGroup,wechosetoembrace
the version further developed by Robert Rasmussen and delivered by the
“Association of Master Trainers”. The choice was simple for us, having
met LSP through the heart and hands of Lucio Margulis in 2013 while Lu-
cio was working with that association. In fact, the combination of Lucio’s
immensetalentandtherigorouslydesignedtrainingbytheAssociationof
Master Trainers was, back then, a no brainer for us. Easy choice.
Since then, we have trained hundreds of people and delivered count-
less LSP workshops in many countries, while we have kept working and
experimenting with many other serious games. As we evolved, though,
and the world changed more than a bit, we have started feeling con-
strained by old choices. The LSP method needed to evolve, for many good
reasons. A new methodology was also being born (now alive and known
as the Serious Games System, or SGS). And we had come to believe that
the global community of serious games facilitators needs a place of be-
longing based on inclusion, openness, continuous experimentation,
solid scientific knowledge—all in all, the very same values on which LSP
was launched by the LEGO Group in 2010 through the Open Source docu-
ment, and that we had not seen embodied by the context in which it was
being held across the years.
This is how the Global Serious Games Institute was born. This sum-
mer, as Lucio Margulis got free from previous commitments, togeth-
er with partners and institutions from 8 countries, we have just given
birth to this new place of belonging. As we keep growing the best of LSP,
a better training experience has been designed and, in only 3 months,
already delivered in 7 countries with amazing feedback. A new story
has just begun, one with serious games truly at heart. Welcome GSGi.
See for yourself here: www.seriousgames.global.
Start from our public telegram channel
@CocoonPro Read on Mozaic
Francesca Schioppo
OHANA MEETUP
What will the future of organization design
look like? How will it evolve under the
influence of the emerging generation of
organization designers? These questions
intrigue us as we reflect on our partic-
ipation in the European Organization
Design Forum (EODF) Annual Conference
in Lisbon this past October. The conference
itself provided a platform for powerful
expressions of this generational transition,
exemplified by the heartfelt celebration of
the “first generation” recipient of the Paul
Tolchinsky award.
The 2023 Conference also offered the org
design community a chance to reconnect
with the magic of Whole Scale Change, as
we co-hosted a session with our partner
Tricordant and witnessed the vibrant
enthusiasm of the participants. Last but not
SPOT ON: HERE’S HOW IT FELT
FRESH STORIES FROM MOZAIC
least, this was the moment for the EODF
community to meet our Serious Games
System (SGS) - the adaptive paradigm for
serious games - for the very first time.
All in all, this space couldn’t be richer and
more inspiring for us!
The evolution of work is a long and pro-
found journey that belongs to all of us. Since
2018, we have been organizing the Ohana
Meetup for the whole tribe of professionals,
game-changers, change agents, and passion-
ate people, as an enabler for this to happen.
It has always meant to be a place for truly
getting together, perceiving the deep inter-
dependence between us all, thinking above
and beyond boundaries, coalescing and rec-
ognizing we are a living ecosystem.
Last year, we reunited in Berlin for two days
of powerful conversations and pure energy blast, sharing experiences, knowledge, feelings and
unleashing creativity.
Save the date for the 7th edition of the Work Revolution Party: 22-23 march 2024, and stay tuned
for updates on the OM website. We are eager to know where we will be landing with the whole
Ohana this year!
How I teach systems thinking to
a five-year old
This picture fills me with sadness, yet at the same time, it fills me
with hope. It’s a picture of my then two-year-old, in the middle of
the COVID-19 pandemic. She insisted on wearing a mask anytime
she left the house and diligently kept it on until she got back home.
Watch the video
Isabela Caria
Read on Mozaic
Eleonora Papazova
Read on Mozaic
VISIT
Ohanameetup.party
VISIT
EODF CONFERENCE
eodf.eu
Circles that nourish: the
weaving of new lifeways
“People need to feel welcomed to arrive and so
then, they can be present”. — Sobonfu Somè
Grown in West Africa, in a land that holds ...
Sometime after I started studying Visual
Communication, I began to ask myself ...
Aloha Identity: a history of
contexts instead of a list
of “done”
On The concept of empathy is widespread and
I could say taken to heart. I was raised with the
sentence that was supposed to be graceful: If
anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to ...
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
8 9
FUTURE WORK
What kind of future are we giving life to, by how we work and why?
What would the world of work look like if it were more beautiful?
We believe that exploring the future is a crucial step in actualizing the full potential of who
we can become, as individuals and as organizations. That’s why we welcome you to this
carefully curated space where you can find futures-focused insights, ideas and resources
that can support you in the journey of creating a new reality of beautiful work, today.
Stay tuned for additional stories and resources
on the evolution of the world of work by subscribing
to our monthly newsletter at cocoon-pro.com
Teams are the lifeblood of organisations.
In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, how people get
together, interact and collaborate directly impacts an organization’s
ability to achieve and improve its goals, work effectively, innovate,
adapt, and create a positive work environment, just to name a few.
So to say, building and sustaining high-performing teams is key to
overall organisational performance. It becomes evident how identi-
fying and tackling potential challenges affecting team performance
is an endeavour worth investing in for any organisation. In our path
working along different teams and organisations in a variety of
contexts, we have discovered that to do so requires more than a simple
input-output formula; it’s more about perceiving and navigating the
systemic nature of those challenges, in order to truly thrive.
That’s what we invite you to explore in this map.
10 11
FOR A
UNLOCKING TEAM
PERFORMANCE
How do you recognize complexity as a facilitator, facilitative
manager, or participatory leader? If you are leading an organiza-
tion’s transformation, the ability to witness patterns embedded in
the deep dynamics of the culture informs success or failure.
What can help you navigate these waves? Facilitation skills can make
it easier to face intricate issues, when honed with emotional intel-
ligence and the ability to detect sensory cues. Most of what creates
results in an organization operates beneath the line of sight. Success
in navigating change lies also in the ability of uncovering patterns
and deep dynamics. How do you do that?
That’s what Dawna Jones, organisation ecologist and world-class
master intuitive facilitator for high-impact decision-makers,
explores in this thought-provoking piece.
BECOMING REGENERATIVE:
THE STORY OF VIVOBAREFOOT
What is serious play? And why is it so powerful in work-related contexts?
A brief exploration of ‘serious play’ and the reasons that make
it an extraordinary asset for the world of work.
SERIOUS GAMES AT WORK:
YOUR ENTRY POINT
When he was in his teens Galahad Clark witnessed his family lose
control of a six generation beautiful business being taken over by
short-term shareholder capitalist values. Fast forward 2012 he
co-founded Vivobarefoot to give life to a company able to give back
more than it takes.
Vivobarefoot is a high performing company today. They ascribe their
success to the ongoing choice of embodying a new way of working,
imbued with living systems principles. One where people have more
agency to find their own flow guided by shared values of continuous
improvement, creativity and transparent feedback.
A journey from fear to trust, from siloed-working to feedback loops,
from reactivity to agility. Definitely one more aligned with their
mission to reconnect people to the natural world through their inno-
vative shoes.
What is serious play for? Where is it beneficial to take it?
There is a simple and very powerful criterion to understand
where playing seriously makes a difference. Let’s see it.
Serious Games System (SGS):
What is it, where does it come from, and who is it for?
Introduction to an adaptive paradigm for serious games.
OF
BEAUTIFUL
HOW INTUITIVE FACILITATION
CAN HELP TEAMS TO THRIVE
Serious games, a dynamic fusion of play and purpose, offer unparal-
leled possibilities in work-related contexts. We risk to say they hold one
of the keys to shaping the future of work.
If you want to unleash full human potential, playing seriously can help
you shape an environment where work is not just productive but also a
canvas for people thriving.
Here we would like to offer you a gateway to explore their significance.
The following resources offer in-depth knowledge to help you play a
pivotal role in creating a more engaging, collaborative, and innovative
work landscape.
Enjoy!
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
DOWNLOAD
THE PDF
READ MORE
ON MEDIUM
WATCH THE
VIDEO
JAM NEWS
A Cocoon Pro Jam happens twice per year, at the beginning of each half. It is the most important CP governance event,
open to all members and contributors and lasting two or three days. During the CP Jam we cocreate our direction for the
next 6 months. Here below you can have a peek at our last Jam.
HIGHLIGHTS
As the days were getting hotter, Cocooners traveled to get together,
this time hosted by the inspiring landscape of Menorca. Engaging in
meaningful conversations, weaving the pattern of collective sense-
making and deep alignment, naturally allow the decision of a common
focus for the next six months to emerge.
Relying on a Lean Coffee, surrounded by the sea, we shared perspectives,
feelings, and imaginative thoughts around the topics and issues we
collectively chose to be relevant to the unique moment in time Cocoon
Pro is living. The harmony and resonance between older members and
those who have just joined showed the magic of what is possible. Thus,
actualising ourselves for another ride.
#CPJAM
@Claudia Pellicori
Eachtimeit’spurelearningandenergy,sogratefulfortheseamazing
daysin#menorca#CPjam#2023h2#work#people#share#evolution
@CocoonPro
Our #CPJam took place in Menorca. Old and new stories blend
into one more chapter of how we conceive work.
Got your own stories of how you have been evolving personally
and professionally towards a regenerative world of work?
Share it on Mozaic #cpway
@CocoonPro
Imagine a fully distributed company. How do alignment and
sensemaking on where people are headed happen? This is our
#lifeatCocoonPro and our answer to that question is: through our
Jam. Follow #CPJam #2023H2 to see what Cocooners are up to
over the next few days in Menorca.
@ShiverTweet
Can’t really find the words to convey what I’ve seen sprout in this
beautiful #CPjam. Yet, I see clearly that we have found the deeds to
convey it in the next few months. Stay tuned! Aloha
@CocoonPro #2023h2
@hoxeheome
It is always amazing to see how much harmony and resonance
there is between people who have been working in @CocoonPro
for several years and those who have just joined. #CPJAM #2023H2
MY FIRST JAM
“
#Emergence
#Focus
Eric Camellini
“
#itispossible #Energy #Beyourself
#Connectiveness
@Eric Camellini
Leaving Menorca and the #CPjam right now. I take home with me
a lot of energy and I can’t wait to channel it on the next focuses we
defined, together. #cpjam #2023h2 #cplife @CocoonPro
12 13
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
”
The Jam shows that there is a different way of doing things, it is
an example of a possible world, indeed. It is possible to be in a
space where everyone is totally themselves, without any profes-
sional façade, going around barefoot, with the freedom to express
themselves in order to work on the things that are important for
the system in the coming months.
”
The Jam was a way to understand how Cocoon Pro works obser-
ving all the dynamics live, and I was really surprised and very
grateful for the fact that the frame that holds the ability to be
vulnerable and be yourself and everything you are, was there
form second zero.
Peter Scheipl
A WORD
ABOUT US
Cocoon Pro is a last-generation company enabling healthy
evolution to the very concept of work, worldwide since 2011. Her
customers are organizations looking for deep shifts in how people
and technologies, together, can raise unprecedented performance.
First in Europe in devising a completely emergent organizational
setup, and known globally as a “small giant” generating exponen-
tial value, Cocoon Pro is directly involved in the edge of interna-
tional efforts evolving work itself, making Beautiful Work outper-
form obsolete industrial approaches.
We foster the birth of a world of work based on interbeing and
generative practices. And by this quest, we help enable unpar-
alleled levels of relevance, resilience and resonance for our
customers. In fact, over 90% of our clients experience a perma-
nent positive change one year after the conclusion of our inter-
ventions — real evolution is effective and permanent.
We work with about 40 different tools, and commit to
continuous mastery development on each.
We design and facilitate activities from the single
person to very large groups, and through the vital
dimension of the team
All the tools we use are devised to engage the whole-
ness of the person, rational and emotional.
Whatever the mix of tools we design for, our utmost
attention is on the flow experience of the participants,
be it live or digital.
Over many years, we have seen all kinds of people
having fun while achieving their greatest results.
In Cocoon Pro we practice first-hand and continuously evolve today’s
most relevant work principles and techniques. These ongoing flows
of learning, together with intense and continuous field operations at
the side of a broad range of Customers, highlight Cocoon Pro as the
ideal partner for true strategic and operational evolution.
We have designed our whole service framework to provide you with
sound results in boosting three vital and interdependent characteris-
tics of your organization: relevance, resilience and resonance.
RELEVANCE
How to have a bearing on your stakeholders’ lives in a rapidly
changing world? Surviving as an organization implies keeping
your relevance. Growing it, means attracting increasing streams of
resources from all of your stakeholders and, ultimately, thriving
RESILIENCE
The rate of change is bursting. Your work scenario evolves quickly,
and it impacts both your decision making and operational priority
management. Resilience is, at least, the ability to adjust to the stress
of these changes. At best, it is feeding on it and becoming stronger
and better.
RESONANCE
In a context of increasing complexity, the good news is that exponen-
tial dynamics are readily at hand. Instead of focusing on warfare-like
strategies based on conquering and protecting, you can now tap into
ecosystemic opportunities able to amplify your energies by orders of
magnitude.
If any of these challenges is at the core of your current evolution,
please reach out to us:
MEET COCOON PRO
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU
HOW WE WORK
In the evolution of your organization across the three
scopes of relevance, resilience and resonance, we
provide specific services in these nine different areas
THE TOOLS WE’LL BRING YOU
www.cocoon-pro.com
GET IN TOUCH WITH US, LET’S HAVE A CHAT
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
14 15
• Business Agility
• Organizational Strategy
• Change and Transformation
• Leadership Development
• Talent Cultivation
• Regenerative Impact
We work iteratively, establishing a rhythmic heartbeat of inter-
ventions for a deep and concrete evolution. Our commitment is
to leave you better at every iteration, while we navigate towards
your full performance potential. Our own way of doing so is called
Evolution Flow, and it is the result of more than 10 years of expe-
riences working with very different organizations all around the
world, deep study across many decades of work and methodologies
by outstanding giants, and — not least — a decade of collabora-
tions with experienced professionals in the domains of org devel-
opment, change, strategy, org design, psychology, team work, and
much more.
The Evolution Flow is the art, science and craft of answering one
simple and key question:
What is the next natural step of evolution
that this organization can make?
As simple as the question is, finding good answers requires
a profound respect for the identity, context and trajectory
of each organization. It demands attention to the whole
depth of the human system and, most importantly, to the
intimate relationships between its technical and social
dimensions.
In fact, our intervention approach integrates in a
coherent framework entire systems of thought like
Socio-Technical Systems Theory, Lean Thinking,
Complex Adaptive Systems theory, 4E Cognition, and
it is based on a few original conceptual framings of
what a human work-system is and how it evolves
towards its full potential.
While redefining what performance means in your
context, we can work with your key teams or at closing
the gap between strategy-making and execution, and in
any case we always nurture three types of evolution that
have to happen in harmony with each other: operational,
behavioral, and psychological evolution.
Learn more about the Evolution Flow here
What is LiquidO™
You might have heard of a new breed of organisational models,
responding to the fast growing adaptability, engagement and collab-
oration needs within modern company structures. Or you might
have simply experienced the sound problems of slowness, rigidity,
bureaucracy, disengagement along with various kinds of waste and
bottlenecks that “traditional” organisational models generate and
suffer nowadays.
This is what LiquidOTM
is all about: the original “liquid organisation”
model for governance, born from direct experience within Cocoon Pro
and in use in a growing number of for profit and not-for-profit organi-
sations willing to get liquid.
Liquefying an organization means disrupting the industrial-age
driven assumptions on which rigid structures are designed and move
on to make it adaptive, dynamic and anti-fragile. Based on lean
management and open collaboration principles, the LiquidOTM
model
is fluid, meritocratic and value-driven, enabling stigmergic
behaviour and “organic” effectiveness.
Rigidly structured organiza-
tions cannot cope with the
current pace of innovation
and its complexity, let
alone exploit it. We need
a completely different
mindset and consequently
new models. And we need
them to be simple and
people-centric.
This is exactly why LiquidO™
was born.
1. Real-time adaptability.
The industrial age organisational
approach, where each area is defined
as a restricted group of activities
coherent to one another, has its biggest
limitations in the risk to fall in fragmented,
sealed administration and culture. As the company
grows, so grows the complex ramification, branching and costs of
these models. Lack of communication, heavy bureaucracy, disastrous
efficiency.
The completely different perspective realized by LiquidO™
, in fact
relying on people and competences without fixed roles, provides an
integrated and adaptive business management scenario shifted to a
systemic approach, pragmatically meritocratic and inherently capable
of real time adaptability to any context. It’s just like water, some would
say.
2. Better and faster information processing.
Hierarchies are a sound bottleneck both for decision making and
competences evolution. Too many info to process in order to succeed.
Moreover, on the other hand, the distance between where and how in
the organization strategies are created, and where and how they have
to be executed too often creates waste, lack of effectiveness or even
complete failure.
Non-peer evaluation, silos and recruiting inefficiency are additional
heavy side-defects of an organizational design philosophy based on
the two illusions of control and predictability, and therefore actualized
with structural divisions between thinking and doing.
LiquidO™ is a viable and operational way to let all the brilliant people
in the company effectively emerge. Anybody can join each wave,
surf it and enrich it, so to say. And leveraging different viewpoints,
backgrounds and competences today is definitely critical to succeed in
taking better and faster decisions.
3. Engagement and spontaneous leadership.
People are key in this picture. In fact, within
LiquidO™ everyone can decide whether to join
a process or not, try, and consequently
determine her level by fast feedback
loops from frequent and specific
peer-reviews driven by the actual
delivered value.
Besides a natural engagement
due to continuous feedback
and consequently improving
results, within this scenario
it’s really difficult to deny
emerging problems. Within
the old way of thinking the
organizations very often
conflicts, work overload,
sense of impotence, lack of
decision power, absence of
endorsement, unfair treatment
and misalignments are among the
real causes of failures.
There is much more that can be done
today, if only we let go of control, predict-
ability and rigidity. LiquidO™ moves structures,
processes and the organization itself away from the
center, where it is assumed that people have to adapt to them, instead
shifting the focus on people and truly empowering them to dynami-
cally find their maximum value creation spot within the organization,
expressing leadership effectively and without fear, naturally growing
and being rewarded for this.
				
COLLABORATIVE
WORKING BOARD
REPUTATION
TRACKING
CONTRIBUTION
ACCOUNTING
COLLABORATIVE
DECISIONMAKING
MEET LIQUIDO™
Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023
Why you would
want it in your
organisation
Read the whole LiquidO™ whitepaper. It is available in
Creative Commons at liquidorganisation.info
16

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COCOONERS - Making It Happen - No 14, October 2023

  • 1. COCOONERS This is the story of a fast-growing scale-up that, in a crucial phase of its lifecycle, decided to bet on her internal, widespread wisdom — aka the people — to engage in an emerging redesign of the whole organization. Started as a spot intervention to help them cope with some suboptimal adjustments [...] In 2011, as we published our first website filling it with images of LEGO® bricks, little we knew about what was coming! We just had an intuition of the importance the shared identity of many people who—like us—had lived through the Eighties would have for the future of work [...] Embracing Organiza- tional Emergence Emergent Knowledge Management: Big-Data Made Wisdom Meet the global serious games institute A word about Cocoon Pro What’s cooking in our LABS Meet LiquidOTM OUR STORY IS YOUR STORY FROM THE FAMILY COCOONERS IS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER MAKING IT HAPPEN Read at page 14 Read at page 10 Read at page 16 LIVE FROM THE ECOSYSTEM Neodata is a technology company focused on two core competencies: big-data and artificial intelligence. Data (from internal sources or the public web) contains a lot of key information about how a company operates, what can be improved, and gives it fuel in defining its strategy. Read at page 4 Read at page 8 Read at page 6 BECOME YOU N°14 - OCTOBER 2023
  • 2. 2 I s the world better off because your company is in it? Suddenly silence fell when this question was asked, a few months ago, at a crowded conference on Regener- ative Leadership. I have heard variations of the same query many times over the past 15 years, but that day it felt different. Attending were entrepreneurs and professionals from all over the world for whom being able to answer a full “yes!” felt urgent and relevant. Recognizing that business as usual has become both ecolog- ically unsustainable and a deadly entrepreneurial choice, those business people were finally pondering: what if? What if questioning the status quo of how we work, and why, can open up a vast new field of possibilities, where wealth is generated through rich human lives and a healthy earth, far beyond what any short-term return can measure? I bet these will be the kind of companies we will see thriving 10 years from now. Organizations that see people and the planet as core to their purpose and strategy making, not out of a philanthropic stance but as a pivotal choice with very practical implications. Today, it’s the talents you have and those you wish to attract that urge your company to switch gears in that direction. As well as the stakeholders impacting your balance sheets with their financial and buying choices. So where do we begin? As Rumi said, there are plenty of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Pick yours. Scan the landscape of your organisation, feel where the seeds of a more life-en- hancing future could be planted. From products to culture, through people and processes, weave the thread that can alter the inner and outer ecology for the good. Maybe it’s not easy, yet immensely rewarding. Like everything truly valu- able in life, it all starts with your full ‘yes’ and the cheerful discipline to act accordingly. WHAT’S UP I ntelligence takes brain mass—we’re told—happiness takes time, and performance takes ambition. In truth, all very harmful and limiting beliefs, strongly polluted by a reductionist understanding of reality, a fragmented and very limited perception of what we are. As these beliefs shape the stories we tell ourselves and one another, loneliness, fear, depression, and hopelessness fill our hearts and our streets. On the contrary, when we look deeper into them, and shape different stories, success becomes a playful game of truly being ourselves, cherishing the here and now. In fact, we are a small part of a much broader intelligence running under our feet, into our lungs, and through our blood. And the embodied expe- rience of this reality is the compass that generates the state of perception we call happiness. Does this resonate with you? If so, towards which idea of success should we perform? What does performing really mean in the very first place? Once upon a time, artists used to be the ones performing. They devoted life to their art, in a deep choice. And the few stages available used to choose them—an intimate relationship. Today, stages are everywhere. Cheap, noisy, arrogant: disguised medioc- rity, polluted beauty. We have come to believe that performing means stepping onto a stage and getting applause: a very harmful belief, hindering our innate ability to truly perform. Yet, hidden in the very meaning of the word, we can encounter the truth: performing is the full expression of our core art, allowing complete manifestation to our true form, it means fully becoming ourselves. Indeed, much of the performance happens very far from any stage, it unfolds in and through acts and conversations that are invisible to the many. In the organiza- tional show-business out there, as much as in the “personal development” arena, look for deep care and selfless truth. You will find very few stages bearing real artists, while all the other shows and noises may be distracting you from recognizing the vast nourishing beauty performing far from any stage. 3 H ow can an understanding of systems and rela- tionships help us rethink how we interact with everything we have around us? How do we recog- nize the right solutions? How do we not get carried away by the easiest answer? The “Warm Data’’ training with Nora Bateson taught me that you can discover many more options if you recognize rela- tionships that are woven into the complexity of the issues we are working on. This process allows us to see new patterns and to respond to them with a much broader comprehension. When we are angry about things happening in the world that we don’t understand, we often jump to the most immediate conclusion, driven more by anger than clear reasoning. But what may seem very obvious is not obvious at all. If you want to make a difference in your context, you have to let go of your convictions and open up to elements you hadn’t considered. I read the story of Paolo Fanciulli and it made me think about how our evolution depends on our mutual contribution and understanding of interdependence. Paolo fighted against illegal trawl fishing and, in doing so, created an underwater museum with sculptures and deterrents that promote the repopulation of the sea along the Tuscany coast. “Casa dei Pesci” has become an underwater museum with many enor- mous sculptures resting on the seabed at less than 7 meters in depth, making them easily acces- sible. With a different way of reading the context, he created value at multiple levels. The impact we can have on our surroundings is much greater than we imagine, and how we respond to chal- lenges concerns not only ourselves but also everyone else. We have power and as everyone knows: with great power comes great responsibility! WORK HARD. PLAY HARDER SOME OF OUR HIGHLIGHTS FORTHE FIRST HALF OF 2023 7ACTIVE CORETEAMS 13 PEOPLE INVOLVED 3 COUNTRIES INVOLVED COCOON CORETEAMS TALKINGABOUT US 7 NEW CONTRIBUTORS 5 PEOPLE SHIFTS 3 COUNTRIES INVOLVED CP OPEN GOVERNANCE 3 I ’m not what it is supposed I am… I’m complex—a complex human being. Like all of us. So please don’t give me a badge with an adjective. I’m not only a “talent”, even though I can have some brilliant moments; I’m not only a “toxic” person (whatever that means), even though sometimes I’m not helping you or I have my biases and you cannot understand me. I’m not your “vitamin” person, even though I can help you and/or accompany you in some areas of your life. I’m not what you need to believe I am… and yes, I am as well. I’m everything and I’m nothing you may think. Anyway I’m all of that too. Please do not bias me. Let me have my moments, let me grow and be what I’m not now, let me sometimes be “toxic” (whatever that means): I deserve it and it is part of my humanity and my nature, too. In nature there are some “toxic” beings, and they deserve to live, just like everything else. Please do not constrain me to your mental structures. I do not fit in them, that’s for sure. I’m not good or bad: I have all the human power for good and for bad, to be like I am now, and to be what I want to be tomorrow. Please, do not label me for your books or your conferences. I’m complex and I live and work in a complex world. Please don’t simplify my world: people (we) deserve to not be lumped into one category. I’m my own leader, not you. You can be my boss, a good or a bad boss, you choose. You can be my mate, a good or a bad mate, you choose. Leadership is in me, in our working together, never in the things that you “allow” or “foster” me or us to do. Not even all your Leadership courses can do that, I’m sorry. You don’t have that individual power, my friend; it’s our collective power, not yours alone. Anyway, I’d love to walk this path with you, for us to learn from each other, and to know more about each other, in order to create a better world (whatever that means) together. Shall we? HAPPY WORKPLACE TELEPASS BUILDO 1 OHANA MEETUP 2WEIRD CO-DESIGN SESSIONS 1 CHANGE PLAYING MEETUP KEY INITIATIVES Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 STELIO VERZERA LETIZIA PIANGERELLI CLAUDIA PELLICORI INAKI PEREZ
  • 3. Neodata is a technology company focused on two core competencies: big-data and artificial intelligence. Data (from internal sources or the public web) contains a lot of key information about how a company operates, what can be improved, and gives it fuel in defining its strategy. So, the focus now is on artificial intelligence, which enables the company to extract value from its business. This is our claim. One of the key areas where we apply our expertise is what we call emergent knowledge management. → What is the emergent knowledge management Knowledge management (KM) means identi- fying, organizing, storing, and disseminating information within an organization. Knowledge is extracted from data that are not just numbers but mostly text. We are talking about the natural language of documents, web pages or social media posts. In recent months, together with Cocoon Pro, we have specialized our work on a specific aspect of knowledge, emergent knowledge. It means that it is not defined by someone but it is the unpredictable result of something that arises from a kind of collective intelli- gence. It is generated by nonlinear interactions between companies, universities, institu- tions, innovators, influencers, the public, the developer community, a startup on the other side of the world, or something else. There are dozens of use cases and ideas that we have developed based on this framework. Cocoon Pro is very focused on human organ- izations within the workplace and how they evolve, so it was natural and exciting for us to focus together on emerging knowledge management. Key points of this research were to understand who needs knowledge to do their daily tasks and who benefits from it to lead an organization. → How emergent knowledge management helps daily work? The employee of a large company (but also a simple freelancer working alone) relies on the ongoing work of others and the information availabletoincreaseproductivityandtheability to innovate. Achieving this in a complex work environment means having a way to answer - and a solution to - a range of questions: are other teams working on similar topics? How can the (temporary) results of their work be effectively shared with other teams? Who are the leading subject matter experts (in the company)? What are the opportunities and needs in the company’s learning process? An emergent knowledge platform solves all these problems at once by preventing key documents from remaining in the database underdust.Itcreatesconnectionsandidentifies patterns within that key asset (a treasure trove!), which is the sum of the knowledge of every mind within the company. Pushing it with alerts and intelligent user experience is crucial: people do not have to query the system, it is the knowledge that goes to the people, solving their unknowns. Artificial intelligence will consider people’s interests and information needs, based on different criteria and continuous learning. → How emergent knowledge management helps organizations’ leaders Volatility for each decision-maker is certain in today’s scenario. Despite this environment, it is necessary to have the best information available, from stakeholders on the latest trends and opportunities, from competitors on emerging possibilities for synergies with business partners. A lot of information is on the Web. But it is too much for humans. And too much to identify correlations even with what is happening within the company itself. A knowledge platform allows the leaders to receive all this information, with the effect to enable an evolution of strategy of the company according to directions that do not derive from an explicit pre-established plan, but based on what emerges from the sum of the actions We are glad to share the pages of this number of Cocoo- ners with Neodata, one of the most committed organisa- tions when it comes to emergent knowledge management, enabling organisations to create value and continuously evolve. neodatagroup.com FROM THE FAMILY EMERGENT KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: BIG-DATA MADE WISDOM of individuals, BUs, market, competition, projects and teams. Strategic decisions will be based and driven by data, by reality and not hypothesis. → What to expect from the collaboration between Neodata and Cocoon Pro When a combination happens between two different but complementary companies, many interesting ideas and results can come about. Cocoon Pro has a fantastic ability to analyse and identify how knowledge management can be a boost for a company and how it can be introduced into internal processes. Neodata has the technical ability to build software architectures, algorithms, and artificial intelligence models to collect, extract, combine, and serve knowledge to organiza- tional members. Now more than ever, whether it is explicit, implicit or even tacit knowledge, its evolution always depends on the quality of information available and the ability of people to process it effectively. The goal of Cocoon Pro and Neodata’s work is to maximize within organ- izations the effectiveness of matching people with the right information, in real-time. At this point, knowledge can truly be applied to navigating the emerging and rapidly changing reality. Thus, knowledge becomes wisdom to drive business. COCOON PRO WEB HIGHLIGHTS www.cocoon-pro.com Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 4 5 Serious Games System (SGS): What is it, where does it come from, and who is it for? Criteria for Beautiful Organisations Unleashing organisational resilience How can a European consortium effectively organize the work of multiple actors around the long-term challenge of empowering an interdisciplinary knowledge infrastructure, across cultures, the world over? We, at Trainconsulting, have discussed and played around with the concept of Beautiful Organisations in the last few years. This has started to profoundly change my ... Serious Games System emerges as a way to transition from a guiding principle of “trust the method” to a guiding principle ...
  • 4. PRODUCT OR NON PRODUCT WORKINGDAYS THE SWEET SPOT I f this was the priority at a more operational level, what were the broader effects of this fragmentation? Indeed, it soon became evident that it also had an impact on the adoption of a coherent strategic direction that would effectively align and actualize efforts. The next step (Iteration 2) was therefore dedicated to the main dilemma the organization was facing — and no wonder, under A s it sometimes happens when you grow fast — for example, when you move from a handful to more than 70 people in a couple of years — the profoundly aligned vision and coherent execution from the early days gets eaten by a highly fragmented B y actively listening to the system, we observed how — in a fast-paced environment largely focused on results — communication and decision-making tilted, in a way that was not effective nor conducive to evolution. Therefore, when we embarked in the first step of the intervention (or Iteration 1) in September 2022, our work was focused on This is the story of a fast-growing scale-up that, in a crucial phase of its lifecycle, decided to bet on her internal, widespread wisdom — aka the people — to engage in an emerging redesign of the whole organization. Started as a spot intervention to help them cope with some suboptimal adjustments to the recent rapid growth, it quickly evolved into a full-fledged organizational redesign spanning over more than 9 months. the current circumstances, had so far remained unsolved. In an open and productive session, we took the time to focus on, fully comprehend, and assess the transition from a service- oriented company to a product-oriented company, with the help of lean change management tools and methods. OUR STORY IS YOUR STORY A t this point the energy was raised and people mobilized, so that we could dive into the redesign of the organizational setup of the company, in a way that would organically and dynamically sustain its evolution. Through four iterations (of which two in presence), and with more than 30 people involved, the system engaged in an intense, ever-evolving and revealing quest that, A challenging yet exciting endeavour indeed, for the sub-system involved in the redesign, who — with the finalization of the new organizational setup — was called to put in place the equally critical workstreams to enable its implementation. Disseminating throughout the company the language and from the definition of a shared compass, moved into the iterative design of the new core dynamics and their integration into an organic system. So what was this quest all about? It was essentially about finding the sweet spot between adaptivity and stability that would ensure the system to thrive and evolve. It turns out this has been an incremental journey. How often do we embark on a predefined quest, setting boundaries to what can be achieved? How often do we do that for the sake of efficiency? In this journey, the actual transformation happened as the organization opened up to the emerging possibilities of what could be achieved. Key to this was realizing that the potential of the human component of the system was ready to be unleashed and to sustain a much more ambitious quest. FINAL THOUGHTS 7WORKSHOPS PARTICIPANTS 45 SOME DATA FACILITATORS 5 12 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 6 7 WHAT’S NEXT? MAKING INFORMATION FLOW evolving governance and decision-making dynamics, in order to nurture more effective participation, and to initiate the reconfiguration of information flows. Now, how to do that in a way that enables full co-creation mode? Thanks to a microcosm of the system providing the full kaleidoscope of people impacting and being impacted by those dynamics. FRAGMENTED REALITY perception of how reality has evolved, of what the flaws are and what you need to make the wheel spin. All in all, an unintentionally siloed perspective emerged and the system appeared to struggle to move in a consistent, coordinateddirection. So, what happened along the way? underlying principles of the new setup now became the stepstone for a disciplined and careful grounding phase. This is where we stand now, a delicate phase in which the success of the whole transition is at play, and where our role, fully in pull-mode, is that of a supportive sparring partner. + EMERGENCE EMBRACING ORGANIZATIONAL
  • 5. Here’s to the system of value flows we work in. Our ecosystem. No initiative, tool, competence, result can exist without roots in the liminal spaces between these flows, between organizations, across narratives. Enjoy. Meet the global serious games institute LIVE FROM THE ECOSYSTEM NURTURING SHARED VALUE STUFF WE’VE LOVED READING! Read the full article Transformative imagination: linking reso- nant action, deeply creative practice, and imagination infrastructures If In 2021, after years of campaigning and ramping up strategies, Dutch activist group Fossielvrij NL are preparing a court case against civil pension fund ABP, one of the world’s biggest pension funds. What’s important: conversation between Nora Bateson, Daniel Schmachtenberger and Nate Hagens An evening conversation with Nora Bateson, Daniel Schmachten- berger and Nate Hagens. Read the full article In 2011, as we published our first website filling it with images of LEGO® bricks, little we knew about what was coming! We just had an intuition of the importance the shared identity of many people who—like us—had lived through the Eighties would have for the future of work, as we be- come today’s decision makers, entrepreneurs and facilitators. Fast forward to 2016, we are in Milan welcoming the national press at the first ever “LSP Fest” we have organized to introduce the beauty of the LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) method to the whole of Italy. Fond of the power of play, we’ve launched the event with the claim “Growingthebest of LEGO® Serious Play®”. And that is exactly what happens: the general public meets this method and resonates with the beautiful principles it brings to the table. A space for expression for all participants to contrib- ute. A playful way to join our thoughts and our emotions to craft better ways forward. The recognition of the human being in her uniqueness as the center of any path towards beautiful work and a better society. Back then, among the different interpretations of the Open Source meth- odreleasedinCreativeCommonsbytheLEGOGroup,wechosetoembrace the version further developed by Robert Rasmussen and delivered by the “Association of Master Trainers”. The choice was simple for us, having met LSP through the heart and hands of Lucio Margulis in 2013 while Lu- cio was working with that association. In fact, the combination of Lucio’s immensetalentandtherigorouslydesignedtrainingbytheAssociationof Master Trainers was, back then, a no brainer for us. Easy choice. Since then, we have trained hundreds of people and delivered count- less LSP workshops in many countries, while we have kept working and experimenting with many other serious games. As we evolved, though, and the world changed more than a bit, we have started feeling con- strained by old choices. The LSP method needed to evolve, for many good reasons. A new methodology was also being born (now alive and known as the Serious Games System, or SGS). And we had come to believe that the global community of serious games facilitators needs a place of be- longing based on inclusion, openness, continuous experimentation, solid scientific knowledge—all in all, the very same values on which LSP was launched by the LEGO Group in 2010 through the Open Source docu- ment, and that we had not seen embodied by the context in which it was being held across the years. This is how the Global Serious Games Institute was born. This sum- mer, as Lucio Margulis got free from previous commitments, togeth- er with partners and institutions from 8 countries, we have just given birth to this new place of belonging. As we keep growing the best of LSP, a better training experience has been designed and, in only 3 months, already delivered in 7 countries with amazing feedback. A new story has just begun, one with serious games truly at heart. Welcome GSGi. See for yourself here: www.seriousgames.global. Start from our public telegram channel @CocoonPro Read on Mozaic Francesca Schioppo OHANA MEETUP What will the future of organization design look like? How will it evolve under the influence of the emerging generation of organization designers? These questions intrigue us as we reflect on our partic- ipation in the European Organization Design Forum (EODF) Annual Conference in Lisbon this past October. The conference itself provided a platform for powerful expressions of this generational transition, exemplified by the heartfelt celebration of the “first generation” recipient of the Paul Tolchinsky award. The 2023 Conference also offered the org design community a chance to reconnect with the magic of Whole Scale Change, as we co-hosted a session with our partner Tricordant and witnessed the vibrant enthusiasm of the participants. Last but not SPOT ON: HERE’S HOW IT FELT FRESH STORIES FROM MOZAIC least, this was the moment for the EODF community to meet our Serious Games System (SGS) - the adaptive paradigm for serious games - for the very first time. All in all, this space couldn’t be richer and more inspiring for us! The evolution of work is a long and pro- found journey that belongs to all of us. Since 2018, we have been organizing the Ohana Meetup for the whole tribe of professionals, game-changers, change agents, and passion- ate people, as an enabler for this to happen. It has always meant to be a place for truly getting together, perceiving the deep inter- dependence between us all, thinking above and beyond boundaries, coalescing and rec- ognizing we are a living ecosystem. Last year, we reunited in Berlin for two days of powerful conversations and pure energy blast, sharing experiences, knowledge, feelings and unleashing creativity. Save the date for the 7th edition of the Work Revolution Party: 22-23 march 2024, and stay tuned for updates on the OM website. We are eager to know where we will be landing with the whole Ohana this year! How I teach systems thinking to a five-year old This picture fills me with sadness, yet at the same time, it fills me with hope. It’s a picture of my then two-year-old, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. She insisted on wearing a mask anytime she left the house and diligently kept it on until she got back home. Watch the video Isabela Caria Read on Mozaic Eleonora Papazova Read on Mozaic VISIT Ohanameetup.party VISIT EODF CONFERENCE eodf.eu Circles that nourish: the weaving of new lifeways “People need to feel welcomed to arrive and so then, they can be present”. — Sobonfu Somè Grown in West Africa, in a land that holds ... Sometime after I started studying Visual Communication, I began to ask myself ... Aloha Identity: a history of contexts instead of a list of “done” On The concept of empathy is widespread and I could say taken to heart. I was raised with the sentence that was supposed to be graceful: If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to ... Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 8 9
  • 6. FUTURE WORK What kind of future are we giving life to, by how we work and why? What would the world of work look like if it were more beautiful? We believe that exploring the future is a crucial step in actualizing the full potential of who we can become, as individuals and as organizations. That’s why we welcome you to this carefully curated space where you can find futures-focused insights, ideas and resources that can support you in the journey of creating a new reality of beautiful work, today. Stay tuned for additional stories and resources on the evolution of the world of work by subscribing to our monthly newsletter at cocoon-pro.com Teams are the lifeblood of organisations. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, how people get together, interact and collaborate directly impacts an organization’s ability to achieve and improve its goals, work effectively, innovate, adapt, and create a positive work environment, just to name a few. So to say, building and sustaining high-performing teams is key to overall organisational performance. It becomes evident how identi- fying and tackling potential challenges affecting team performance is an endeavour worth investing in for any organisation. In our path working along different teams and organisations in a variety of contexts, we have discovered that to do so requires more than a simple input-output formula; it’s more about perceiving and navigating the systemic nature of those challenges, in order to truly thrive. That’s what we invite you to explore in this map. 10 11 FOR A UNLOCKING TEAM PERFORMANCE How do you recognize complexity as a facilitator, facilitative manager, or participatory leader? If you are leading an organiza- tion’s transformation, the ability to witness patterns embedded in the deep dynamics of the culture informs success or failure. What can help you navigate these waves? Facilitation skills can make it easier to face intricate issues, when honed with emotional intel- ligence and the ability to detect sensory cues. Most of what creates results in an organization operates beneath the line of sight. Success in navigating change lies also in the ability of uncovering patterns and deep dynamics. How do you do that? That’s what Dawna Jones, organisation ecologist and world-class master intuitive facilitator for high-impact decision-makers, explores in this thought-provoking piece. BECOMING REGENERATIVE: THE STORY OF VIVOBAREFOOT What is serious play? And why is it so powerful in work-related contexts? A brief exploration of ‘serious play’ and the reasons that make it an extraordinary asset for the world of work. SERIOUS GAMES AT WORK: YOUR ENTRY POINT When he was in his teens Galahad Clark witnessed his family lose control of a six generation beautiful business being taken over by short-term shareholder capitalist values. Fast forward 2012 he co-founded Vivobarefoot to give life to a company able to give back more than it takes. Vivobarefoot is a high performing company today. They ascribe their success to the ongoing choice of embodying a new way of working, imbued with living systems principles. One where people have more agency to find their own flow guided by shared values of continuous improvement, creativity and transparent feedback. A journey from fear to trust, from siloed-working to feedback loops, from reactivity to agility. Definitely one more aligned with their mission to reconnect people to the natural world through their inno- vative shoes. What is serious play for? Where is it beneficial to take it? There is a simple and very powerful criterion to understand where playing seriously makes a difference. Let’s see it. Serious Games System (SGS): What is it, where does it come from, and who is it for? Introduction to an adaptive paradigm for serious games. OF BEAUTIFUL HOW INTUITIVE FACILITATION CAN HELP TEAMS TO THRIVE Serious games, a dynamic fusion of play and purpose, offer unparal- leled possibilities in work-related contexts. We risk to say they hold one of the keys to shaping the future of work. If you want to unleash full human potential, playing seriously can help you shape an environment where work is not just productive but also a canvas for people thriving. Here we would like to offer you a gateway to explore their significance. The following resources offer in-depth knowledge to help you play a pivotal role in creating a more engaging, collaborative, and innovative work landscape. Enjoy! Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 DOWNLOAD THE PDF READ MORE ON MEDIUM WATCH THE VIDEO
  • 7. JAM NEWS A Cocoon Pro Jam happens twice per year, at the beginning of each half. It is the most important CP governance event, open to all members and contributors and lasting two or three days. During the CP Jam we cocreate our direction for the next 6 months. Here below you can have a peek at our last Jam. HIGHLIGHTS As the days were getting hotter, Cocooners traveled to get together, this time hosted by the inspiring landscape of Menorca. Engaging in meaningful conversations, weaving the pattern of collective sense- making and deep alignment, naturally allow the decision of a common focus for the next six months to emerge. Relying on a Lean Coffee, surrounded by the sea, we shared perspectives, feelings, and imaginative thoughts around the topics and issues we collectively chose to be relevant to the unique moment in time Cocoon Pro is living. The harmony and resonance between older members and those who have just joined showed the magic of what is possible. Thus, actualising ourselves for another ride. #CPJAM @Claudia Pellicori Eachtimeit’spurelearningandenergy,sogratefulfortheseamazing daysin#menorca#CPjam#2023h2#work#people#share#evolution @CocoonPro Our #CPJam took place in Menorca. Old and new stories blend into one more chapter of how we conceive work. Got your own stories of how you have been evolving personally and professionally towards a regenerative world of work? Share it on Mozaic #cpway @CocoonPro Imagine a fully distributed company. How do alignment and sensemaking on where people are headed happen? This is our #lifeatCocoonPro and our answer to that question is: through our Jam. Follow #CPJam #2023H2 to see what Cocooners are up to over the next few days in Menorca. @ShiverTweet Can’t really find the words to convey what I’ve seen sprout in this beautiful #CPjam. Yet, I see clearly that we have found the deeds to convey it in the next few months. Stay tuned! Aloha @CocoonPro #2023h2 @hoxeheome It is always amazing to see how much harmony and resonance there is between people who have been working in @CocoonPro for several years and those who have just joined. #CPJAM #2023H2 MY FIRST JAM “ #Emergence #Focus Eric Camellini “ #itispossible #Energy #Beyourself #Connectiveness @Eric Camellini Leaving Menorca and the #CPjam right now. I take home with me a lot of energy and I can’t wait to channel it on the next focuses we defined, together. #cpjam #2023h2 #cplife @CocoonPro 12 13 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 ” The Jam shows that there is a different way of doing things, it is an example of a possible world, indeed. It is possible to be in a space where everyone is totally themselves, without any profes- sional façade, going around barefoot, with the freedom to express themselves in order to work on the things that are important for the system in the coming months. ” The Jam was a way to understand how Cocoon Pro works obser- ving all the dynamics live, and I was really surprised and very grateful for the fact that the frame that holds the ability to be vulnerable and be yourself and everything you are, was there form second zero. Peter Scheipl
  • 8. A WORD ABOUT US Cocoon Pro is a last-generation company enabling healthy evolution to the very concept of work, worldwide since 2011. Her customers are organizations looking for deep shifts in how people and technologies, together, can raise unprecedented performance. First in Europe in devising a completely emergent organizational setup, and known globally as a “small giant” generating exponen- tial value, Cocoon Pro is directly involved in the edge of interna- tional efforts evolving work itself, making Beautiful Work outper- form obsolete industrial approaches. We foster the birth of a world of work based on interbeing and generative practices. And by this quest, we help enable unpar- alleled levels of relevance, resilience and resonance for our customers. In fact, over 90% of our clients experience a perma- nent positive change one year after the conclusion of our inter- ventions — real evolution is effective and permanent. We work with about 40 different tools, and commit to continuous mastery development on each. We design and facilitate activities from the single person to very large groups, and through the vital dimension of the team All the tools we use are devised to engage the whole- ness of the person, rational and emotional. Whatever the mix of tools we design for, our utmost attention is on the flow experience of the participants, be it live or digital. Over many years, we have seen all kinds of people having fun while achieving their greatest results. In Cocoon Pro we practice first-hand and continuously evolve today’s most relevant work principles and techniques. These ongoing flows of learning, together with intense and continuous field operations at the side of a broad range of Customers, highlight Cocoon Pro as the ideal partner for true strategic and operational evolution. We have designed our whole service framework to provide you with sound results in boosting three vital and interdependent characteris- tics of your organization: relevance, resilience and resonance. RELEVANCE How to have a bearing on your stakeholders’ lives in a rapidly changing world? Surviving as an organization implies keeping your relevance. Growing it, means attracting increasing streams of resources from all of your stakeholders and, ultimately, thriving RESILIENCE The rate of change is bursting. Your work scenario evolves quickly, and it impacts both your decision making and operational priority management. Resilience is, at least, the ability to adjust to the stress of these changes. At best, it is feeding on it and becoming stronger and better. RESONANCE In a context of increasing complexity, the good news is that exponen- tial dynamics are readily at hand. Instead of focusing on warfare-like strategies based on conquering and protecting, you can now tap into ecosystemic opportunities able to amplify your energies by orders of magnitude. If any of these challenges is at the core of your current evolution, please reach out to us: MEET COCOON PRO WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU HOW WE WORK In the evolution of your organization across the three scopes of relevance, resilience and resonance, we provide specific services in these nine different areas THE TOOLS WE’LL BRING YOU www.cocoon-pro.com GET IN TOUCH WITH US, LET’S HAVE A CHAT Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 14 15 • Business Agility • Organizational Strategy • Change and Transformation • Leadership Development • Talent Cultivation • Regenerative Impact We work iteratively, establishing a rhythmic heartbeat of inter- ventions for a deep and concrete evolution. Our commitment is to leave you better at every iteration, while we navigate towards your full performance potential. Our own way of doing so is called Evolution Flow, and it is the result of more than 10 years of expe- riences working with very different organizations all around the world, deep study across many decades of work and methodologies by outstanding giants, and — not least — a decade of collabora- tions with experienced professionals in the domains of org devel- opment, change, strategy, org design, psychology, team work, and much more. The Evolution Flow is the art, science and craft of answering one simple and key question: What is the next natural step of evolution that this organization can make? As simple as the question is, finding good answers requires a profound respect for the identity, context and trajectory of each organization. It demands attention to the whole depth of the human system and, most importantly, to the intimate relationships between its technical and social dimensions. In fact, our intervention approach integrates in a coherent framework entire systems of thought like Socio-Technical Systems Theory, Lean Thinking, Complex Adaptive Systems theory, 4E Cognition, and it is based on a few original conceptual framings of what a human work-system is and how it evolves towards its full potential. While redefining what performance means in your context, we can work with your key teams or at closing the gap between strategy-making and execution, and in any case we always nurture three types of evolution that have to happen in harmony with each other: operational, behavioral, and psychological evolution. Learn more about the Evolution Flow here
  • 9. What is LiquidO™ You might have heard of a new breed of organisational models, responding to the fast growing adaptability, engagement and collab- oration needs within modern company structures. Or you might have simply experienced the sound problems of slowness, rigidity, bureaucracy, disengagement along with various kinds of waste and bottlenecks that “traditional” organisational models generate and suffer nowadays. This is what LiquidOTM is all about: the original “liquid organisation” model for governance, born from direct experience within Cocoon Pro and in use in a growing number of for profit and not-for-profit organi- sations willing to get liquid. Liquefying an organization means disrupting the industrial-age driven assumptions on which rigid structures are designed and move on to make it adaptive, dynamic and anti-fragile. Based on lean management and open collaboration principles, the LiquidOTM model is fluid, meritocratic and value-driven, enabling stigmergic behaviour and “organic” effectiveness. Rigidly structured organiza- tions cannot cope with the current pace of innovation and its complexity, let alone exploit it. We need a completely different mindset and consequently new models. And we need them to be simple and people-centric. This is exactly why LiquidO™ was born. 1. Real-time adaptability. The industrial age organisational approach, where each area is defined as a restricted group of activities coherent to one another, has its biggest limitations in the risk to fall in fragmented, sealed administration and culture. As the company grows, so grows the complex ramification, branching and costs of these models. Lack of communication, heavy bureaucracy, disastrous efficiency. The completely different perspective realized by LiquidO™ , in fact relying on people and competences without fixed roles, provides an integrated and adaptive business management scenario shifted to a systemic approach, pragmatically meritocratic and inherently capable of real time adaptability to any context. It’s just like water, some would say. 2. Better and faster information processing. Hierarchies are a sound bottleneck both for decision making and competences evolution. Too many info to process in order to succeed. Moreover, on the other hand, the distance between where and how in the organization strategies are created, and where and how they have to be executed too often creates waste, lack of effectiveness or even complete failure. Non-peer evaluation, silos and recruiting inefficiency are additional heavy side-defects of an organizational design philosophy based on the two illusions of control and predictability, and therefore actualized with structural divisions between thinking and doing. LiquidO™ is a viable and operational way to let all the brilliant people in the company effectively emerge. Anybody can join each wave, surf it and enrich it, so to say. And leveraging different viewpoints, backgrounds and competences today is definitely critical to succeed in taking better and faster decisions. 3. Engagement and spontaneous leadership. People are key in this picture. In fact, within LiquidO™ everyone can decide whether to join a process or not, try, and consequently determine her level by fast feedback loops from frequent and specific peer-reviews driven by the actual delivered value. Besides a natural engagement due to continuous feedback and consequently improving results, within this scenario it’s really difficult to deny emerging problems. Within the old way of thinking the organizations very often conflicts, work overload, sense of impotence, lack of decision power, absence of endorsement, unfair treatment and misalignments are among the real causes of failures. There is much more that can be done today, if only we let go of control, predict- ability and rigidity. LiquidO™ moves structures, processes and the organization itself away from the center, where it is assumed that people have to adapt to them, instead shifting the focus on people and truly empowering them to dynami- cally find their maximum value creation spot within the organization, expressing leadership effectively and without fear, naturally growing and being rewarded for this. COLLABORATIVE WORKING BOARD REPUTATION TRACKING CONTRIBUTION ACCOUNTING COLLABORATIVE DECISIONMAKING MEET LIQUIDO™ Cocooners - n° 14 - October 2023 Why you would want it in your organisation Read the whole LiquidO™ whitepaper. It is available in Creative Commons at liquidorganisation.info 16