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Going Horizontal: The path to better organizations and a better society - Samantha Slade


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Collective leadership, self-management, employee led organization, non-hierarchical or horizontal ways of working – no matter what we call it, these ways of working together are what allow organizations to tap into their full potential and respond to their most current and relevant challenges.

When organizations begin to shift their culture towards more explicit forms of shared power, mutual responsibility and care, the journey forward is neither clear nor easy, and we often get stuck.

But what if organizations themselves are the ideal training grounds for developing the most critical personal and collective leadership skills required for our shared future?

Based on a unique anthropological lens, Samantha has uncovered a practical approach to going horizontal that can help anyone, no matter the domain of your activity, the size of your organization or your role within it.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Going Horizontal: The path to better organizations and a better society - Samantha Slade

  1. 1. Going Horizontal The path to better organizations and a better society Samantha Slade, Social designer PERCOLAB COOP Author: Going Horizontal
  2. 2. One perspective
  3. 3. Another perspective
  4. 4. 1 min silence to remember 30 sec. to draw your line 1 min to share/active listening (repeat) What’s your career line?
  5. 5. 1. What’s this “Going Horizontal”? 2. The path of practice 3. Seven domains of practice 4. Why going horizontal matters Rethinking our narrative of work
  6. 6. My journey - 36 years of work McJobs + anthropology 8 years Public Sector career 16 years Entrepreneur + experimentation lab 12 years
  7. 7. “The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares” Stanford Graduate School of Business March 2018
  8. 8. The future is calling for more horizontal ways.
  9. 9. People - naturally horizontallyHuman nature is naturally non-hierarchical
  10. 10. Disengaged worker Engaged worker Execute tasks, avoids work Shows up and works with spirit and care Little desire to learn Curious and proactive to learn and grow Complains, blames, victimizes Contributes ideas, offers support Indifference towards the organization Imagines possibilities, cocreates, proposes
  11. 11. horizontal self-organizing employee-led self-management participatory leadership It doesn’t matter what we call it. It’s the future of organizations. human-centered non-hierarchical collaborative co-managed
  12. 12. We have clear data that it is possible to go horizontal at any scale and in any sector.
  13. 13. Going Horizontal is about the how. It’s a practical approach to the mindset shift via practice.
  14. 14. Practice is learning (not expertise)
  15. 15. Can you really learn to swim without getting in the water?
  16. 16. It’s not possible to change structure without changing culture.
  17. 17. 3 types of practices Prototype Collectively agreed Personal Discreet Informal With colleagues
  18. 18. Let’s practice transparency together, now.
  19. 19. We have many practice fields My co-property Ex. renovation decisions My colleagues Ex. salaries Members of my coworking Ex. collective lunches My clients Ex. project meeting My family Ex. Christmas My friends Ex. canoe trip
  20. 20. 7 key domains of practice
  21. 21. 1. AUTONOMY Claim Your Personal Leadership
  22. 22. 2. PURPOSE The Invisible Leader
  23. 23. 3. MEETINGS Sharing the Responsibilities and Accountability
  24. 24. 3. Meetings Sharing the Responsibilities and Accountabilities
  25. 25. 4. TRANSPARENCY Open is Effective and Efficient
  26. 26. 5. DECISION MAKING Sharing the Power
  27. 27. 5. Decision Making Sharing the power Autocratic Democratic Advice Consent Consensus
  28. 28. 6. LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT Self Directed and Collectively Held
  29. 29. 6. Learning and Development Self Directed and Collectively Held Trigger log practice 1. Identify a moment you were triggered: Context, what specifically triggered you, how that showed up in your body/actions. How you recentered. 2. Share with someone who silently listens (witnessing) (2 min) 3. Your partner asks you “What are you learning about yourself from this trigger?”and silently listens again. (1 min) 4. Switch roles (2 min + 1 min)
  30. 30. 7. RELATIONSHIPS AND CONFLICTS Tending to Them Together
  31. 31. With horizontal practices 1. Mechanistic > living system 2. Heroic leadership > personal leadership for all 3. Self-interest and competition > cooperation and collective care
  32. 32. Going Horizontal helps us walk on this planet more consciously, courageously and collaboratively.
  33. 33. What if by growing more horizontal organizations we were contributing to a better society?
  34. 34. There’s no need to wait for permission from hierarchy to start practicing non-hierarchical ways.
  35. 35. Samantha Slade