A more human, connected and systems-thinking organization has to arise

james jenningsJames Jennings recently joined ebbf and right away decided to offer this very interesting article that relates to the May ebbf international event’s theme and to the need of evolving our organizations towards a more human, connected and systems thinking flow.

“Every company’s wish is to have engaged employees. However, when 70% of employees are not engaged we have a problem: work is currently a terrible experience for the majority. The waste of human potential and economic gain is enormous.

I worked 9 years in a socially responsible Best Places to Work company during a period when revenues grew organically from $100 million to over $800 million. I worked on appreciative inquiry projects facilitated by David Cooperrider himself, attended the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), used open book management, mindfulness, Getting Things Done and a dozen other practices. These were great programs put in place by intelligent and well-meaning people. Through them, I’ve seen the need and hope to make things better. However, for all that effort, even in a great company, a majority of employees were unengaged. There seems to be a ceiling to engagement.

Gallup surveys show engagement holding steady around 30% in the US and lower in much of the rest of the world. Despite greater awareness of engagement, availability of good programs, and analysis that shows better financial returns, engagement has not had breakout improvements. There has to be something that has not been addressed by the thousands of books, seminars, software, and other interventions.



CREATE IMPACT join the #ebbfvalues campaign

join #ebbfvalues campaignWe are launching an #ebbfvalues campaign, because we believe that ebbf’s seven new foundational principles are a means to help you engage in discourses about new economic systems and also allow you to create meaningful impact in your workplace.

Go to the ebbfvalues page to download, personalise and post your favourite ebbf value and then challenge three people to do the same.


#ebbfmilan - presenter Dary Enkhtor shares her experience connecting global with local and analytical with spiritual traits to transform leadership development

Dulamdary Dary EnkhtorDary will be offering a learnshop at ebbf’s annual conference this May #ebbfmilan, we interviewed her about not only consultation but beyond that on the transformational leadership experience that she went through at Rio Tinto in Mongolia.

Q – Tell us about your personal journey that lead you to explore leadership development

I was invited to work for Rio Tinto in Mongolia, at a time when Mongolia was undergoing a period of very rapid change; it seemed like a a wonderful opportunity to practically test, and learn from the implementation of transformational leadership programs.
My task was to first understand current leadership models, then leapfrogging western concepts of development, introduce a new concept of leadership that is the best of both worlds, combining world class professional standards and the best of leadership that Mongolian culture has to offer.

My first step was to do a survey on Mongolian and expat leaders from different sectors of government, civil society, business and leadership of Rio Tinto itself and trying to understand these people’s understanding of what makes a good leader.

What I found is that whilst conceptual ideas about leadership in the West are shifting from vertical to more horizontal, a more flexible and egalitarian style of leadership, in Mongolia and in much of Asia the model is still quite traditional – more a “Gengis Khan” style of the tough guy with all the answers, who holds onto information and dispenses it to subordinates only when and if he considers it useful to the situation.

So my challenge was the considerable one of bringing the two styles of leadership together applying latest thinking whilst being sensitive to local culture. The leadership training that was the outcome of this effort has ben going on for over three years and is now trickling down to more junior parts of the company.

Q – What were some of the reactions of participants to this leadership training  experience?

Rear More …

Steve Caswell

Consultation and the Age of Networked Intelligence

steve caswellSteve Caswell recently joined ebbf and right away decided to contribute and applied for one of ebbf’s open positions. With this article he starts his role as ebbf journalist of meaningful stories.

“When many people think about business, they often envision an environment that is managed based upon a traditional model of command and control. The agenda is set by executives and managers, who control the business operations in a top down manner. Employees frequently are given their marching orders and are expected to perform based upon parameters set by their bosses. While consultation and its close cousin collaboration have a value, they are typically not listed as key elements of that traditional management style.


London - dialogue as partnership, ebbf breakfast in collaboration with the Impact Hub King's Cross

jelena hercbergaIn the run up to the next ebbf international learning event a number of local events are taking place around the world on themes related to #consultation – here is a thought-provoking invitation article from the organisers of the first ebbf london event that will take place on Wednesday 2nd of March at 08:00 am.

Jelena Hercberga writes:

“Did you know that since the 1970s we have dramatically increased our usage of the words ‘partner’ and ‘partnership’ (according to Google Ngram Viewer)? At the same time, we, as society are far from building truly equal and effective partnerships in real-life scenarios, be it between genders, different age groups, different faith communities, business partners, cultures, governments or across the above-listed groups all together.

I recently came across what could be an explanation to this contradiction: why have we started devoting more attention in public narrative to partnership, yet fail to ensure it in real life? Apparently, it is due to our inaccurate perception of what partnership really is about.

Two LSE professors, Sandra Jovchelovitch and Emma-Louise Aveling, argue that our society has been misguided by the idea …

Read More …

Join this ebbf london breakfast 2nd March


apply for an open ebbf service position

Would you like to make a global meaningful impact, becoming part of one of the current ebbf teams that are accompanying mindful individuals in over 50 countries to contribute to a more prosperous, just and sustainable civilisation through their work and economic discourse?

Apply now for one of the current open positions posted on ebbf’s website here


Apply for an ebbf service position

Apply for an ebbf service position

Would you like to make a global meaningful impact, becoming part of one of the current ebbf teams that are accompanying mindful individuals in over 50 countries to contribute to a more prosperous, just and sustainable civilisation through their work and economic discourse?

Apply now for one of the current open positions posted on ebbf’s website here


The first 100 days of ebbf Ecuador

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 16.09.14The team at ebbf Ecuador of Farzin Ashraghi, Vahid Masrour, Maritza Figueroa, Shamim Kazemi, Katty Velasco and Pablo Robayo (part of the team pictured in this image preparing a session), shared with us their own path from the idea to the actual implementation of their over 10 ebbf events in just 100 days, warmest congratulations to this great team and we hope their article proves a useful inspiration for others wishing to start their own ebbf local activities:

How we got started

In July 2015, two of members of what would become the EBBF Ecuador team participated in the ISGP (*) Seminar for Graduates in Colombia. The deep analysis and reflection there inspired them and, once they were back in Ecuador, got them to discuss possibilities of “participating in the discourses” that relate to the world of business, in which one of them had a wealth of experience and contacts. Since then, the team has progressively grown to include 3 more members that have a shared interests in the topics that are being addressed.

We requested using the ebbf Ecuador brand as it made complete sense to link our initiatives (which are directed mostly at a business-minded audience) to the global ebbf brand, and also to help our participants realize they are part of a larger, worldwide, community that wants to make a (civilization-scale) difference. At the same time, we obviously benefit enormously from the decades of experience of ebbf on these topics and on how ….



This Friday and Saturday help co-create the next ebbf international event: consultation, beyond decision-making a tool for learning

ebbf event - consultation beyond decision making a tool for learning may 2016

This Friday and Saturday you are invited to co-create the next ebbf international event
(taking place in Milan from 18:00 on the 12th to the 15th of May 2016)

JOIN one of three pre-event online meetings taking place this week
for a learning experience on the topic of the event:
consultation, beyond decision-making a tool for learning

You can find here more information on how to join one or more of these three session


#ebbf25 - Ralph Blundell on the unexpected outcomes of parallel journeys to unity and collaboration

Michael spiegelralph_blundellRalph Blundell will be sharing the stage at ebbf’s annual event in Barcelona with Deutsche Bank’s Michael Spiegel, Global Head of Trade Finance & Cash Management Corporates offering their unexpected outcomes as they embarked in parallel journeys to bring a culture of unity and collaboration to their respective workplaces. Below an appetiser to introduce their keynote and learnshop session where they will unpack and share the learnings from each setting, highlighting the surprising outcome that both destructive as well as constructive forces are necessary to bring real unity and collaboration in teams.

You can still register and interact with Ralph and Michael at the ebbf 25th annual learning event

While consulting and guiding Michael’s efforts in a team of highly driven executives at Deutsche Bank, Ralph was taking a parallel journey creating his own business, a network of global consultants. Whilst he was suggesting to Michael the application of some values-driven principles, those most relevant to a large competitive corporation, he wanted to apply the full spectrum in his own business.
“I was able to cherry-pick sympathetic like-minded individuals in my business, whilst Michael had to deal with his existing team of ego-driven individuals.” Ralph shared “you’d imagine my situation leading to nirvana whilst Michael faced a more complex situation. However, if you think of any system, for it to reach unity and balance it needs to first grow and develop and evolve and with that evolution tensions and differences are inevitable, and they become a creative force. So a developing system has opposite forces of  destruction and construction that are always active – without darkness you cannot distinguish the light. There is an obvious need to manage the destructive forces but I surprisingly found out that, to allow the full light to emerge, you actually need to curate and grow and even amplify the negative.

When unity becomes compromise it is not real unity

The apparent state of unity that exists by achieving compromise, actually reduces the level of performance and of growth and the acceleration of change that is so necessary in today’s ever evolving world. That kind of unity is not helpful.  Stopping or ignoring dissent is not the way to unity, indeed encouraging resistance, difference, even sometimes growing and amplifying it, spurs the creative process. As in nature and science, real unity is found when the destructive and constructive forces are in in balance.

“Michael’s system was very individualistic; much I and little we, individual performance targets and compensation, and a culture where people were not used to collaborating. On the face of it he had to contend with a lot of resistance.
He started with simple things e.g. to highlight the benefit of cooperation he instituted a 24 hour rule: instead of people coming with complaints … “I have a problem with this person please fix it for me boss” …he encouraged team members to bring issues out in the open speedily and fix it themselves. Beyond encouragement, he sanctioned those who came to him before they had tried to deal with it. His team were forced into a culture of collaboration: either we solve this or things will get worse.”

On the other side of the story, in Ralph’s team, the energy of conflict did not exist , everyone was nice to each other, “whilst we reached unity of values and a constructive learning environment we were not productive as a team. We were comfortable with each other, enjoyed learning, and were individually successful. There simply was no need to be a team. For Michael’s team the imperative was to deliver and get results. His team had a to meet client needs and deadlines in a way we didn’t.”

We noticed from these two parallel paths that

the relationship with the outside world is a driver of motivation to unite and collaborate

Read more from Ralph clicking here …

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