#ebbfmilan - Trip Barthel on the art of consultation, synergy and consensus

trip barthel ebbfmilanYou will be able to enjoy learning from and interacting with Trip Barthel during the upcoming online  pre #ebbfmilan event coming up at 20:00 (CEST) the 28th of April and of course during a number of sessions he will offer during ebbf’s annual conference in Milan ( join us there )

Question: what drew you to the area of consultation, synergy and consensus?

when i graduated from college I was thinking of going to law school but never quite understood the adversarial approach to resolving conflict. What did and still makes more sense to me is to get parties together to find a better mutually beneficial resolution, pretty much flipping on its head everything that law school teaches.

My first step at putting those principles into practice came soon after as the general manager of a small business.

I ran that company for ten years using values and principles that instead of hindering, created very successful financial and personal motivation levels for everyone who worked there, and indeed levels of staff turnover were non-existant, no one wished to leave that environment of justice.

Q: applying values in business seems like a sound principles but why do so many people fail in doing so successfully?

One element is to treat all of our employees in a professional and respectful way, responding as best as we can to their concerns, with most decisions in the office taken as a team and not top down. But most important of all is to create an environment of trust where people feel secure and empowered. People look at their leaders, at the actions more than the words of their managers. Time and again during my professional career I saw how they were waiting for the actions before totally trusting the person and the organisation.

Q: your subsequent work was in the area of legal mediation, what is different in the way you see this taken to its most successful outcome?

Read More …

Diana Severati
Diana Severati

#ebbfmilan - Henrik Mitsch: Come along, you won't regret it!

henrik-mitschFor the ebbf conference experience short news series this time I present you the interview with ebbf member Henrik Mitsch.

Henrik, why did you attend the last ebbf conference?

The twice-yearly ebbf conferences are two fixed stars in our family agenda since 2013. We thrive on this unique combination of energetic learning, meaningful conversations and mindful retreat.

Was there a specific action or something you wanted to try as a result of the last conference? How is that going?
Arthur Dahl’s keynote was a true highlight. He spoke about the application of systems thinking for unity and collaboration. This has shifted my workplace perception and guides some of my day to day actions.

What and where has been the last impact you created?

I guess I am too humble to have a straight answer to this question. Being a Mozilla Rep module peer I recently helped to reinvigorate our experimentation culture. Hopefully my contribution proves to be meaningful and causes positive impact.

If you were inviting someone to come to the next copnference in Milan, what would you say?

Come along, you won’t regret it!

Last but not least, could you share one or more favourite quote?
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” (Simon Sinek)
“Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation.” (Bahá’u’lláh)

Thank you Henrik, see you in Milan!

Join Henrik to ebbf’s annual conference in Milan


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.



#ebbfmilan - let's give a new meaning to commonly used business terms, building a new lexicon with Mika Korhonen

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.15.27We are used to common business terms, but how can we create a new lexicon?
How can we reload commonly used business words such as ethics, decision making or capacity building giving them a new meaning and a new application?

At #ebbfmilan together with Mika Korhonen we will start together an ebbf track that aims to co-create a new right language to communicate and make meaningful change happen both in our workplaces and in economic systems.

To get us started with re-thinking values and common key words, check out ebbf’s own definitions of its seven core values.

Don’t miss the opportunity and start “building a new lexicon”

Diana Severati
Diana Severati

#ebbfmilan - Serge Thill: creating numerous impacts with my chisel

Serge ThillSerge Thill, responsible companies accompanier, will attend the next ebbf conference in Milan.
When asked about his last ebbf conference experience he answered that it had been a while since he attended an ebbf event and that he felt he had missed a very inspiring community.
“Attending an ebbf conference” – he says –  “has always been a way to reconnect with my values, to further my confidence in the nobility of the human being and to strengthen my ability to meaningfully relate to likeminded professionals from many parts of the world.” Then, I asked him some more questions:

Q: What and where has been the last impact you created?
A:”The last impact I created”, Serge says, ” was yesterday when working in my woodworking shop and creating numerous impacts with my chisel in my beech stock, progressively transforming it from raw pieces of wood into something that resembles ever more a kids’ bed for my grand-daughter.”

Q: “If you were inviting someone to come to the next conference in Milan, what would you say?”
A: “Your question gives me an idea: I will invite a friend of mine, the CEO of a small and growing company, who is a brilliant and warmhearted man, but who still believes people need an environment of fear to give their best (not that this belief has ever worked in his favor). I will encourage him to come and experience at least one day in a community, in an environment of nurturing, collaboration, trust and trustworthiness AND effectiveness in having a real impact (not talking about chisels this time).”

Q: Last but not least, could you share one or more favourite quote?
A: “ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.”


Join Serge and come to ebbf’s annual event


#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 …


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 ….



London - Nava Ashraf appointed Research Director of LSE's Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship

Nava-AshrafWarmest Congratulations to fellow ebbf member Nava Ashraf who moves from Harvard to LSE in London.
In her words “Thrilled to formally announce today a very big move: to be a professor in one of my favourite departments in the world, with colleagues I admire to no end (the Economics department at the LSE); to help spur research at an Institute whose founders have utterly inspired me with their vision; and to build a home of joy and service in the amazing, vibrant, beautiful city of London.”

The Marshall Institute is focused on the transformative impact of private philanthropic action and upon being appointed as Research Director there and professor of economics at LSE Nava stated “We live in a time where there is a tremendous desire to do good – but relatively little that disciplines that instinct or helps us learn how to maximise its positive impact on society. I am deeply excited to work together with the Marshall Institute and my extraordinary new colleagues across LSE to launch frontier scientific research with impact in this vital field.”

You can read here the full LSE press release


Paris - what was the atmosphere really like at #COP21? Report from ebbf & IEF members who contributed there

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 16.42.52What was the atmosphere and the action really like at ‪#‎COP21‬ ?
You can get fresh insights from the ebbf and IEF (International Environment Forum) ‘s members who spent some very intense days at #COP21 in Paris and have shared their photos, impressions, contributions in this report that you can find on IEF’s website:

We are planning an online “ebbf meaningful conversation” event soon to allow you to interact with them on what happened and what will happen.


Geneva - big donors news sparks in Nauman Hussain ideas on how banks should adapt to new forms of return on investment

nauman hussainBelow some ideas shared by ebbf member Nauman Hussain, working in private equity banking and frequently representing ebbf at ethical and impact investing events.

“Following the decision of the Zuckerberg’s to donate 99% of their wealth I have been thinking more about the question of wealth definition and its management in banks. I feel we need to redefine wealth and especially wealth accumulated beyond lifetime-spent possible. This decision gives great insight to banks about the new mindset of millennials towards intergenerational wealth and connection to higher purposes in term of wealth management and investment drivers.

If wealthy people decide to contribute with their wealth back to the masses of people and the planet, the banker-customer relationship takes a turn from a  short term performance orientated conversation towards an uplifted and elevated conversation  for long term legacy and what matter most to the investors. We need not only financial innovation in term of impact investment to address this new requirement but also a change in the banking business model.

When Investors consider the planet their home and humanity their family the term “return on investment” takes a sharp turn and another dimension.  Furthermore distribution of wealth through voluntary sharing becomes an approach to reduce the extremes of wealth and poverty.

“Wealth is most commendable, provided the entire population is wealthy” Abdu’l’Baha

We move from a self-interest and short term view to a collective motive and long term view,  and banks need to integrate this new reality in their investment distribution channel. An evolving paradigm in which investor’s wealth connects to a more purposeful investment and more meaningful projects.

In order to address these needs the banks needs to shift their business model from a profit-driven model to an impact-driven model, because wealth becomes a means to an end, and not the end itself.

We need banks who will foster and be able to manage mission-driven investment. Learning to not only offer financial performance but also a social and environmental return. Most recently the growth of social impact bond or green bond are just a few examples of how some financial institutions are starting to innovate in the right direction.”

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