short news from ebbf members
#ebbfmilan - how a design engineer became a global leader using trust, democracy and comfort with uncertainty
We interviewed Ana Saldarriaga keynoter at ebbf’s annual conference, fifth AIESEC international female and first Colombian president of this global Organization activating the potential of young leaders leadership in over 125 countries. Ana’s keynote and ebbf’s own keynotes at AIESEC’s international and national events continues a 15 year-long active relationship between these two networks that started when ebbf organized one of the first microcredit summits inviting then little known Muhammad Yunus and AIESEC to be protagonists there.
QUESTION: Ana where did your journey to become AIESEC’s global president start?
I come from Medellin in Colombia where I was studying product design engineering. Eager to broaden my experience abroad, I was searching for an exchange program when I came across AIESEC. I went to some of their intro talks at my university and found that this Organization could offer me much more than that.
At University I learnt methodologies to create physical products, in AIESEC I have become an engineer of social change, learning to solve complex problems, solutions oriented approaches to developing people and ideas, instead of products.
The kind of ideas that can transform the lives of people.
You 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?
For 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!
James 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
We 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.
Serge 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.”
#ebbfmilan - presenter Dary Enkhtor shares her experience connecting global with local and analytical with spiritual traits to transform leadership development
Dary 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?
First confirmed speakers you will enjoy interacting with at #ebbfmilan, part of the over 30 interactive sessions offered during this learning experience.
Early bird discounted rate ends on the 20th of March
London - Jelena Hercberga asks why does it take a crisis to push change in us? first ebbf breakfast in London
Jelena Hercberga, one of the co-organizers of the first ebbf london breakfast, shared some personal takeaways from that first ebbf event
“Is it our nature to take precautions only after harm has been done?
As individuals and organisations around the world are mobilising and uniting in the response to the current economical, ecological and perception crisis, I wonder whether it is in our human nature to lock the stable door only after the horse has bolted?
Last Wednesday we held our first “Breaking Bread” discussion – a joint project between ebbf and the Impact Hub King’s Cross London, aiming at exploring the theme of collaboration and partnership, as well as at understanding how we can collaborate better as a society.
As we were talking to John Steel, CEO of Café Direct, and exploring the theme on the example of the Fair Trade business model, I learnt that Café Direct is yet another positive initiative that was born out of the crisis.
Here is what Café Direct say about their creation:
We were born following the coffee crisis in 1989 when an international coffee agreement, which had fixed global
It is fashion week in Milan, but Justice never wears out.