Guiding principles

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From Nov. 2016 retreat The collective objective is to write sentences to define them as much as we can, and build from that for the lac à l’épaule./// The structure is what we are not, followed by what we are :

//// Principe 1 : prototyping, exploration' looks like - let’s try this out for x period of time. Giving ourselves permission to be in uncertainty. not having to know everything. Allowed to change directions. things are moving. action. We work with a prototyping mindset. Our work is iterative with constant feedback. Labs does not look like - Here i have an idea- No. Frozen - no action. inaction We do not plan in a rigid way our operating system. We are stubborn on owning an idea

We work by trying things out explicitely for periods of time and learning from what we have tried. We do not plan in a rigid way our operating system, etc.

Principe 2 : Human, inclusive, hosting others and ourselves We show up authentically and each person speaks for themselves and from their own experience. When it gets difficult, we stay the course and support each other. We meet people where they are at and respect their boundaries. We cultivate a space of personal and collective growth. We listen and adapt and engage in mutual engagement. We tend to each other. We embrace differences and diversity. We host each other and ourselves. We keep our agreements towards ourselves, towards the team and towards our clients. We do what we say. We work with care towards people and the planet. We don’t let our personal issues get in the way of our collective purpose. It doesn’t look like therapy. It doesn’t look like imposing a perspective. It does not look like disengagement. We don’t have a hostile environment.

Principe 3 : reflexive, continuous learning We are constantly developing our expertises and competences. We reflect individually and as a team, learning from our experiences and share them with others. We engage in the on-going, deep and hard practice of pushing through our learning plateaus and shifting our mental models. We do not have evaluations and do not take a stance of non questioning ‘expert’ saying “that’s the way it is”. We don’t give up when it gets hard.


Principe 4 : social engagement, We are conscious of and concerned with humanity’s current challenges on global and local levels. Not accepting the status quo and old paradigms, we work to push boundaries and build bridges towards emerging and desirable futures. We work in a spirit of inclusion, reconciliation and proposition. We do not fight against.

Principe 5 : créativité, fun, DIY

We are creative and inspired and encourage others to access their creativity. Thriving in a creative approach to our work. Finding solutions through play and using what is available to us. We roll up our sleeves and get in there. We approach our work (no matter how serious) in a spirit of joy. One size does not fits all, we adapt and evolve processes to suit the need. We are not prescriptive in our approach. We are not attached to a desk, a location or a recipe.

Principe 6 : Life in the center. We work with a “for now” mindset in which we adapt and adjust to new information and situations as they emerge, knowing that the only constant is change. We work with what is giving energy as a core operating principle. We cultivate what’s giving energy - life feeling, spontaneous, improvisation and opportunistic: choosing not to plan everything ahead but dialoguing with what is there. Striving for the lightest possible structure for there to be flow. We work with the natural rhythms and flow of life: birth and death, joy and grief. We create space to welcome this. We do not see endings as failure. We navigate the messy, complex, uncertain, and undefined.


It doesn’t look like asking for permission, command and control, approvals, change management, one way communication, dispensed, from A to B, an organigram,

Principle 7 : Deeply anchored transparency, honesty, coherence, and collaboration We work openly. All communication channels, all documentation and all finances are accessible to all. Tension is the gap between our current state and our potential. Together we dare to address issues that make us uncomfortable and we give each other purpose driven feedback as kindly as possible. We ask each other for help to continue the forward movement and improve the quality of our work. When we are stuck or blocked, reaching out is productive and required. We come together as a team to provide support to each other. When we mess up, we share it, own it and learn from it. // It does not look like being secretive, talking behind each other’s backs, and working in isolation. It does not look like letting a tension bubble and grow out of proportion. It does not look like solo working. It doesn’t look like politeness and avoidance of important matters. It doesn’t look like ploughing through when things are hard. We don’t personalize disagreements.

Note from other thoughts Values - fractal functioning - the values make there way into every aspect and scale of activity

  1. autonomy (minimum permission) and not imposing on others
  2. Openness (keeps us in check and nourishes us)
  3. Honest communication and feedback authenticity
  4. system approach (including in conflict)
  5. learning culture
  6. life and energy and presence