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How to start a Percolab cell

Date : mardi 20 février 2018 10:00

Fin : 12:00
Type : Opérationnel (sans décisions)
Equipe: tout le monde
Hôte(s) : Solène
Information additionnelle : Online: Meghan, Nil, Phoebe Tickell (London), Jennifer Williams (Ottawa) Ecto: Solène, Hélène, Denis, Stéfane, Sam, Paul, Laurence Guests : Marie-Michèle, Audrey
Absent(s) : Ezra, Elizabeth



Check-in : What is your personal lag? Quel est ton décalage? Which part of yourself is not synchronized with the world?

  • Helene- Last night, getting milk for my 2y/o baby in the middle of the night, so I can feel the need for more sleep time, and feeling a bit of disconnection to the Percolab team -not a lot together this days.
  • Sam- Back from NZ and Guatemala. I feel I disconnect in my roles in Percolab. I’m sitting with that. Feeling a disconnect with the size of our team meeings. A disconnect with size. Maybe the time is ripe to split the team in 2.
  • Denis (Stepahn and I) are living 2 h away, and last eek recieved a mail saying that we are not at the same speed, so we came to sync with the team here.
  • Solene - coming back from france, met the team there. Disconnected and connected at the same time, with both teams. Feeling connected today.
  • Jennifer (Ottawa) - met sam in Toronto last month. Feeling isolated in my view of organizations and business need to evolve. Seeking people to align myself with.
  • Meghan- Reykjavik in a coffee-shop. Not feeling so much the geographical distance, but I feel a lag in the integration process, also with the core-team. I don’t know how to bridge it.
  • Paul- Physical lag of coming back after NZ. Disconnect between having to balance priorities and things I really want to do (?)
  • Laurence - I feel submerged by many things at the moment. I’m having an operation next week. I have trouble connecting to something stable. It’s important that things move but it also takes a lot out of me.
  • Stephane - Desynchronized with percolab but not disconnected. It’s not a bad feeling. A lot of thing are changing but things in front of me are nice. A new synchornization?
  • Audrey-I am not yet connected to a percolab team but happy to be here. A bit disturbed by the way of doing things here but interested to find out more.
  • Marie-Michèle- Disconnected from my personal reality, busy with university. In the scholar reality, not the real world.
  • Phoebe - from london, feels a bit overdue to connect with percolab team. Met sam at retreat in hungary through enspiral network. Remembering how important communication is and how limited email is. Excited about htis connection that is beginning today.
  • Nil - desyncronization between my beliefs and how I should live my live and how i actually am. Good feeling coming to these meetings. Washing over me. Worth naming it.



  • Denis/Stéphane - How to start a Percolab cell - 50 min
  • Sam - Experiment splitting team - 10-15 min
  • Paul- Workshops web page - 15 min
  • Nil- Asking for help - 7 min 1-2 people

1- New Cells - A charter that each new cell could sign. Started last July, hasn’t been added to much since.

Denis Q: What’s the roadmap? What’s the model of integration? Collaborator vs Membre auxilière Different because it’s 2 people at the same time. Ready to press on the pedal. Perhaps faster than previous integrations. We’re in the same legal jurisdiction, do we start an independant organization or align to the same?

Cercle of reactions

  • Laurence: What is the difference between Quebec and Montreal? Being a consultant already doesn’t have a big impact on your ability to integrate more quickly or not. Percolab has a unique practice and there is a need to maintain a way of working. I am uneasy with so many team members not being here today.
  • Sam: When Denis & Stephane gave up the idea of doing their own business and chose to plug into a collective infrastructure and platform, my eyes welled up. This is what we are working toward, a business as a commons. That idea was huge, felt like an accomplishment. Ego start a business or ecosystem and contribute to something. Startup mode is fast track. There is a friction caused by that. What makes sense? How to honor energy and drive in collective. Growing shift where you don’t have to be in relationship with everybody? Ideal circle size is around a kitchen table. Is this an opportunity to try splitting the team.
  • Nil: Big shift in hearing the base feeling steady, and feminine to a more masculine -let’s move forward-. Hearing resistance.
  • Meghan: Uneasy about thinking of having a new cell so close. All the cells before have done a lot of work together. Or hosted a series of workshops together. Feeling the need to do work together before bringing the Percolab brand forward. It’s not about having the Project Management experience but having the Percolab Project Management Experience. Line btw integrating a new member and integrating a new cell.
  • Hélène - we could have cells in cities all over Québec. It takes more contact. In the vision of connect, I like the image of pluggin in. It ( i cant hear ) Encouraging start up energy. Concretely, in the last few weeks, there has been an energy from Quebec to jump in and go, I have been happy to connect and offer support but I don’t have the core member, I’m a collaborator. Its missing a sign that we are ready to go.
  • Paul: if we take Cynefin framework. We’re in the complex zone. Setting up a new cell is complex, we don’t have all the answers, we have a lot of different perspectives. We have prototyped, had feedback. What do we want to prototype? What are the feedback loops we need in place so we can understand the nature of this? What container do we want to put on this prototype so it’s not just a free for all.
  • Stephane: I find it inspiring seeing the word complex on this process. Involves a lot of people and a new dynamic. Quebec city is a very particular market: government, insurance & ___. They are working in a particular way. It’s something that we as percolab have to consider. It’s not something that justifies the creation of a cell but it’s something to factor in. Second info point: When I decided to start Imago, what was important for me was working both in Quebec and Europe (france, belgium & spain). I don’t want to work alone or in isolation. Want to co-work. Want to share markets with Nadine, etc. I feel very comfortable that it takes time to find the way, from a personal point of view I do need to make money, soon.
  • Starting a new company takes time. Using the brand would fas-track the process of being able to work with big org (gov, banks..).
  • Laurence: What’s the relationship that we want to have. Does a new cell come uniquely from a desire to work together. Or is there more to it?
  • Solene: I’m new as well. I would like to integrate. What does it mean to join percolab (world, or a local cell)? The best way to learn to work with someone is to be with them. I would like to join percolab.
  • Helen: I also feel that malaise.
  • Audrey - Pas sûre de comprendre. De nouvelles cellules vont se créer. Est-ce que la cellule à Québec est officialisée?
  • As if you were a company with a ‘filiale” opening in another location. Spreading out.

Your questions go around :

  • How are you integrating the newbies. Are they accountable?
  • Are they independent? From my experience: I was part of a girl-frat in uni, philanthropy, we wanted to create other chapters and we faced similar questions. Charter of our values. And we gave full autonomy over what they wanted to work in/with. As long as they respected our ways of thinking/working.
  • Steph: the stakes are clear when we look at the document. The only “rock” is because we are seniors in collaboration and far-close (QC - MTL). How do we connect with other people? How do we integrate percolab? Finding a new way of impregnating one self with the percolabe culture.

Some of the concerns that have been voice have been around holding core values and practices. We bring something new. Trained in sociocracy. We’re ready to give sociocracy training tomorrow morning. How is that acknowledged? We bring something new. Steph is coming for IT business. How do we bring this together?

  • Sam - Nil came with his money workshop. He came, choose who he wanted to develop a relationship with, and co-hosted together. The relationship and the trust is established by working together. When the trust is established, the alarms clock don’t go up. Now, nobody looks at what Nil is doing in Barcelona. To me, all that is spoken right now, that level of trust is not there. For me, it’s there. We have history. Back to 2014. He worked with Nadine. We’re not starting from 0. Denis has been showing up at workshops for a year. There’s been stuff. So I’m in trust, but not everybody. When I look at this document, I wince. We now have a manifesto, clarified what we mean the future of work. The basis of a charter is there.
  • Meghan - I’ll bounce off on co-hosting. There’s a market, a connection, great. What is the feedback system (that Paul brought) is great. Co-hosting is the next step. I feel it with Nil. Based on the relationship that we built.
  • Nil - when I heard from all of your expertises, I feel like I want to work with you, learn. Sounds amazing.

I feel like an observer here. Interesting to sit here. What is the intention behind a new cell?

  • Jennifer - Same. I’m Ottawa-based, but I could see myself walking in this office and doing the same. How to make sure that I infuse in myself the percolab-ness in a new market. Sam, you feel that it’s there. But to me, it’s the question I hear.
  • Paul - we’ve got documents in the center. Practices - co-host - inviting the culture. Tension between comfortable and growing. It’s complex, we need feedback loops. What are the practices that new cells are inviting in. We want to be able to move around these cells. Creating trust and dynamics - what are the existing stories that we have? What are the stories that we want to create? Ask for help.

End of the circle

Team splitting 3 minutes of silence. Sitting with what we lived/heard “What’s clear for you and what could be a possible exploration of team splitting”

It’s less about splitting and more about Multiplication. Use percolab France experience.

Thursday morning meeting - two mini teams. First thursday of month as collective team meeting. One open and one closed. One like an integration circle. People can go to both.

How would you ever separate? It’s not a separation, but more of a reorganization. What’s coming clear is that, one team could be more local oriented and the other more int. Oriented. Maybe an int. One would be more a match for me (sam) so I don’t feel guilt traveling all the time. Alternation of meetings in a rhythm -local-small, widder, international- International meeting is more of Governance meeting, not everyone needs to be there! Struggling with question of stability, how could splitting into two circles feed this idea of stability? Ratio of guests and collaborators. Have not been feeling core presence in team meetings. Is there stability in the core? not necessarily

When teams who have been working organically together - how do you ensure that everyone feels safe, and with knowledge so that everyone can thrive and percolab can thrive When we are in an organization that has relationships at the centre, working together is important to build trust. Maybe having autonomy and rhythm of retreats. Need to have conversations before moving forward into solutions. Plus local and plus international can be explored but not before having a conversation. Might be time. Have a core international circle. One way to multiply the teams - you ask for a steward or budy, we would meet with those people so that person can have feedback to what we are doing - then that would be a way to multiply the teams. It’s more like a cell division is like fundamental process of life to answer regeneration. Fundamental of transmitting DNA. why we are doing this - connect to the purpose of cell division. We need to clear fears and share stuff in more intimate conversation. We need to have roles to ensure connection. Relationship builder role? Split the team is give the opportunity to get to know each other via a small group. It’s not putting people in boxes, but giving chance to be together and share back to wider team.

Create relations, discover strengths of each person. Split is not break but better know each other.

  • Helene : Adopt charter of values, work on cohosting, sharing experiences and storytelling Percolabness take care of it. Percolab needs to grow.

Check-out : When was the last time you genuinely asked for help?

  • Solene- Almost everyday since one month, to lace my shoes, etc. With Cedric yesterday, qu’est ce que je peux faire pour intégrer Percolab? How can I switch from being a shadow to a driving force?
  • Meghan - Ask for help - Draft a proposal for how we invite and framework for guests.
  • Denis - i asked for help to have a conversation about our position and it has been amazing.
  • Laurence - i do it every day these days.
  • Marie-michèlle- Correct my school work
  • Jennifer. I own a business with my partner and he decided to grow the business and we dropped that. Asked a friend for help with marketing.
  • Nil- Asked for help about help.
  • Paul- ask for a nap
  • Sam- Help to get clarity to Ria. 3 differents things. Asked for help to be hosted to find clarity
  • Helen- Asked her 2y/o help to give help to my child.
  • Stephan- Help from my wife to get clarity. When I come back to work with Denis. Help me to be fine coming to montreal with a few hours notice with our baby and toddler.
  • Audrey- It’s rare that I ask for help. I am helping my parents with their court case. My sister with her breakup. A friend with her suicidal thoughts. Makes me think that certain aspects of my life I would like some help.