Use and value renewable resources and services

Permaculture Principle #5: Use and value renewable resources and services

In service of the Whole In Nature, a renewable resource is one that is made available again “soon” after use. Soon here is a totally subjective, human-centred concept: it is framed around human time and needs, and implies that it can be available…

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Appliquer l'autorégulation et accepter le feedback

Permaculture principle #4: Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

A powerful principle: simple in its workings, so difficult to fully engage with! The truth is, I have found this principle the toughest one to reflect on so far! Why might that be? Well, partly I think because I have been witnessing how growing…

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Obtenir une récolte

Permaculture principle #3: Obtain a yield

It is the whole system that yields, not just a series of parts On a Permaculture farm, plants, shrubs, trees, and animals are chosen and organised so that each of them will provide several beneficial inputs to other parts of the overall system…

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Capture and store energy

Permaculture principle #2: Capture and store energy

Increasing the potency of biological fields Permaculture suggests that reliance on cheap oil has shifted our systems’ capacity for resilience and self-reliance. We need to reclaim and implement our capacity to harness, store and circulate energy,…

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Observe and interact

Permaculture principle #1: Observe and interact

Taking Nature in The first step for a permaculturist when arriving on a new piece of land, or in a new farming community, is to slow right down, and to hold back any urge for quick ‘productive’ action. My friend Rob ( )…

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Permaculture, organisations et management

Permaculture, Organisations and Management – Introduction

Consider this Earth as a 3,8 billion-year old R&D lab; for all this time, over 20 millions species have evolved in co-existence, spinning through their interactions, and interconnections, a web of Life that in return creates the “conditions…

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Le syndrome du patron de gauche

The ‘left-wing manager syndrome’ or the denial of management

'The worst bosses are the leftist bosses,' said Arthur Brault-Moreau's father. After a very difficult experience as a parliamentary assistant, he conducted a detailed investigation into what he calls 'left-wing' management. His book, 'Le syndrome du…

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gestion du temps

Calm after the storm

In Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, the fifth movement is called "Joyful and grateful feelings after the storm". It tells how life returns to nature after a violent storm. That's exactly what I felt a few weeks ago on the board of directors of an…

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Successful negotiation

Successful negotiation: It’s not just about expanding the pie, it’s about regeneration

A few weeks ago, I spent a very pleasant and interesting day in the company of a group of international relations students at John Hopkins University, guiding them to discover the topic of negotiation. The introduction to the topic took place…

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In search of happiness?

During a coaching session, my coachee's request fell like a sentence: I am looking to be happier. What makes people happy is happiness. But what is happiness? Luck (the good luck charm) or the state of fully satisfied consciousness. There are…

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Freedom and unconscious dynamics

How free can we be at work?   Anabelle holds a very promising job in the online products department of a prestigious investment company in Paris. She’s been coming for monthly coaching sessions for the last few months because she’s struggling…

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Is this really about me? Storytelling and survivor bias

Let us begin this post by telling you a story, to talk about a bias that relates precisely to storytelling, but also to talk about how the risk of a mechanical view of reality can lead us astray. During the Second World War, a group of researchers…

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“Why?” The ecological transition in search of meaning

"God is dead, Marx is dead, and I don't feel very well myself," said Woody Allen. Today, it is what we commonly call "the planet" that is not doing very well: climate disruption, rising temperatures and water levels, collapse of biodiversity,…

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Modèles mentaux, racisme subtil et chocolat : une révélation

Mental models, subtle racism and chocolate: a breakthrough

The context is an international and multi-ethnic meeting with some 20 participants, with the aim of reconnecting with the organisational purpose, in order to then be able to set the activities for the coming months and to appoint suitable leadership…

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Ethnic differences: the case of a sensitive conversation

Conversation about ethnic differences is never easy within a group. On the other hand, after the #blacklivesmatter movement, having these kinds of conversations and acting on them has become a necessity and a starting point for creating…

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Owning Our part

Owning our part: from denial-based business to a regenerative economy – Part 3

Denial is being challenged In her wonderful paper, the renowned systems-thinker Donella Meadows (1999) explains how, on a housing estate in the US, where houses were more or less identical, the electricity consumption was 30% lower in a particular…

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Il purpose come modo per superare la scissione

Owning our part: from denial-based business to a regenerative economy – Part 2

Purpose as a way of working through this splitting   Figure 1, adapted from the work of the Grubb Institute1, can help us understand what is at work in Michael’s experience. In that framework, Michael (a Person) works in a pharmaceuticals…

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Ownership sul nostro contributo: da un economia basata sulla negazione a un'economia rigenerativa

Owning our part: from denial-based business to a regenerative economy

Article published on “Organizational and Social Dynamics” Abstract In this article, we explore a core set of organisational and social dynamics at work in the business world: the denial and disowning of the part we play in co-creating the world we…

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About Overview Effect, Bateson levels and learning for the future

As a child, one of my dreams was to go into space. I imagined myself inside a space capsule watching the Earth slowly recede through the porthole and the Moon and planets gradually become more visible. Reading 'Lucky Star and the Moons of Jupiter'…

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Que votre intention soit simple

Let your intention be simple

These days I have the enormous privilege of co-facilitating a group with a formidable Jesuit priest. We jokingly tell each other that I am in charge of the psychosocial part and he is in charge of spirituality, but we actually form an integrated…

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Embodying both the good and the bad object in Regeneration

The societal and organisational shift that is required of us is unprecedented; it can no longer be about improving the current capitalist paradigm based on endless economic growth (even if we were to call it green growth, or sustainable growth), and…

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Theory U

Fast-track U process

Otto Scharmer’s U process will soon be celebrating its 20th Birthday, and needless to say what an amazing, transformational impact it has had on so many people and organisations.   Here at Nexus we have been using it as the background to our…

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Feedback fallacy

Feedback? No thanks!

Antonio, marketing director of a multinational company, is a firm believer in the practice of 'continuous feedback' that has recently been introduced in the performance management cycle. Antonio thinks that, precisely through feedback, it is…

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Pensare ed agire per sottrazione

What if subtraction helped us to be in touch with purpose? Thinking and acting by subtraction – Part two

So what can we do? The solution is not to eliminate addition completely, it is not in binary and polarized thinking... what we can do is, every time we think about a problem, remind ourselves that there is also the possibility of taking away. So it…

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What if subtraction helped us to be in touch with purpose? – Part one

The following post is an excerpt of a talk that Nexus gave at one of two conferences, held at a large multinational company, on the day that is annually dedicated to a collective reflection on purpose. We will publish it in two parts, corresponding…

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Women in a World of Men: The Transformation of Gender Dynamics through the Recovering of Identities

A few weeks ago, someone wrote to us on Linkedin saying that he had very much appreciated an article of ours, published in 2008 in Organisational & Social Dynamics. We went to pick it up and decided to republish it on the blog. Sure it has taken…

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Discerning in order to make a better choice

Today I had lunch with a friend, a company director, who complained that he had no choice but to accept a price cut imposed by one of his biggest customers. This will force him to outsource part of his business to low-cost countries. This is…

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We don’t avoid conflicts – we avoid working through them!

How tempting it is to long only for spring, or summer: the days getting longer, the plants growing, Nature blossoming. So tempting that we often forget that there is only life in ecosystems because there is also death.   Similarly, in the…

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Promoting inclusive leadership from recruitment onwards

Many organisations have been committed for years to promoting a culture of inclusiveness, which guarantees all people equality of treatment, rights and opportunities to belong.  But how can we increase the chances that, from the moment they join the…

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Easter and regeneration

Easter and Regeneration

In the Christian tradition, Easter is the most important of all feasts – more important than Christmas itself. Why? Because it is then that the resurrection is being revealed; it is then that we discover that death is not the end, but only a passage…

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Generative Dialogue: the 4 fields of conversation

Better known for his “U Theory”, Otto Scharmer has also worked extensively on Dialogue, together with his MIT colleague Bill Isaacs. In his pre “U Theory” days, he developed a very useful matrix to map out the various conversational fields that we…

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Organisational Purpose: Starting with Why

Purpose is a powerful way of motivating people for action; of clarifying the ultimate goal your organisation is setting for itself, the primary "Why" that won't change even if you might pivot several times on your "What", and perhaps your "How". In…

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This morning while reading the newspaper I was struck by a piece of news. A family in Palermo had agreed to take in refugees from the Ukraine, especially students of economics and medicine. When the refugees arrived, the family realised that the…

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“Manterrupting’ – do we really still need to talk about it?

Manterrupting is a phenomenon that has been described and publicised for many years now. It has been explored, ridiculed, caricatured, dissected and analysed for many years. Just by searching for the hashtag on social networks, hundreds of examples,…

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What being Purpose-led really means

Over the past few years – and we should all be grateful for it! – there has been an ever stronger emphasis on becoming a Purpose-led organisation, and for leaders in those organisations to lead with/from purpose.   Purpose: the new key to…

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The link between risk aversion and the inner critic: self-sabotage in transformative decisions

Emma is an executive in a multinational company. She is 40 years old and her career path is built on a continuous series of successes, brilliant results, a very fast progression, until she was promoted to her last position, as marketing director of…

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Regenerating Democracy

Last week I was in Rome, facilitating a General Chapter for a male religious congregation.   Democracy: insights from religious congregations Religious congregations are a very interesting type of organisation. In many ways – and despite all…

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‘Illusion of transparency bias’: when we don’t take the risk of actually meeting the other

The illusion of transparency was first defined in 1998, in an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, by the research team consisting of Thomas Gilovich, Victoria H. Medvec, Kenneth Savistsy. It consists of 'the…

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From I to We: enabling a group to clarify its collective intention

If you’ve read other of our blog posts, you’ll have picked up by now that here, at Nexus, we use the U process to design pretty much all of our interventions. So I’m not going to go into details about the process itself; my purpose here is to…

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Unconscious Bias and the performance management and development process

This week for our blogpost on bias we are not going to talk about a single bias but, as we have already done on climate change, we will take a cluster of biases, in particular some of those that impact performance management. Innovations in this…

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Decision-making process : Nexus’ iterative model

Decision-making is not an instantaneous event, something that occurs only at the actual moment that the decision is being made. Rather, it sits within a process that includes the build-up to the decision, the decision itself, and then the impact of…

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Idealization, death of idols, and rebirth: accompanying the regeneration of leaders and their organisations

The years I have spent coaching business leaders have often led me to the terrain of the shadows: that of our inconsistencies, our contradictions, our shortcomings; those aspects of ourselves that we prefer not to talk about, even to ourselves...…

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Holidays, gifts & gender stereotypes

"The only gift is a portion of thyself." Ralph Waldo Emerson For this week's bias we chose to remain in the light-heartedness and playfulness of the end-of-year celebrations that have just ended and on a topic that we are passionate about: gender…

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Practical use of the model

The model, or Operating System is quite simple to use. In our experience we have found it is best implemented through a process modelled on the 3 phases of Otto Scharmer's U-theory:     First phase - Sensing This phase involves exploring…

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Principle #6: Develop collaborations

Principle #6: Develop collaborations, partnerships and symbiotic relationships. This principle, again, flows on from the previous principle, enabling you to scale up your regeneration by turning some of your life-giving encounters into more stable…

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Principle #5: Increase your interactions with people

Principle #5: Increase your interactions with people, organisations, experiences that are life-giving in your environment. Life, following principle #4, has begun to blossom, and from an individual and/or collective point of view you have moved from…

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Cycle 2 Structuring the emerging-life process

Principle #4: Encourage life where it is pushing to emerge. If the previous principles were organised around the dying process, the following set of principles is instead organised around the idea of vitality, fertility and blossoming. After the…

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“There’s a crisis, let’s appoint a woman”: dynamics and pitfalls of the Glass Cliff

Suzanne is an executive at a large French company in the energy sector. She is told that she will be leading the digital transformation project, a key cross-cutting project that will involve the whole company over the coming months, a role for which…

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Principle #3: Reduce attacks on life

The previous two principles focused on what must die; on the other hand, there are also situations that are potentially life-giving, but where the life that wants to emerge risks being thwarted by various forms of attacks. These attacks can take the…

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The 6 principles of regeneration: Principle #2

Principle #2: Help what needs to die... to die and to "compost", with the aim of fertilising and nourishing the Life that is to emerge. What kind of material are we talking about? For example, it could be past successes or failures, hopes or fears,…

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