May 14, 2019

I attended the monthly International Coach Federation meeting in Munich yesterday and Karsten Drath was the guest speaker. He told us about what makes organisations resilient. His messages I believe work for individuals too as we are parts of various organizations and our lives are organisations.

I loved his introduction. He said he got curious about this topic and he started researching. He said “It is risky when I get curious because I end up writing a book about it and it does not finish.” He started a minibook of 85 pages which is in the moment 500 pages!

He told us about what he had researched. He looked into what makes organisations, companies, buildings and ecological systems resilient. He categorised companies about where they stand in terms of the organisational level and their mental models. For the organizatinal level he listed 5 levels: Tribal organizations – where it is about power, traditional organizations where stability and predictability is more important, modern organizations where it is all about productivity and profit. In the postmodern organizations there is a pursuit of profit which goes hand in hand with meaning and why. And the newest form is the Evolutionary organization which is about pursuing a bigger purpose, where people’s and collective growth has the biggest importance, the ego is let go off and vulnerability is celebrated. In the categorization of organisations this is the Y axis.

In the x axis, there is the mental model. Pioneer phase- being the start of a company where everyone is engaged, takes responsibility and not much is defined, differentiation phase – where there are rules, regulations and control, to integration phase where there are horizontal organization, people can take initiative and self manage and the last phase is Association where the company sees every player in the market having a fluid role and potential partners.

When the company moves in the x or y axis, it goes through a crisis. The crisis are actually part of the growth. The organisations should embrace the change.

My biggest take aways from his presentation are the following:

  1. Embrace your crisis. Or even better choose your own crisis. As it will definitely happen as you grow, which direction will you grow?
  2. See every thing, every person, every company as a possible partner, resource, player for your cause. But for that you need a cause bigger than your personal benefit or profit. What is your cause? What is your why?
  3. Stay small, discipline growth. There is a sweet spot of growth, after that moment things get bad. In the nature, packs divide when they reach to a certain size, companies start losing profits and go down when they overgrow. Stay small and integrated. For me it might mean to decide on where I want to focus my efforts and limit the number of areas I am working in.

Karsten Drath’s presentation left me with a lot of food for thought and inspiration. There is this sign people where people pose with “Passion led us here”, I felt that passion for his subjects led him there and made him write all his books. And that passion is infectious. I want to thank you Karsten for infecting me.

I cannot also stop mentioning what he did at the end of his session, which I did not see in anyone else. After our round of feedback to him, he asked “May I give you a feedback?” and then he told us how he felt us as audience and the environment that we created. He gave us feedback and acknowledgement. How nice!

It was a wonderful night! If you are interested in coaching check International Coach Federation meetings. Our Munich chapter meets every second Monday and you can see the events here.

Keep your passion alive! If you can’t find it yet, follow the little sparks and fire them up! Then share it with others. You can spark up other people with your passion, you can make a difference!

About the author 

Isil Uysal Calvelli

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