This post is a humble review of the event I participated in, and my way to share the notes I took live on my notebook.
Thanks to the introduction of Trish Wilson, network catalyst of CICE, I got an invitation from the NextGen Enterprise Summit organisers, which occurred in Paris and remotely via Zoom and Virbela from the 25th to 27th November 2020. I participated. It was quite good and interesting.
“Virbela Events is a customizable virtual world for online events that revolutionizes the way people host and attend events.”
A whole studio was settled for the summit. Impressive. On 25th November, the pre-event focused on highlighting the need for organizations to become learning, resilient, and collaborative organizations. To reinvent themselves and transform like butterflies have done before they become what they are. The transformation is cultural and digital at the end of the pre-event, there were awards organisations the wons on management innovation.
On the next day, the kick-off was refreshing with the video of artists live-streamed on Zoom. The hosts and some speakers were on the ground with masks in Paris, the attendees and other speakers were on Zoom. It looks like hybrid events are the way these days.
A button on Zoom for each talk or interventions from the hosts to hear live interpretation in French or English was made by human translators as the speakers talked. Much appreciated!
Klaxoon was also the tool used by everyone attending to share, gather and add ideas through post-its. Kind of a giant brainstorming for collective intelligence. Which questions or ideas do you have on topics such as the future of work, business design, enterprise network platforms and so on?
Interesting way of doing and learning as the participants were at the same time on Zoom and Virbela. Miro, Jamboard and Mural are the tools I have seen in other remote conferences where the participants whiteboard together, to wire and think visually in real-time together on shared interests. Creating resources and collective thinking FTW!
Between each morning session, there were also some physical exercises to take care of ourselves, especially for the attendees in front of screens. With the Zoom fatigue, it is important to pause and embrace holistic health, especially with fitness on our terms with Darebee. To be whole as heard during the talks.
There was also a dancing crew and a DJ on the ground. Refreshing and inspiring to ignite some creativity and bring energy beyond the wires with movement and music.
Another layer of the interactions between the physical and virtual gateways of the conference was through virtual worlds. One day before the kick-off, the participants were invited to create their own avatar on Virbela with the face, suit and even the expression we want to share when we walk through virtual places of the event.
After the opening of the event, we walked through the virtual world to head towards the auditorium. The intent was to meet and discuss with a small group of other attendees through Virbela as the microphone could be activated while muted on Zoom. Being close to other participants while sitting in a virtual chair or standing in the virtual auditorium did not trigger right away to connect and discuss with other people. I heard other people who were talking on the VR platform as well on Zoom. It was a Babel tower.
Finally, the Zoom session host created breakout rooms automatically to introduce ourselves and discuss with our small group of four attendees around our interest for the Next-Gen Enterprise Summit and questions we had.
As I am interested in the business design/organizational development space, it is clear that distributed work, new ways of operating and learning are music to my ears, from the need of community, wirearchy and hybrid work. All those topics caught my attention in the context of the pandemic.
On 26th November, I participated in the remote workshop on taking change to the next level. As put on the website:
“Next Gen Entreprise: Taking change to the next level
Speakers: Eliana Hohl, Sabrina Bouraoui, Anne-Claire Berg
Description: Imagine you ignore the notifications that your smartphone keeps sending you about updating your mobile’s operating system. It would be a mess, right? The exact same principle applies to your organization. Yet, reality shows that most companies ignore or don’t even see these signals. How come?
While the call for change has grown, the way that change is actually achieved has not. Let’s explore the differences between change and transformation, training & inner development together. Be ready to walk away from this session with a new framework for better understanding and approaching transformational change and its complexity.”
Thanks to Trish Wilson again, I met Sabrina Bouraoui, one of the hosts, through a private conversation over Zoom with the CICE network months ago. So I was curious and excited to join the event. It was useful and great.
The first part of the workshop was here to reflect on how it takes time, practice, efforts and patience to rewrite our physical and cognitive routines. The intent was to be aware of our bias, our automated pilot mode when we want to grow, unlearn to learn. Our learning curve can be a rollercoaster with the wave of confidence at the beginning of our ride, then drop until we reach the deep realm of complex problems, and then finally resurface to thrive.
As heard during this workshop, no pain, no brain gain, feel the burn. Unlearning old practices to learn new ones is tough. One of my takeaways from the workshop is that learning is about sensemaking, connecting the dots and embodiment. What does it take to embrace personal transformation versus to have a constant desire to optimize everything?
Non-linear change takes a combination of doing, listening and co-creating as referenced during this event with Otto Scharmer’s work. How can we deepen our whole person? Experimenting together, co-creating and creating resonance. All combined. At the sweet spot is unpredictability.
A major change and strong emotions can be blockers or enablers for our sustainable development. How do we notice our head, heart and hands? And gut? What hinders us from growing? Well, that was the question we had to discuss in a breakout room of three participants.
I realized that the disciplines I focus on might be my blindspots for any conversation, project or action I take to learn and grow. After the small circles, we were back all together with the participants of the workshop. Few of them were invited to share the thread of their discussion with everyone.
Then came the intervention of Anne-Claire Berg, Danone Culture and Engagement. She said that “cells, teams of teams, make an organization”. People, our planet and health are interconnected.
The question she raised was: what is my (yearly) routine to make the/my system better? Based on her experience and work at Danone, she inspired us with elements we can foster to give voices to people, bring a platform to share knowledge, discuss and shape a business culture and strategy.
The workshop wrapped up with insight from Sabrina Bouraoui.
“Transformation is not about formation.”
Formation is a French word that means training. Going beyond training enables us to dig deep into our emotions, trust, and notice them be the next-gen enterprise. But it has to start with our individual transformation with the work on the head, heart and hand. How do we develop people instead of training them only in the context of the pandemic and beyond? Transformation starts with(in) ourselves.
On day two of the conference, I joined a Zoom session in the morning with Isabelle Kocher, former CEO of Engie Group.
“She spoke about the future of capitalism in Europe, the new forms of governance and this double materiality which characterizes European culture. #thenextgenenterprise” — @bretones
Her take on the morphology and vitality of organizations is interesting.
“Turn your big key into small ones.”
Leaders are the small keys/purposes. It has to start with going outside, at the edges to identify what is happening with your ecosystem. What is missing? What is vital? What is your thinking and doing when you have a purpose-driven by design?
This health, economic and societal crisis brought by the pandemic enables us to be aware of our limits, of reacting. What is happening with the pandemic could happen on a wider scale with the nine planetary boundaries, that the Stockholm Resilience Center researches. Rethinking the way we consume, travel, work and learn in the long term instead of thinking in terms of obsolescence.
I mumble: what do the new work and organization look like in the context of the pandemic and beyond?