29As coach and facilitator in organizational transformation and development of leaders, teams and individuals for over 25 years, I wanted to meet the Pyxis team with a colleague of mine. We had a question: “Is it possible to structure and run an organization in a more organic, more flexible, more humane way and to find meaning, coherence, desire and time to innovate joyfully?”
For as long as I can remember, as facilitator and coach, I kindly bothered people to bring their intentions to life and help them better respond to complexities and responsibilities by alleviating suffering and apparent contradictions between thought, feeling, speech and actions in organizations. In recent years, challenging our management models has become necessary. Some organizations are questioning them; others persist in a form of amnesia, despite the shortness of breath, loss of meaning and distorted vision. Some organizations have opened up to the unknown to do otherwise, one step at a time. As I often say, “Slow down to get better faster…”
Structure – Culture and Governance
Pyxis, a non-traditional model
Testimonials and distinctions between traditional and emerging models
We came back inspired by our meeting with Pyxis employees and partners. It confirmed that it is possible to live the adventure of freedom, Agility and self-governance in our organizations; an opening to unlimited potential for the organization, the people who contribute, those who benefit and the world around them.
These lines are certainly not a thesis supported by measurable and quantifiable metrics. However, they testify to a great capacity of presence, listening, authenticity, fluidity and creativity. And these are the ingredients organizations need to reclaim performance, coherence and joy.
Well, we have highlighted features that are rare in today’s organizations. It seemed appropriate to share them.
Invite versus Convoke: At Pyxis, they invite, they do not summon. Thus, an organization that has transformed its processes, structures, and practices around a community, invites its entire people to meet. The people choose if they will be there or not. There is no hierarchical structure assuming because of a title that one person or another is more important and thus, deserves to be summoned to a meeting. They are in a participatory approach. What would meetings and employee collaboration look like in an organization that dares to invite without assumptions or expectations of participation?
Meetings, conversations and dialogue versus agendas and formal processes with limited time: At Pyxis, we experienced a meeting in the form of a conversation. They invite, we accept and we are in the moment. Egos quiet down, listening and awareness prevail. Dialogue helps to find creative solutions and to meet the relational needs in our organizations; and it increases the level of awareness and learning. Imagine that organizations create a little more dialogue and fewer meetings, to allow thought to express itself rather than to argue and debate points of view.
Form or essence? Here is a beautiful contradiction that we can observe in our organizations: The essence is the spirit in which we act with the presence of who we are. The form is the framework that we pose or impose; often too rigid it prevents creativity and innovation which we are thirsty for. The experience of meeting with the Pyxis community is letting the form drop and the essence emerge. The form is deformed and gives way to exchanges and a wealth of collective intelligence. Experience is greater than the form we impose in traditional ways of making oneself interesting in a contradictory ways (rigid agendas, limited time, debates, arguments, etc.)
When it takes shape, the essence is an invitation to what gets our attention, what seems appropriate to us right now when a subject catches everyone’s attention. Judgments are suspended, curiosity is present, questions are powerful and attentive listening of what is being said opens unexpected paths.
The much sought-after trust of the teams… At Pyxis, we understood something: trust is not to be built, especially when time and performativity indispose us in creating contexts necessary for relationships in organizations. Trust is something to give and not to ask. To give trust, one needs to really let go of restrictive models of control. Letting go is the way to let it come. Pyxis succeeds in the practice of letting go and the opening of letting in…
We could continue our reflection on the experience of meeting with Pyxis. But these few ingredients are in our opinion quite sufficient to leave room for reflection for the future or rather the “becoming” and I would say, the mandatory passage of our organizations that invite us as organizational Coach to accompany them in this journey of transformation rather than a journey of change or transition. Transformation is changing something for the better; it is embracing responsiveness and better responding to what comes up; it is to awaken in order to recognize what is holding us back and explore its deeper meaning. It is to develop our capacity of presence, in spite of the agitation.
There is no doubt that transformation of a management model passes through the transformation of consciousness development. Is it possible to transcend a state of mind? The answer is yes. Coaches are at the heart of their personal transformation and have the ability to work with tensions and contradictions. This form of benevolent accompaniment supports the transformation of individual and collective consciousness levels. Is this not the foundation for ensuring the success of teams, organizations and the world around us? A very interesting subject for further reflection…
Many thanks to the Pyxis team.