Learnings from Business Future Conversations

Learnings from Business Future Conversations

“Our business strategy was perfect…we have just failed at implementation”.

“We know exactly what needs to be done in this market….but for whatever reason we do not do it”.

“People are not aligned…we need to better communicate our strategy”.

I would like to share two complementary executive development paradigms I´ve been exploring for years with clients when working on business future conversations or business strategy conversations, but also when helping them in executive and/or team development. They are based on alternative beliefs I summarize here below.

Strategy generation and executive development get different status

Executive development should be deployed just after the business strategy is generated and to support the strategy execution. The underlying belief here is that business strategy is usually generated under the “most perfect individual and team conditions” (i.e.: executive team cohesion, good emotions, presence, listening, deep inquiring, commitment, no fight for power at senior level). There is little room for learning under this alternative: strategy generation and executive development get different status, business strategy subordinates executive learning.

Executive development and business strategy should be part of the same generative process

They become allies. This second alternative is supported by two underlying beliefs:

  1. The quality of business strategy generation is interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process, which is strongly linked to executives ability to connect mind, heart and will. In other words, the quality of the output generated (business strategy plan) is strongly interdependent with the quality of individual outcomes (perceived benefits), which again are strongly interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process (presence, listening, exploration, etc.);
  2. The quality of business strategy execution is strongly interdependent with the alignment achieved between the self, the team and the business at strategy generation. There is room for learning here, whether this refers to the self (mind, heart and will), the team or the large system.

What traditional business strategy consultants usually do

While they often talk about complexity, traditional business strategy consultants usually follow the first alternative here above. They are still assessing the single-perfect leader (“God”) as if they were in a simple and predicted ecosystem. Complexity becomes here a “posture”, as French’s say (in Spain, we call this attitude “postureo”). Business strategy consultant’s still assessing organizations under masculine-patriarchal patterns while presenting complexity as a bad mother (feminine-matriarchal) either poisoning her Children with too much uncertainty or hurting their self-esteem by repeating they are not skillful enough to understand complexity.

What organizational learning consultants would actually do

Organizational learning consultants believe the second alternative here above is most appropriate in current times. More precisely we adopt collaborative approaches with the purpose to give birth to triplets:

  1. A committed individual executive, acting as container for subordinates. This is a necessary condition to become an inspiring leader.
  2. An executive team containing individual members and sharing a common vision. This is a necessary condition to become a high performing team.
  3. A business strategy container. This is a necessary condition for promoting people alignment to business strategy.

Aligning the three systemic circles

The three previous complementary containers represent feminine-matriarchal archetypes. We also follow masculine-patriarchal archetypes in the way we articulate the co-creation process (i.e. collaborative conversations) and in our commitment to produce results.

When aligning the threre circles, we see strong connection between thelearningperson from Etienne Collignon, the gender archetypes research https://geronimocoaching.me from Marion Chapsal, the Collaborative Conversations from Ken Homer and the business futures conversation www.elsentidocompartido.com from myself. We are teaming for giving birth to a joint Collaborative Leadership or Collaboration as Leadership process to align self, team and large system.

Collaboration as Leadership

For further learning, please join us at the Collaborative Leadership Workshop


2017 GASC European Conference

2017 GASC European Conference

As current Chairman for the Global Association of SOL Communities (GASC), I´m very proud to share with you the program for the 2017 GASC European Conference.

The empowered society: Transforming cities, citizens and organizations for resilience and prosperity.

Participation is free, registration is compulsory: https://www.weezevent.com/2017-gasc-european-conference .


  • May 25: Porto, Sala de Atos do Politécnico do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 712.
  • May 26: Braga, Campo da Vinha, Praça Conde do Agrolongo 123,  (www.gnration.pt).
  • May 27: Porto, Politécnico do Porto, Praça do Marquês, 94.


  • May 25: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
  • May 26: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
  • May 27: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.


Developing effective collaboration, activating people, connecting people, inspiring change makers, women gaining equity, collaborative innovation, collaboration instruments/methodologies, collaborative citizens, emotional intelligence, context for a collaboration to emerge, sense of pride, leaving no one behind, leaving a legacy, touch the soul, inspiring collaboration by examples, dreams and visions.

Conference questions

What conversations shall we have in Portugal to move beyond “desenrascar”? What would it take for Portugal to lead the way in Europe? What would it take to improve business collaboration? What would it take for Portugal to lead the way again in the world? What would it look like if Portugal were to become a world leader in collaboration? What would it look like for women to launch their own business? What would it look like Portugal XXI century sailors and for what “descobrimentos”? What would it look like for people in Portugal to adopt a positive mindset about risk and entrepreneurship? What would it look like for Portugal to be a place where bright young people can make their way in the world and feel both challenged and fulfilled while improving the employment situation? What this country strategic direction should look like for collaboration to become a competitive trend? What would it take to raise women’s self-esteem and changing social expectations?

Conference drivers

The conference is organized around eight drivers grouped into three clusters:


  1. Smart citizenship: enabling change in each citizen.
  2. The aware citizen: shifting our relationship from ego to eco.
  3. Happy healthy cities: core competences and supporting players.
  4. Smart cities: for residents and/or users?


  1. Developing organizational behavior towards social progres.
  2. Enabling people and organizations for change: Providing instruments and tools for a successful set of processes.


  1. From ideas to projects, from projects to businesses.
  2. Economy and success, leaving no-one behind.

SOL communities facilitators

  • Annika Bergenheim, Sweden.
  • Camila Amaya Castro, France.
  • Paulo Ferreira do Amaral, Portugal.
  • Sofia Rodrigues, Portugal.
  • Martijn Meima, The Netherlands.
  • Natalia Blagoeva, Bulgaria- Switzerland.
  • Alexandre de Azevedo Campos, Portugal.
  • Ken Homer, US.
  • Marion Chapsal, France.
  • Konstantin Yordanov, Bulgaria.
  • Esther Liska, Portugal.
  • Simeon Ries, Germany.
  • Heidi Sparkes-Guber, US.
  • Antonio Linares-Güemes, Spain.
  • Ágota Eva Ruzsa, Hungary.

Conference steps

Step Purpose
1. Sharing understanding conversation (plenary). Generating inclusion, setting the individual intention for the conference, expected outputs and outcomes.
2. Exploring opportunities conversation (plenary and parallel combined). Letting go…of what doesn’t serve us anymore to make room for what inspires us.

Activities/habits we should stop doing.

Co-creation process, new ideas, new ways, new opportunities, new possibilities.
Good initiatives in the region and elsewhere.
3. Converging conversation (plenary and parallel combined). Letting come, connecting the drivers into a systemic framework, passion to move ahead.
4. Action conversation (plenary and parallel combined). What can I integrate in my life, what methodologies can help me, what are my commitments to move forward, what is my new intention to move forward.
5. Learning conversation (plenary, morning of 27). Learning conversation with participants and SOL communities’ members. Also conference debriefing.


GASC is a not-for-profit, global membership society, whose members are SoL communities, dedicated to the SoL principles and the SoL brand. The purpose of Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) is to discover, integrate and implement theories and practices for the interdependent development of people and their institutions.

Facebook: @GASC2017

Liderazgo Colaborativo

Liderazgo Colaborativo

Desde el liderazgo colaborativo integramos cuidadosamente los tres planos sistémicos: el individuo, el equipo y la empresa.

Contra las propuestas de pócimas

Siete principios, cinco recetas, tres consejos… las redes sociales popularizan las propuestas de pócimas para dar con la clave del éxito, tal agua milagrosa. Apenas ha tomado uno la pócima que ya deberá sentirse transformado. Apenas ojeadas las recetas que ya deberíamos saltar a las conclusiones.

El Sistema 1 de DK

El especialista en gestión de expectativas, predicciones y decisiones, y premio Nobel de Economía, Daniel Kahneman (DK), en su libro Pensar Rápido, Pensar Despacio, dice que esta forma rápida de pensar, proponer y saltar a las decisiones es propia del Sistema 1 cerebral, el cual es muy dependiente del contexto inmediato y pretende saltar directamente a la respuesta (o a la conclusión) con la poca evidencia de que disponible, sin esforzarse mucho y menos aún sin procesos sofisticados de interacción con otras personas, evitando así la complejidad adaptativa.

El Sistema 1 de DK seduce a numerosos Directivos que quieren una “copia y pega” de la fórmula de la poción mágica, evitando así el esfuerzo de pensar, el tiempo de escuchar y aprender, y la incertidumbre por lograr el resultado esperado. Esta forma perezosa de pensar es el origen de muchos sesgos y errores en la gestión de expectativas, las predicciones, y la toma de decisiones, incluyendo evidentemente en gente con mucho poder y responsabilidad.

Nuestra época valora el Sistema 1: no damos respuesta a las preguntas que se nos hacen sino a otras más sencillas que nos inventamos nosotros, no escuchamos la propuesta del otro porque ya tenemos nuestra propia respuesta, no exploramos el problema sino que directamente proponemos la solución.

Dice DK que “los que saben más predicen ligeramente mejor que los que saben menos. Pero los que saben más son menos de fiar”, ya que por un lado se pasan de listos y por otro lado se pasan de confiados. La ilusión de aptitud y el exceso de confianza están al origen de las resistencias que muestran muchos Directivos para proponer y participar en procesos de liderazgo colaborativo en los equipos de sus empresas.

El papel de la suerte

Otro golpe que DK asesta al ego de ese Directivo “que sabe y se muestra confiado” sucede cuando DK afirma que “las historias de éxitos y fracasos exageran sistemáticamente la repercusión del estilo en la dirección y las prácticas de gestión en los resultados empresariales”, la razón que da es que son historias construidas de manera retrospectiva, es decir, una vez conocido el éxito o el fracaso, y por lo tanto una vez reelaborada la creencia para ajustarla al resultado observado. Tanto en el éxito como en el fracaso la suerte (el azar) juega un papel bastante más relevante de lo que creen muchos Directivos. Hay fracasos estrepitosos acaecidos desde decisiones buenas, y hay éxitos renombrados aunque la decisiones fueron pésimas.

Siguiendo el planteamiento de DK, el liderazgo colaborativo pretende hacer trabajar al Sistema 2. El esquema refleja los tres planos a trabajar.

Profesionales de la resistencia

Profesionales de la resistencia

¿Qué tal si nos etiquetamos como profesionales de la resistencia en lugar de como profesionales de una función determinada, del desarrollo directivo, el cambio o la transformación de la empresa?

La resistencia es inherente a la naturaleza humana, aparece disfrazada en forma de actitudes, creencias y comportamientos de lo más variopintos. Basta con que un directivo o un equipo se fijen un propósito para inmediatamente después desplegar su resistencia que anula ese propósito. Basta con que una empresa reclute a un directivo para llevar a cabo una misión de transformación, para inmediatamente después meterle palos en las ruedas que frenen esa misión encomendada. No me voy a distraer un renglón sobre si la resistencia es o no consciente, simplemente “es” inherente a los sistemas humanos.

Observar la resistencia

Observar la resistencia y hacer propuestas – al individuo o al grupo- para ablandarla requiere de maestría y cierta cintura. La diferencia entre quien lo hace desde dentro (el directivo) y quien lo hace desde fuera (el consultor) es significativa:

  • el directivo solo suele reconocer que “ha sido reclutado para…”, y a priori no se espera a que le despidan fruto precisamente de no saber lidiar con la(s) resistencia(s) del sistema.
  • el consultor suele (debe) reconocer que “su misión última es marcharse”, es decir, no viene para incrustarse en el sistema humano.

La condición para el fraude

El primero es seducido (supuestamente) para venir a ejecutar una misión que se fantasea como larga y compleja.

El segundo es contratado (supuestamente) para irse al final de la misión finita para la que fue contratado.

El fraude sucede cuando ambos tratar de erigirse como héroes-salvadores imprescindibles, lo que les hace dependientes de la empresa a la que vienen a ayudar y entonces no sirven como agentes emergentes.

Communities in Collaborative Leadership

Communities in Collaborative Leadership


If client experience is part of your brand promise, then learning communities might be relevant collaborative leadership containers to deliver your brand promise to clients. Both client experience and brand promise are strongly connected to improve people agency. What questions shall we address to inter-connect these three circles? (see above).

How do we incorporate clients voice internally? What collaborative technology shall we use to improve people agility and agency? What client-centered conversations are relevant? Do people need to learn collaborative leadership approaches in order to align individual skills and collective capabilities to brand promise? How do we balance between thinking, talking and doing? What transformation should happen at power organizational pillar in order to improve people agency? As organization, can we live in a sort of free-style liberated mode? How could we use the 6PM to set an organizational container?

Collaborative leadership, the main focus of our workshop taking place in Paris November 8 and 9, 2016. For more information or to register visit: https://www.weezevent.com/collaborative-leadership