La economía del truco

La economía del truco

La economía del truco consiste en hacer propuestas llamativas, sencillas y fácilmente replicables para usar ya sea individualmente, en un grupo o en todo el sistema, sea éste una empresa o toda la sociedad. Un truco es como una receta rápida, una poción mágica o un atajo. Ya no sirve malgastar nuestro tiempo en aprender, ya no compensa hacer esfuerzos, basta con aplicar los trucos aprendidos por otros.

Linkedin es un bazar de la economía del truco, con sus reiterados artículos y replicas de replicas sobre los cinco hábitos del líder eficiente, las siete acciones para tener éxito como emprendedor, los cuatro valores de las organizaciones que triunfan, los cuatro errores de los directivos que fracasan, etc. La prensa digital también incluye numerosos artículos de economía del truco.

En un caso o en otro no son artículos-basura porque se les otorga valor para:

  • Hacer una promoción personal, aún a costa de decir simplezas o de promocionar las simplezas dichas por otros, como tanto sucede en Linkedin. Todo es posible con tal de tener más visibilidad social o, lo que es lo mismo, con tal de retrasar nuestra fecha de caducidad social. Los trucos nos hacen más visibles que otros.
  • Asociar estos artículos-truco a una publicidad de un producto o de un servicio como sucede en la prensa digital. Todo es posible con tal de incrementar el tiempo medio dedicado a una exploración digital, lo que se traduce en mayor exposición a la publicidad.

En ambas formas de promoción, la personal o la del producto, se promocionan actitudes contrarias al esfuerzo e incluso a la complejidad.

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 from Marion Chapsal, the Collaborative Conversations from Ken Homer and the business futures conversation 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

Collaboration as leadership

Collaboration as Leadership

by Ken Homer Collaborative Conversations

The purpose of collaboration as leadership is to re-humanize the workplace. It is each of us learning how to work and play well with other people when we are not necessarily in a position of authority.

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.

In the nearly 40 years since I first read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote above, I have spent considerable time in conversations with vastly different people talking about how to leave the world a bit better. The bold idea that success can be equated with making the world a bit better seems to be widely shared and passionately pursued by an astonishing variety of people. Emerson is generous in his criteria for making the world better: a healthy child, a garden patch, a redeemed social condition, etc. I have tried so often to work on larger scales and in so doing I have overreached and been humbled in my attempts. But still, improving the world at larger levels seems to be called for today. When attempting to work on larger scales I have learned to hold the idea of making the world better as more of a guiding star for my efforts than an actual destination that I can reasonably expect to reach. Being humbled in my grand attempts has led me to believe that if we want to cope with the enormous complexity of the challenges we have created for ourselves, than we need to couple our bold ideas with modest approaches. We need ways of working that are within the reach of ordinary people. Approaches that can be easily to put into practice by anyone anywhere who wishes to help.

The purpose of Collaboration as Leadership is to re-humanize the workplace

Over the past year, I’ve been working with three gifted colleagues: Antonio Linares, Etienne Collignon, and Marion Chapsal on something we’ve been calling Collaborative Leadership – or more recently, Collaboration as Leadership — it’s constantly morphing as we gain more experience with it. The purpose of Collaboration as Leadership is to re-humanize the workplace. We posit that perhaps the most powerful thing we can do as individuals or as groups is to become aware of when we are dehumanizing other people and find ways grant them legitimacy. It’s a bold idea; some might even call it idealistic. However, seeing another human being as a human being is the essence of being human. It takes no special skills. However, it does take courage.

The foundational premise of Collaborative Leadership is that if you give people good tools, appropriate facilitation, and adequate time, they can work together to solve even the most complex challenges. It’s a bold idea that we’ve coupled with a modest approach based on a simple tool called Collaborative Conversations. Collaborative Conversations maps out the four different kinds of conversations required for any group to define a mutually desired future and then plot a course for successfully creating that future.

Conversation is how we create understanding and build relationships. Relationships and understanding are the basis for bringing world-size problems down to human-size abilities.

Collaborative Leadership asserts that if we can learn to master the skills of Collaborative Conversations in handling our daily lives and our routine work, then if we find ourselves called to leave the world a bit better than we found it, we can apply what we’ve learned about small scale collaboration to the larger issues that we’re facing. It begins with the simple yet profound recognition that conversation is how we create understanding and build relationships. Relationships and understanding are the basis for bringing world-size problems down to human-size abilities.

Collaborative Leadership is not a single leader getting others to collaborate. It is each of us learning how to work and play well with other people when we are not necessarily in a position of authority. It is using our personal integrity, reputation, and standing coupled with our commitment to something the whole group is invested in creating, that grants us the influence and the ability to positively affect the outcome of the ventures we are engaged with. Collaborative Leadership is what is called for in times of great complexity and uncertainty. It asks us to step up when we have something useful to contribute and to step back and support others when we recognize that they have a piece of the puzzle that we lack. It also requires us to soak in the often uncomfortable energy of “not knowing” long enough for us to generate viable pathways forward.

Collaboration as leadership recognizes that it is up to us to pull together and find our way through the very personal challenges in our lives and work by creating relationships where we listen to understand, rather than to argue, agree or persuade. Where we invite in and honor the voices that have traditionally been marginalized: women, people of color, the very old, the very young, the poor, those who are not eloquent, those who do not think quickly, but who need time to process, those who ask difficult questions, those who dissent from the status quo.

Collaboration as Leadership invites in and honors the voices that have traditionally been marginalized: women, people of color, the very old, the very young, the poor, those who are not eloquent, those who do not think quickly, but who need time to process, those who ask difficult questions, those who dissent from the status quo.

Collaboration as Leadership flourishes in communities of practice where it is accepted as a given that conversations are how we:

  • Build meaningful relationships with each other (humanize)
  • Explore what is possible together (include)
  • Coordinate our efforts in any endeavor (collaborate)
  • Learn how to improve (build our competence)

Collaboration as Leadership recognizes that perfection is not only unattainable, it also encourages rigidity rather than flow and resilience. It seeks instead to broaden our range of options by playing with the boundaries of our thinking instead of inside of them. It recognizes that people are social, that we all have bodies, and our bodies react according to the emotions that are evoked when we come together. It is undeniable, yet rarely taken into account, that while we are not all subject to the same range of thinking, we are all subject to the same range of emotions, and it is our emotions that bring us together in harmony or split us apart in polarity. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to learn how to foster the emotions that increase our intelligence when we come together in groups, so that we can make better decisions. Such awareness is not something that can be accomplished by thinking. It requires us to attend to the signals our bodies are sending us. Collaborative Leadership is an embodied experience not a conceptual exercise.

It is incumbent upon us to learn how to foster the emotions that increase our intelligence when we come together in groups, so that we can make better decisions.

Collaborative Leadership eschews the judgments of right and wrong, substituting instead the inquiry of, “Are we making things better or are we making them worse?” And it follows that question with: “What are we learning together, and how do we adapt our actions based on what we are learning in order to leave the world a little bit better for our having lived?”

We invite you to come and join us in exploring how to apply and embody Collaboration as Leadership. We have two workshops coming up in Europe in May 2017.

Click below for more information.

May 18 and 19 in Madrid Spain

May 29 in Paris France

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: .


  • 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,  (
  • 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

Systemic Diagnosis

Systemic diagnosis

In my newly issued book, El Liderazgo Colaborativo, I introduce four interdependent systemic approaches to carry out diagnosis and five system containers to facilitate organizational learning and collaboration.

Systemic diagnosis assumptions

Classical diagnosis approaches set that “causes” precede “symptoms”; therefore, they have  different status. Causes are usually part of “evidence”, while symptoms are usually part of “interpretation” of the evidence according to a model; interpretation is a kind of explanation.

Systemic diagnosis sets four assumptions:

  • The first assumption sets that system adaptation is an ongoing opening up and learning process happening at individual, teams and large system levels. This process is strongly connected to a closing up process happening at the same three levels.
  • The second one sets that learning (opening up) and resistance (closing up) to learn and adapt go together, also at the three levels. Both are system active processes: although people may feel not so satisfied/happy with current business culture, they are more resistant to losing this reference than to co-create a new business vision that increases their future utility. Systems culture is antagonistic to systems vision.
  • The third assumption sets that individual and team learning should happen within a number of system containers or platforms that set collective direction and subsequently provide shared purpose or shared meaning to them. Aligning people to brand values, as a business container, doesn’t mean building an obliged hierarchy but a commited network.
  • The fourth one sets that any emergent agent should pay attention to learning and to resistances at the same time. This dual or ambivalent focus falls under the adaptive complexity, a sort of empirical term many use without a clear understanding about the meaning.

Many system leaders end up by adopting linear approaches, very disruptive for people and teams.