EODF Conference 2022: real-life agility and a crucial shift of worldviews

April 26, 2024
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3 min read
People sit in circle and a woman walking in the center, facilitating a team work.

This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 12 and is part of the How we work section.

If you would like to receive updates on this and other topics related to the evolution of the world of work, subscribe to our newsletter here: https://cocoon-pro.com/#subscribe

If you want to know more, or engage your organization with this approach, please get in touch, here: https://cocoon-pro.com/get-in-touch/


Whoever is running a company or working in an organisation today has first-hand experience of how reality can be complex and unpredictable. You don’t need to explain it. Yet, the most common reaction to this widespread uncertainty is the hope to quick-fix what the company is perceiving as challenging so that it could become stable and predictable again.

Most often than not, it’s a deceiving move. In fact, since the world-wide level of complexity has radically changed, that approach misses the more profound realization that the old paradigm of organising work is also crumbling itself. Success in this new era rarely emerges from fixing, it better comes from an harmonic coordination of operational, strategic and structural agility, implying a deep evolution of our worldviews, and the consequent adaptation of tools and competences.

That’s what being agile meant when it was first conceived, long before the agile manifesto was born. That’s what is needed today at a societal level if we want not only our organisations but also future generations on earth to thrive.

The appreciation of the importance of this shift has deeply informed our contribution to this year’s European Organisation Design Forum Conference in Bilbao. As co-organisers, we wanted to open a space for exploring, together with the EODF community, what effective agility at work really means today, beyond dogmas and misunderstandings on how agile “should” be.

The emblematic presence of the Mondragon Corporation at the conference gave us a living example of this. A constellation of worker-led ventures, and one of the world’s most long-lived and largest co-operatives ecosystems in the world, Mondragon’s story represents an example of how a shift in worldview can also foster the sprouting of different ways of organising, that can incredibly nurture thriving conditions for business and society at large.

The signs of new structures and new ways of doing are already present. And they prove to be functioning, sustainably and successfully. Around the world there are many examples of what can happen when human ingenuity meets a deep sensitivity for the intricate connective tissue that binds people, communities and organisations together. This is an alchemy that can give life to forms of organising that know how to transmute what in the old world were conflicting goals — short-term outcomes and long-term intergenerational wealth or common good and profit — into competitive advantages and vital complementarities.

And you, what are you looking for? If you also deeply feel the time has come to walk this path, please reach out!


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 12 and is part of the How we work section.

If you would like to receive updates on this and other topics related to the evolution of the world of work, subscribe to our newsletter here: https://cocoon-pro.com/#subscribe

If you want to know more, or engage your organization with this approach, please get in touch, here: https://cocoon-pro.com/get-in-touch/

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