Developing

organizations

for the future.

The rate of change today is exponential. Those who quickly adapt leadership and ways of working will lead the way and shape the future. Human Stories prepare organizations for the emerging Information Age.

The rules of the game have already changed.

We are in the midst of the fourth information revolution. Technological innovation, new business models and changing values in society are driving a high rate of change. The rules of the game for how we live our lives, organize ourselves and create value are being rewritten.

Technological progress is on a fundamental level changing how people, organizations and societies understand and navigate the world. This creates an unpredictable and increasingly complex environment where new innovations can overturn whole playing fields. Five-year plans and top down management were more effective in a, relatively speaking, predictable Industrial Age.

Today, we need updated models for how we make decisions, organize and lead our businesses based on the most human of capabilities—collaboration. Otherwise we risk being outcompeted by those who are quicker to adapt.

Five year plans and top down management is already history.

The current wave of industrial society is being replaced by a new wave that we do not yet know what it looks like. We are in a transition that creates both challenges and new opportunities for leaders and organizations. We can observe several effects of this transition:

The world is becoming increasingly VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Markets are becoming disrupted much faster and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict the future and act effectively.

An ongoing motivation crisis where only 13 percent of the workforce are engaged at work. Intrinsic motivation and innovation doesn’t thrive in an environment with external goals, reward systems and management bottlenecks.

Values and attitudes in mostly developed countries, larger cities, highly educated and the younger generation are quickly changing—placing higher demand for personal development, autonomy, community, sense of meaning and purpose-driven business than only a generation ago.

We need to rethink and challenge old truths. When we reexamine less effective models like five year plans and classic top down management, we free up resources to become more agile and flexible in creating long-term value and impact. We achieve this by tapping into and utilizing a higher degree of collective intelligence through smart organizational design.

( i. forbes.com   ii. gallup.com   iii. hbr.org   iv. worldvaluessurvey.org   v. mckinsey.com )

Collective intelligence is the new game.

The Information Age operates based on different values and ways of collaboration. The company of the future puts humans in the center and actively develop both internal and external values, individually and collectively. Organizations adapting to this reality are the new winners.

Human Stories has years of experience in transformational change work and idea generation. Through training and programs based on co-creation with management, CEO, employees and internal change leaders, the organization is updated to new ways of working that increases innovation, value creation and adaptability on a constantly changing market.

Self Leadership

In a rapidly changing environment requiring agility and quick decisions, everyone is invited to be a leader. A crucial step in a successful transformation involves employees with a high degree of self-awareness including the ability to build trust, courageously challenge old ideas and ways of working and take responsibility for the whole. When the organization is run by more leaders, we create the right conditions for learning and innovation.

Culture and Values

An engaging organizational culture builds on agreements between employees regarding common values ​​and the long-term direction. A high degree of mutual trust in interpersonal relationships and shared responsibility facilitates an authentic and intrinsic motivation to contribute where needs and passion intersect.

Supporting Structures

Self leadership and a values-based culture require effective structures and processes that support employees and teams to collaborate towards the desired direction. Traditional management principles based on control and predictability and top down decision-making is challenged. Instead we update the organization to facilitate joint responsibility, learning and collective decision-making.

Transforming Everyday Work

Creation of value is directly dependent on the everyday ability to make decisions and learn from them. The magic happens where leadership, culture and supporting structures in daily operations are integrated. An organization with a responsible leadership, high degree of interpersonal trust and collaborative way of working is better equipped to quickly adapt and navigate complexities in the world.

Variety and adaptation are keys to successful transformation.

Using an integrative approach, we work with the development of many layers of both the individual and the organization. Some examples of actionable activities include:

Yearly or monthly transformational programs aimed towards increased collaboration

Stand-alone courses in self-leadership, culture, deliberately developmental organizations and self-organization in practice

Adaptation of internal structures and processes to align with desired philosophy and change—e.g. performance reviews or meeting structure

Talks on the state of the world and the need for radically new leadership and organizational models

Executive, leadership and employer training and coaching

”An absolutely magical offsite. Everyone is on fire at the office now.”

It’s not either business or humans—it’s both. When there is alignment between people and purpose, development and growth follows naturally.

For many years, leadership, team and organizational development has been about training managers and employees through extensive programs. Learnings are often difficult to bring back and integrate in the work context, leading to frustration and missed opportunities.

Recent research suggest instead that we should do the exact opposite—train everyone to become better versions of themselves where it really matters—in everyday work, with their colleagues. Years of experience and best practice confirm this research.

  •  
    Client situation

    An impact tech company focusing on scaling personal development. The organization is growing at a fast rate and struggle with coherence, trust and collaboration in and between teams and coworkers.

    Solution

    Adoption of a deliberately developmental framework

    Introduction of processes that facilitate responsibility taking in own role and for the whole organization. Team building offsite with focus on human growth, authentic meetings, feedback culture and personal development goals.

    Integration of values and culture

    All coworkers participated in the creation of organizational principles. Introduction of processes that facilitate growth of self-authorship through personal values and their integration with culture in daily work.

    Results

    Quoting Erik Fernholm, founder and CEO:

    ”Through my years in the field of research-based leadership and team development, I have never seen such skilled and deeply adaptable facilitation. Period. And I’ve worked with the best and biggest names in the market. What you have contributed to the team has taken our game to another level. More honesty. More results. Better communication. More brutal conversations. More courage. More love. More listening. Deeply grateful. Hands down: World Class.”

  •  
    Client situation

    A digital communication agency with offices in Stockholm and London. The organization needs to adapt to and lead in a quickly evolving market, alongside retaining and developing high-performing employees.

    Solution

    Removing management and becoming self-organizing

    Step 1: Prototyping and learning with selected teams. Step 2: Scaling through training of former management team and all employees in self-leadership, values-based culture and self-organizing principles.

    Mapping roles and training internal change leaders

    Mapped and defined current and new roles in the organization. Training of internal cross-functional team to assume responsibility for continuous change leadership after the project.

    Results
    • Two-year transformation journey
    • Senior management disassembled
    • Changing and merging of teams and business units
    • All employees now have their own personal developmental coach on-site
    • Salary and performance review adjusted towards self-leadership
  •  
    Client situation

    A private primary school in Sweden seeking better alignment between the school’s strategic direction and expectations from staff, parents and students. The school has a quiescent framework of organizational values not yet fully utilized and integrated in leadership, processes and interactions with parents and students.

    Solution

    Making sense of values

    Staff, parents and students age 13-16 invited to participate in a series of workshops aimed towards collective sensemaking of the school’s values. Increased personal awareness of values-based self-leadership alongside seeking agreement of behaviors that are in line with the desired culture.

    Facilitator training for senior teachers

    Training senior teachers in team development facilitation. Strengthened skills for listening and leading in complexity Practical training and continuous learning teams within group, in order to integrate knowledge into everyday work.

    Results
    • Alignment of values with the strategic direction
    • Increased shared understanding between all groups
    • Increased engagement for the school’s mission in all groups
    • Clearly defined behaviors in line with desired culture
    • List with concrete projects to be manifested as next steps
    • Updated dialogue process between the school and parents

Human Stories develop organizations for the future.

Human Stories is an active change agent with the intention to update organizations, businesses and leaders to a new way of thinking and acting that is better adapted to a rapidly changing world.

Change and growth is both painful and rewarding. An important factor in all change processes requires a balance between clarity of direction and responsiveness to whichever needs that arise. Collaboration and the power of networks is deeply embedded in our DNA. Hence, we are a network of experienced change leaders with a broad and deep variety of competencies that can bring in the required skills for each unique assignment. In this way, we meet and navigate the complexity of various challenges that may and will arise during the transformation journey.

Collaboration and a win-win mindset is a winning strategy. The advice process is a simple and effective way to increase the level of collective intelligence in the organization. Check out this white paper—a simplified version of best practices used by many agile and self-managing organizations all over the world. It can be adapted to any organization.

Developing organizations for the future.

The rate of change today is exponential. Those who quickly adapt leadership and ways of working will lead the way and shape the future. Human Stories prepare organizations for the emerging Information Age.

The rules of the game have already changed.

We are in the midst of the fourth information revolution. Technological innovation, new business models and changing values in society are driving a high rate of change. The rules of the game for how we live our lives, organize ourselves and create value are being rewritten.

Technological progress is on a fundamental level changing how people, organizations and societies understand and navigate the world. This creates an unpredictable and increasingly complex environment where new innovations can overturn whole playing fields. Five-year plans and top down management were more effective in a, relatively speaking, predictable Industrial Age.

Today, we need updated models for how we make decisions, organize and lead our businesses based on the most human of capabilities—collaboration. Otherwise we risk being outcompeted by those who are quicker to adapt.

Five year plans and top down management is already history.

The current wave of industrial society is being replaced by a new wave that we do not yet know what it looks like. We are in a transition that creates both challenges and new opportunities for leaders and organizations. We can observe several effects of this transition:

The world is becoming increasingly VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Markets are becoming disrupted much faster and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict the future and act effectively.

An ongoing motivation crisis where only 13 percent of the workforce are engaged at work. Intrinsic motivation and innovation doesn’t thrive in an environment with external goals, reward systems and management bottlenecks.

Values and attitudes in mostly developed countries, larger cities, highly educated and the younger generation are quickly changing—placing higher demand for personal development, autonomy, community, sense of meaning and purpose-driven business than only a generation ago.

We need to rethink and challenge old truths. When we reexamine less effective models like five year plans and classic top down management, we free up resources to become more agile and flexible in creating long-term value and impact. We achieve this by tapping into and utilizing a higher degree of collective intelligence through smart organizational design.

( i. forbes.com   ii. gallup.com   iii. hbr.org   iv. worldvaluessurvey.org   v. mckinsey.com )

Collective intelligence is the new game.

The Information Age operates based on different values and ways of collaboration. The company of the future puts humans in the center and actively develop both internal and external values, individually and collectively. Organizations adapting to this reality are the new winners.

Human Stories has years of experience in transformational change work and idea generation. Through training and programs based on co-creation with management, CEO, employees and internal change leaders, the organization is updated to new ways of working that increases innovation, value creation and adaptability on a constantly changing market.

Self Leadership

In a rapidly changing environment requiring agility and quick decisions, everyone is invited to be a leader. A crucial step in a successful transformation involves employees with a high degree of self-awareness including the ability to build trust, courageously challenge old ideas and ways of working and take responsibility for the whole. When the organization is run by more leaders, we create the right conditions for learning and innovation.

Culture and Values

An engaging organizational culture builds on agreements between employees regarding common values ​​and the long-term direction. A high degree of mutual trust in interpersonal relationships and shared responsibility facilitates an authentic and intrinsic motivation to contribute where needs and passion intersect.

Supporting Structures

Self leadership and a values-based culture require effective structures and processes that support employees and teams to collaborate towards the desired direction. Traditional management principles based on control and predictability and top down decision-making is challenged. Instead we update the organization to facilitate joint responsibility, learning and collective decision-making.

Transforming Everyday Work

Creation of value is directly dependent on the everyday ability to make decisions and learn from them. The magic happens where leadership, culture and supporting structures in daily operations are integrated. An organization with a responsible leadership, high degree of interpersonal trust and collaborative way of working is better equipped to quickly adapt and navigate complexities in the world.

Variety and adaptation are keys to successful transformation.

Using an integrative approach, we work with the development of many layers of both the individual and the organization. Some examples of actionable activities include:

Yearly or monthly transformational programs aimed towards increased collaboration

Stand-alone courses in self-leadership, culture, deliberately developmental organizations and self-organization in practice

Adaptation of internal structures and processes to align with desired philosophy and change—e.g. performance reviews or meeting structure

Talks on the state of the world and the need for radically new leadership and organizational models

Executive, leadership and employer training and coaching

”An absolutely magical offsite. Everyone is on fire at the office now.”

It’s not either business or humans—it’s both. When there is alignment between people and purpose, development and growth follows naturally.

For many years, leadership, team and organizational development has been about training managers and employees through extensive programs. Learnings are often difficult to bring back and integrate in the work context, leading to frustration and missed opportunities.

Recent research suggest instead that we should do the exact opposite—train everyone to become better versions of themselves where it really matters—in everyday work, with their colleagues. Years of experience and best practice confirm this research.

  •  
    Client situation

    An impact tech company focusing on scaling personal development. The organization is growing at a fast rate and struggle with coherence, trust and collaboration in and between teams and coworkers.

    Solution

    Adoption of a deliberately developmental framework

    Introduction of processes that facilitate responsibility taking in own role and for the whole organization. Team building offsite with focus on human growth, authentic meetings, feedback culture and personal development goals.

    Integration of values and culture

    All coworkers participated in the creation of organizational principles. Introduction of processes that facilitate growth of self-authorship through personal values and their integration with culture in daily work.

    Results

    Quoting Erik Fernholm, founder and CEO:

    ”Through my years in the field of research-based leadership and team development, I have never seen such skilled and deeply adaptable facilitation. Period. And I’ve worked with the best and biggest names in the market. What you have contributed to the team has taken our game to another level. More honesty. More results. Better communication. More brutal conversations. More courage. More love. More listening. Deeply grateful. Hands down: World Class.”

  •  
    Client situation

    A digital communication agency with offices in Stockholm and London. The organization needs to adapt to and lead in a quickly evolving market, alongside retaining and developing high-performing employees.

    Solution

    Removing management and becoming self-organizing

    Step 1: Prototyping and learning with selected teams. Step 2: Scaling through training of former management team and all employees in self-leadership, values-based culture and self-organizing principles.

    Mapping roles and training internal change leaders

    Mapped and defined current and new roles in the organization. Training of internal cross-functional team to assume responsibility for continuous change leadership after the project.

    Results
    • Two-year transformation journey
    • Senior management disassembled
    • Changing and merging of teams and business units
    • All employees now have their own personal developmental coach on-site
    • Salary and performance review adjusted towards self-leadership
  •  
    Client situation

    A private primary school in Sweden seeking better alignment between the school’s strategic direction and expectations from staff, parents and students. The school has a quiescent framework of organizational values not yet fully utilized and integrated in leadership, processes and interactions with parents and students.

    Solution

    Making sense of values

    Staff, parents and students age 13-16 invited to participate in a series of workshops aimed towards collective sensemaking of the school’s values. Increased personal awareness of values-based self-leadership alongside seeking agreement of behaviors that are in line with the desired culture.

    Facilitator training for senior teachers

    Training senior teachers in team development facilitation. Strengthened skills for listening and leading in complexity Practical training and continuous learning teams within group, in order to integrate knowledge into everyday work.

    Results
    • Alignment of values with the strategic direction
    • Increased shared understanding between all groups
    • Increased engagement for the school’s mission in all groups
    • Clearly defined behaviors in line with desired culture
    • List with concrete projects to be manifested as next steps
    • Updated dialogue process between the school and parents

Human Stories develop organizations for the future.

Human Stories is an active change agent with the intention to update organizations, businesses and leaders to a new way of thinking and acting that is better adapted to a rapidly changing world.

Change and growth is both painful and rewarding. An important factor in all change processes requires a balance between clarity of direction and responsiveness to whichever needs that arise. Collaboration and the power of networks is deeply embedded in our DNA. Hence, we are a network of experienced change leaders with a broad and deep variety of competencies that can bring in the required skills for each unique assignment. In this way, we meet and navigate the complexity of various challenges that may and will arise during the transformation journey.

Collaboration and a win-win mindset is a winning strategy. The advice process is a simple and effective way to increase the level of collective intelligence in the organization. Check out this white paper—a simplified version of best practices used by many agile and self-managing organizations all over the world. It can be adapted to any organization.