Adaptive organization in practice

the untold truth of organizational agility

Series Overview


Available also in Italian and Spanish

Each session lasts 2 hours

Understanding Adaptive Organization Design

While it is now crystal clear to almost everybody that a new and better organizational practice is needed, bringing true resilience to our organizations, you are currently being bombarded with a thousand theories, frameworks, models by so-called experts. What to do, then? Who to listen to? Where to start? Let’s start with a simple and key truth: just like every person is unique with her identity and trajectory, so is any organization. Starting from this awareness, you will simply see how to truly understand what your org needs and how you can naturally achieve it.

In this series we’ll explore how this work is done, leveraging 100 years of org design history, but not dwelling in it. Instead, we will focus on practice. What to do on day one? Who to engage, and why? What are the key choices to make? How to follow what then emerges? What are the minimum critical things to consider?
These are complex, generative questions. And in complexity there are no “experts” to listen to: there is mastery to be nurtured and developed by “surfing” in the real world of waves. That’s what this series is all about.

Reading your system and setting the frame

Not only the organizational setup depends on the specific characteristics of your system, but so does also the design approach and course of action that you should choose. So how to read and understand your system in order to best work with it? We’ll see what are the key dimensions to take into account, where to look, who to consider, what to take as a constraint. Thus, we’ll generate the frame in which your organizational evolution will be best taken care of.

DATE: 28 APRIL 2023
TIME: 16:00 – 18:00 CET

Crafting the design compass

In the whole process of evolving your organization, from the design phase to the following continuous evolution, you’ll have to make choices. Keeping in mind that in complexity even small differences in those choices can generate hugely different outcomes, and also understanding that alignment among people in those choices strengthens or hinders the efficacy of the action that will follow, we’ll see how to craft a “compass” to continuously navigate them.

DATE: 11 MAY 2023
TIME: 16:00 - 18:00 CET

Designing the key organizational dynamics

A pivotal concept of Adaptive Org Design is that of “dynamic”. Indeed, in order to tap into adaptiveness, we say “focus on dynamics much more than structures”. Let’s see what a dynamic is in this context, how it embraces and engages the depth of the human system through stories, and how to generate and refine it. Let’s also see how to choose the *key* dynamics for the whole design journey, in order to grant you all the main aspects needed to thrive in uncertainty and variability.

DATE: 12 MAY 2023
TIME: 16:00 – 18:00 CET

Composing the whole system of dynamics

Old good org design teaches us that the moment you separate is the moment you have to work to integrate. The dynamics-driven adaptive approach makes no difference. We are not separating focusing on structures, but still we are dividing. Thus, it is time to integrate the dynamics in a whole organic system of value flows and feedback loops. Let’s see how to do it, and how to read what comes out of this work, that is something very far from an org-chart, much more alive and informative.

DATE: 25 MAY 2023
TIME: 16:00 – 18:00 CET

Ensuring both efficiency and adaptiveness

So now you have an adaptive organizational setup, uh? And you see that it’s not all about self-organization and/or collaborative decision-making. Good: you are in the real world, and set to have something that actually works. In order to make sure of it though, let’s check that the efficiency and control elements are in place. What are the structures you are foreseeing? Which titles need to exist? Which kinds of expertise? And how to develop the new competences needed to evolve it from here?

DATE: 26 MAY 2023
TIME: 16:00 – 18:00 CET

Who should join us:

  • Entrepreneurs and decision-makers facing the challenge of organizing in the current stormy times.
  • Those interested in the future of work/organizations and how to best bring this forward.
  • Internal and external consultants (Organization Development and Organization Design).
  • Those doing systemic change or transformation work in organizations.
  • Those interested in the transition from a mechanistic to an organic understanding of work.
  • The next generation of organization designers.

About Stelio Verzera

Since 1995, Stelio has been supporting organizations in adapting to the evolutions of their ecosystems and technology. While having already been dealing for years with lean management and open collaboration, during his entrepreneurial journey he himself met the need for organizational modes that could prove truly lean, adaptive, and resilient. Unfortunately, at the time there was very little. In fact, in the crisis of 2009-2010, the structural and cultural rigidity that characterized most organizations did not offer valid answers, nor any practical support.

With this need Stelio’s journey began in generating a worldwide design discipline of adaptive organizing, collaborating with pioneers from all over the world. In 2012 he devised the LiquidO organizational framework for adaptive governance, later awarded by Gary Hamel’s Managemnt Innovation Exchange in NYC. In those same years, with the other co-founders of Cocoon Pro, he gave life to the first completely emerging organization in Europe, while also contributing as an active part in the direction of the European Organization Design Forum (EODF). In 2015 Stelio held the world’s first Masterclass in Adaptive Organization Design in Milan, with Paul Tolchinsky and Stu Winby, two of the greatest living pioneers of organizational design and systemic change.

Since that date, Stelio has worked on the creation of a mastery development path in this new discipline, based on decades of experience learned from giants in different areas of practice and with dozens of pioneers like him experimenting in many ways and contexts across the last decade. He wrote the Adaptive Organization Design Manifesto, became curator of the Mastery Trail on the topic offered by Cocoon Pro, and continued to live the reality of a highly adaptive organization within Cocoon Pro itself, as well as at the side of many customers aware of the importance of this deep transition.

This series is valid for the “Adaptive Organizing” Mastery Trail 

This series is valid as the initiation module of the Mastery Trail in Adaptive Organizing, the path of mastery in the design and development of adaptive organizations.

Mastery Trails are learning paths offered by Cocoon Pro in collaboration with the best international partners. They are designed to accompany the practitioner through the different stages of mastery development, readily surpassing theoretical knowledge alone.

For any info about the Mastery Trail, write to us by clicking on the button below.

What participants say

Getting a sense of how Adaptive Organisational work is done, and the underlying thinking that frames it. I really enjoyed the way Stelio presented, and was a wonderful way of introducing this way of working with an organisation.

Stelio has ability to make sense out of very complicated ideas and engage others in understanding them together.

Very deep thinking yet with practical examples; exceptional knowledge of Stelio; peer learning'; opportunities for everyone to contribute.

D. P.
A wonderful conversation with lots of wisdom. Had multiple breakthroughs in my understanding of the world. Much appreciated!

The rich conversation and learning from others. Well organised, rich content and thinking, not just powerpoint slides Great Knowledge of Stelio and learning about practice, not just theory.

It is a series designed to sow, and that makes it powerful.

F. S.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no problem: the recording of the episodes will be available to subscribers, so you can also watch them at your preferred time. Moreover, the whole series will be an interactive experience with space to communicate even in the days *between* the live episodes.

No, they are not needed. This series has already been attended several times by people of all ages, from different countries, and with the most diverse backgrounds. If you’re passionate about the topic, you’re good to go.

The things we will explore are vital for any organization that is experiencing increased variability in its context and, therefore, the need to become more fluid and dynamic.

Yes! In addition to the recordings of the episodes, the slides we will use and the interactions that will take place throughout the series, a very rich bibliography will be also provided, that would keep anyone busy for months 🙂

Online on your devices since June 2020.

Stay tuned.

Much more to come, and fast.

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