Self-organizing Recruitment for All Company Cultures (IEC 2016 Preview)

By Rainer von Leoprechting for Enlivening Edge

Check here for other Integral European Conference previews from Enlivening Edge and visit the official IEC website here.

Most of us know about Self-management. So, what would Self-recruitment mean? Could people hire themselves into your organization?

My answer is: YES, they could.

Below I’ll talk briefly about how this is possible for any organization. For the full story, join me at the Integral European Conference on 6 and 7 May in Hungary.

First, some principles about organizations and the jobs they have. It’s a general assumption held by Laloux and many others that an organization is driven by its culture, and its culture can be observed. We know them, for instance, by color codes like “ORANGE” or “GREEN”. I undertook to assess cultures job by job, and found that culture codes can be assessed for more than large entities as a whole;

I found much more precision when culture codes are discerned at the level of a single job.

I came to the conclusion that any organization operates not just from one culture; it contains many, some of which are less visible than others.

Imagine you measure all the cultures that are each giving its special flavor to all the jobs of a company. By various ways of assembling the information,  you can generate a map that allows you to see the specific cultures represented in/by the jobs all across the various departments, functional lines or professions. What you will see is that any organization contains a whole range of cultures. Once you have looked at such fine detail you might become a bit cautious about claiming “X-organization” is a “TEAL” or “GREEN” organization. You’d say, rather, for example, that we find certain elements of TEAL in x% of all jobs in the organization.

I developed a web application that can offer such measures to be applied in organizations. And one of its most valuable uses is that it offers orientation for people to discover a place in which their own personally-desired work culture is not only needed, but wanted! As a result, they can indeed present themselves exactly in such a place, and thus give their career more meaning in their life.

“Meaning” here has a developmental side. We have meaning in work when we do at least something that carries us further than we were before. We grow. So when we speak of the culture that flavors a specific part of an organization or a job, it contains a specific range of individual maturity stages which are consistent with it. If those stages are all present in a jobholder, the person will perform well on the job.

So let’s see what enables such a system of matching person and job. Clearly, we need a measure of culture at the level of jobs.

Second, we need a process to match the work culture that individual people desire, with the existing, available organizational job-cultures.

Third, the company’s recruitment policy needs to support this simplicity of match.

  1. Measuring culture, job by job

What makes meaning in people’s professional life, that’s what culture is all about. Meaning becomes tangible in stories. If you ask people what they are particularly proud of achieving at work, you hear them express their (desired) work-culture. With this in mind, I developed and practice a story-gathering process within companies. Around a given vacant job, colleagues or managers of the job meet in a circle of 3-7 people. They share stories of their own achievements at work. And then stories they’d love to experience with the person on the job. Around this job, a combination of desired successes told in short stories reveal their wanted work-culture there for that job. We collect such story combinations in a web-based database of successes at work. You can experience such a Story-Gathering workshop at the IEC.

  1. Matching people’s work-culture with job cultures

A simple web application invites people to read and select stories about success at work.

Any individual can identify themselves with a bundle of stories they already experience in their day-to-day, and stories they find attractive even if they don’t experience them yet.

These story combinations become the fingerprint of their work potential.

I developed a matching system that interprets the level of maturity implicit in every story and compares this with the cultures required for the work in vacant positions. Hiring managers enter open job opportunities in the system from the company’s side and characterize each job with the success stories which arose on the side of the company. The computer then produces a list of relevant job openings for any person that has shared their own story preferences in the system. People can read the job advertisement or descriptions ranked by relevance–relevance defined, not by keyword, but by the developmental function the open job would have for their life, because it matches their developmental profile.

And they will apply for a job where they already sense in advance that they will not only be needed for their skills, but even wanted for their full self as it develops.

  1. Recruitment policy

The ordinary Human Resources function is currently in a deep transformation. HR processes are being standardized, supported by IT systems, centralized in dedicated functional hubs, and the size of HR functions shrink. One might think, Human Resources will then focus on the strategic design and alignment of organizations, managing change, and most of all, getting the company’s talent to work where they produce most value.

Following this trend and the principles outlined here, even the core of “having the right person at the right place at the right time” will be a self-organizing process, once work-culture-orienting information is available through IT.

The challenge for this next level of HR automatisation will be that the life of every individual is in their own hands. Only the collecting and providing of stories has standards, while the stories themselves and their creative combinations is this somewhat unexplainable feeling of “This is what I want,” that the company policy needs to support.

So once a TEAL mindset meets an up-to-date streamlined HR function, we can expect a next-stage HR to evolve. I am in to be part of that movement!

Join me at the Integral European Conference 2016.

I am very honored to present my experience and insights at this wonderful occasion in May 2016. Please join me on Friday 6 May in a Story-gathering workshop to experience how your own success story is listened to and understood. And on Saturday 7 May, how this all becomes a system for self-organizing Human Potential at work. (For the current schedule, please look here.)

Whether you are at the Conference or not, you can sign in here to receive updates and news around the topic.

RainerRainer von Leoprechting (*1965) lives on a community farm in the South-East of Austria. He is a consultant, community builder, and entrepreneur. From 1994 til 2012 he worked from within the European Commission, where he built a community of internal change agents, started and led the in-house consulting team, and introduced many innovative practices especially around how people meet and make meaning with each other. You can write him an email to: [email protected].


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