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The philosophy behind farbenmeer

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Author

Christiane Wenz, Lean & Agile Coaching

„Evolutionary purpose“ instead of pure profit motive

In many companies, goals are set from the top down with the intention of steering and propelling the organization forward. However, Laloux’s argument is that organizations are living organisms that push towards a specific direction on their own. As a result, it makes much more sense to focus on understanding a company’s evolutionary purpose rather than setting rigid targets.

At farbenmeer, we strongly value the diversity and abundance of ideas that our colleagues bring to the table. While it goes without saying that we aim to earn money, our main goal is to act as partners and equals, and to live and share our culture with others. We’re committed to promoting equality, and each employee contributes their unique ideas towards this end. Currently, for instance, we’re focused on equipping our teams with the necessary tools to work independently, better, and more openly with each other.

Living organism instead of a lifeless being

We live in a complex world where planning and supervision can be challenging. Therefore, we must remain vigilant to changes and opportunities and respond promptly to them.

The shift towards inspection, testing, and adaptation over long-term planning and supervision can already be observed in software development, as demonstrated by Agile principles. 

At farbenmeer, we regularly assess the effectiveness of our collaboration and processes, both internally and externally, to identify areas for improvement. As a result, we’re continuously evolving, expanding, and taking on new forms.

Self-management instead of hierarchical superiors

These days, many organizations adopt a self-managed structure, where individual employees work independently without hierarchical links to a superior. Laloux argues that the growing complexity of the world has made self-management a necessary principle. This allows employees to initiate and experiment with new ideas, while those in higher positions take on a protective and challenging role.

What’s the situation at farbenmeer?

Roman, our founder, once said to me: “What matters isn’t what you’ve done, but where you want to get to.”

The fundamental concept behind this is that people should be guided to their tasks and responsibilities based on their interests and abilities, rather than their CV or orders from higher-ups. We have the freedom to choose and perform tasks independently, which is highly invigorating, especially for those of us with a traditional professional background dominated by hierarchies. Furthermore, it’s highly motivating to have the limits of your career defined by your skills rather than your university degree, as skills are nurtured and developed throughout a lifetime.
Individuals are granted nearly unlimited potential for development, and it’s their personal responsibility to pursue and fulfil it.

The principle of wholeness

According to Laloux, individuals in conventional companies often hide their true selves behind a façade. But if they don’t have to worry anymore whether this mask fits, they’ll have more energy. If employees can be their authentic selves, they have more time, passion and energy to devote to their daily tasks. In a nutshell, this is Laloux’s philosophy regarding the holistic understanding of employees.

Creating a space for employees to be their authentic selves isn’t easy, but I believe we do it well at farbenmeer. We share both the good and the bad things happening in our lives, whether it be a partner’s illness, a pet’s accident, or excitement about an upcoming trip to Sri Lanka. Our targeted selection of employees, team-building events, and emphasis on sensitive and friendly interaction with one another fosters an open and authentic environment. Although changing a corporate philosophy like this takes time, even small steps can help. For example, hosting a workshop on non-violent communication could be a good starting point.

If you’d like to learn more about how we work together, drop me a line and we’ll have a chat!


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