Hammock leadership

February 28th, 2011

Today I had a really inspiring meeting with an organizational project manager from Decorative Paints in AkzoNobel. It is JUST amazing what they have been and are doing in that part of the organization to take responsibility for creating a more sustainable business and world. Watch this you-tube film with Managing Director Tex Gunning, who is interviewed at INSEAD:

The project manager told me how they have so far had 9000 people through really intensive leadership journeys where they work with their lifeline, passion, dreams, barriers and future actions which they need to take in order to fullfill their role in the company and the community. 13.000 people are still to go on those journeys within the next year, but they already see great results coming out of investing in nurturing the leadership of all those people in the company.

When I asked the project manager what one of the key themes of the journeys had been, she replied: Well, that is what I like to call Hammock leadership… Leaders, who are inspired to live by the quote: “If you wanna go fast, go slow” (Insoo Kim Berg). When you take your time to (re)connect with yourself, your colleques, the vision and strategy of the company – and of your own life – some very wise answers on how to solve concrete problems appear. Take your time to stop for a moment every once in a while. Think about your life, what helped you lead yourself in the past and what will help you in the future, what will help the business you are in, the community, you are part of, the world on a longer term. Never ever think: now I have the answer – I don’t need to stop anymore and reconnect. Of course you do. Tomorrows problems and challenges are different from the once we faced yesterday, and in this ever changing world we are living in these days, we can never just download great answers from yesterday and apply them for tomorrow. You need to constantly think about whether there could be a better way to do things – now… Think about it every once in a while. In a hammock for instance, like my husband on the picture below some years ago. And you will act wiser tomorrow…