How the 10 principles of organizational democracy apply
Purpose + Vision: In our toolbox for one-to-ones we have our Impact Stories. These helps us create our purpose and vision of what we would like to strive to reach. What are our dreams? How are we going to leave an impact? How does this fit into our shared purpose? In our conversation template for the one-to-one meetings, describing your dream job and your personal purpose is the first step.
Dialogue + listening: This is for sure a principle you as a boss and mentor to somebody should strive to ALWAYS focus on. Listen to what your colleague says, needs help for, wishes for, or are in doubt about. Sometimes listening is enough. Other times you need to do the talking, guiding and mentoring.
Fairness + dignity: I remember some leadership guy once saying that to lead everyone equally and with fairness, you must lead everyone individually. And there is something to it. You need to see your colleagues need and help the best you can. People first. But also, you need to be fair without judging that some needs might be different or even weird in your eyes. You should be accommodating differences of those you mentor, guide and help as a boss. People are people and should be respected for that alone.
Transparency: Each one-to-one toolbox and conversation template for every employee in Bloch&Østergaard are accessible through our SharePoint site. In this way we have transparency, and you can be inspired by others dreams and visions. And as we have a great deal of transparency already, it’s hard not to have that in regular one-to-ones as well. But if you don’t, find out how transparent you can be.
Accountability: So, I think this is almost self-explanatory. Choosing your own boss makes you and your new boss accountable for each other to have regular one-to-ones and all that happens in between. When we have a network of bosses and mentors across our small organization this also means that we held each other accountable and help each other being a great boss to one another.
Individual + collective: We actually talk about how each of us contribute at our weekly Friday meetings. We ask ourselves: “What have I done this week to help create organizations where people want to show up?” Sometimes, this talk or reflection is talking into our one-to-ones, but most of the times, it’s said and shared collectively.
Choice: This is actually in the headline of this blog post and is indeed the purpose of choosing your own boss; to choose from whom you can learn the most from the next six months.
Integrity: We talk about values, ethics and morals in plenum. We discuss whether or not to say yes to potential clients who doesn’t help the world become a better place, or the values we bring with us to our clients. Sometimes, we use time on our one-to-ones to calibrate or talk through specific situations. It’s really nice to be able to have these small discussions on integrity. It leaves me proud that we care.
Decentralization: Hopefully, choosing your own boss will not just be something we do when we’re only a small organization. Hopefully, we’ll do this as we grow always having the mentoring power decentralized.
Reflection + Evaluation: A part of the before-mentioned one-to-one toolbox is also retrospectives and keep-and-try exercises. These are used regularly in everything we do, and it would be odd if we didn’t use these tools when mentoring as well. I can only recommend doing a keep-and-try once in a while.