“The most important reason to practice democracy is to live an intimate human experience at work. Democratic practices give us the patterns of behavior that make us responsible and empowered to make our work space the place we want it to be. Each person shares more of themselves in a democratic culture and that makes work a more meaningful life experience.” – Peter Pula, Axiom News, a WorldBlue Company
After being at Quick Left for almost 2 years, I’ve heard much buzz about WorldBlu from Ingrid. WorldBlu is a global network of organizations committed to practicing freedom and democracy in the workplace. We’ve been a WorldBlu company for 2 years in a row, so I was excited to venture down to Denver for the WorldBlu LIVE conference to engage with other freedom-seekers and soak in all the speakers.
One of my favorite slides was from Phil Clothier’s talk, Freedom at Work Globally, which alluded to the unifying capacity for shared values in a community. It said simply: "beliefs divide, values unite." Topics of all the discussions circled around being human in the workplace and not only becoming a leader at any level of an organization, but also fostering a culture in the workplace that supports employees in that process of becoming. The keys to freedom at work revolves around a non-fear based way of showing up, communicating and operating.
My favorite breakout session of the afternoon delved into fearless contracts, not only with others but also yourself. The session was called “Collaborative Awareness and the Evolution of Business: The Blueprint of We” led by Maureen McCarthy and Zelle Nelson, Directors for the Center for Collaborative Awareness. As social scientists, Maureen and Zelle have a beautiful story and a unique process for effective collaboration that fosters fearlessness called The Blueprint of We. They talked about how when we’re in our fear-based Safety Brain, we are not accessing the full capacity of our intelligence to empathize and co-create. The process is a simple collaboration document that can be used to sustain relationships with trust and respect. They detail the process on their site here.
On day 2 of the conference, our very own CEO spoke in an afternoon panel discussion titled “Women Leading Freedom-Centered Companies” alongside Nikki Gatenby (Managing Director of Propellernet) and Kim Jordan (Founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company). Together they talked about how they are rewriting the rules of business in their industry by taking a democratic approach to their management style and organizational design.
In a world of business as usual, it’s good to know that there are good souls shaking up the status quo to bring a different set of values into the workplace. I’m happy Quick Left is one of those companies.