“Today, we have the necessary technologies to address all human problems. All that is missing is an inclusive consciousness.” Sadhguru
Love & Magic Company co-founders Chinedu Echeruo (CE) and Pamela Abalu (PA) recently spoke at The Assemblage on John Street on radically reimagining work by building beloved organizations. The duo have a history of revolutionizing traditional systems: Chinedu, a serial entrepreneur, founded the pioneering travel app HopStop. Pamela, a world-renowned architect and futurist, was the Chief Architect for MetLife’s $1 billion inclusive workplace redesign. We sat down the workplace experts to learn more about their vision for elevating human potential through organizational culture.
The Assemblage: Why did you create the Love & Magic Company?
CE: Prosperity in any society is the accumulation of solutions to human problems. We challenged ourselves to manifest a studio that applied imagination, thought and constructive intention to co-build organizations that serve human growth.
PA: What if work was love made visible? What if information technology was a coordinating aspect of that love? It is a departure from the traditional corporate management pyramid of work.
TA: What do you think about the traditional corporate management pyramid of work?
PA: A third of the U.S workforce are freelancers, and per Forbes is upwardly trending to reach 50% in a decade. This would indicate that traditional corporate management structures don’t work well in empowering employees and cultivating healthy/productive work environments. So, what are the other options? Organizational design—like all design—is an act of intention. It demands attention. Otherwise, we may create recklessly and pollute the environment for each other. Love & Magic Company believes the low global workforce engagement rate of 17% as well as the trend towards independent/freelance work is strong evidence that we need to rethink human cooperation in the corporation.
CE: The future of work looks more like an organism—something that’s alive and fluid, and that grows and expands. There’s coordination from the center, but it can also absorb information from the periphery.
The Beloved Organization model, a playbook on how to build purposeful, agile companies, is based on a circle, rather than a hierarchy.
We invite organizational leaders to consider: what if a small team could contribute their superpowers and cooperate like it was play? What if many of these teams moved together in self organization and with agility? What if these teams coordinated its efforts to improve a lived human experience?
TA: Tell us more about your solution – The Beloved Organization Model
CE: The Beloved Organization Model is designed to create conscious companies. It is a new business model for human growth and prosperity empowered by three key principles:
• Embody service to collective human growth
• Empower decentralized and self-organizing teams
• Maximize the flow and use of information
TA: What are some practical tips for innovative leaders and organizations?
Seek Your Beloved
Beloved is the person you serve with your business and who allows you to stay in business; In other words,this is your customer. The heart of the organization should be the people you plan on serving. Yes, they will use our product, but they are also humans whose lived human experience we aim to improve through our work and product.
As a leader, you can start by filling this out: “The unmet need of my Beloved (customer) is ______.” Start with empathy. This seems obvious, but don’t proceed until you can fill in the blank. It is a well of purpose.
Set your strategy with your Co-creators
Agree with your other co-creators, your aligned superfriends, on how to meet the needs of your Beloved. Co-creators should have the same true north, trust and ability to communicate and be accountable to each other. Co-founders can also be other startups or organizations.
Create Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to accomplish the strategy
The simple magic of the OKR system is that it clearly communicates strategies and goals to all the members of your organization. Another wonderful benefit is that it engages your team and embeds a process for your team to exercise their powerful creative faculty.
Call to action your masterminds
Select advisors with specialized knowledge and information about how to accomplish each team’s OKR. Information is powerful. A 15-min conversation with the right industry expert could save you three months of work. “Startups that have helpful mentors and advisors, track performance metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7X more money and 3.5X better user growth.” — Startup Genome Project (data collected from 650+ startups)
Create more teams of super friends
Small and agile teams of 3–6 is the unit of learning in a Beloved organization. Larger teams are proven to be less effective. Try to build diverse and creative teams and use a sprint process to discover truths of how to reach your OKR goals. Everyone should think like a scientist and learning loops should be part of your process.
Nobody wants managers. But every successful startup needs leaders. Decision making and responsibility should be distributed to team leads who are close to the situation in space and time. Make all team member’s OKR responsibilities easily viewable. Everybody, a leader and change maker. This helps build a culture of accountability and autonomy.
Co-builders are the part of your tribe who earn equity, tokens or cash compensation for completing OKRs. An OKR could be a full-time role, project-based or as simple as writing one line of code. Think and engage in units of results, not attempts. Remember, your best designer could live in Nairobi, so consider creating a public opportunity board. Allow people with superpowers to easily find and engage with you. Find ways of structuring engagements for mutual but clear win-wins.
Set feedback loops
One of your goals should be to maximize the velocity and flow of information. A practical way of doing that is by setting feedback loops aka regular meeting times where learnings, ideas and shared truths are discussed.
Here is a suggestion:
Daily: Learning Sprints
Weekly: Team Meetings
Monthly: Mastermind Meetings
Quarterly: Token/Shareholders Meetings
Half-yearly: Team leaders Retreats
Yearly: Organizational Retreat
Makes it easy for your team members and masterminds, tribe and even outsiders to share ideas on how to solve your challenges. Consider ideas like having public trello boards or a corporate wiki for soliciting ideas from within or outside your organization.
Consider this question
Whose lived human experience do I choose to improve through my work?
To learn more about The Beloved Organization and the Future of Work, please visit loveandmagic.company or contact, [email protected]