Co-creating the Mondora Handbook
A sociocratic experience in the company
Written by Irene Brambilla and reviewed by Alison Ruffoni
Mondora’s Handbook collects our consolidated practices and acts as a “guide” for life in the company. Also, it describes the company’s mission and the founding principles of the organization.
This year we felt it was time to refresh our handbook and thought this was an opportunity to engage the whole company in a co-creative exercise, putting into practice the principles of equality, brotherhood, and freedom.
In order to do this, we have decided to use some sociocratic methods, management systems that aim to create a harmonious environment, involving all participants in the decisions.
We engaged an expert to guide us in creating a collaborative space in which to work. We have tested two collaborative systems: Open Space Technology and the World Café.
Open Space Technology (OST) is a methodology that allows the creation of working groups and meetings. It is based on four principles: whoever comes is the right person, whenever it starts is the right time, whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened, when it’s over, it’s over.
There is also a “law”, the law of the two feet: If you find that you’re not learning or contributing to activities, get up and move to a place where you can be more productive.
At the beginning of each meeting, the topics are suggested by the participants. Then virtual rooms are created, in which to divide the working groups. At the end of the working session, the team that took charge of a topic submits the decisions taken to the wider group.
The second practice we have experienced is the World Cafè, a methodology that encourages a free and passionate discussion between participants, through questions that are explored within self-managed groups.
While the World Café has proven to be more suitable for gathering ideas and identifying common points among people, the Open Space is the best way to implement the rewriting of the various sessions of the Handbook in practical terms. These sessions will then be validated through a decision-making process of consent and with the support of a legal expert.
This experience (which is still in progress) has created a context in which colleagues can feel like an active part of the community, bringing into practice the principle of people-centered organizations.
Discussion and debate have been part of these practices, which have made it possible to deal with difficult issues, such as working hours, recruitment and dismissal process, salaries, and remote work. It is in line with our principles that everyone is involved in these decisions and has the opportunity to submit proposals.
During these meetings, some colleagues volunteered to open the session with short speeches, sharing their point of view on the co-creation process and on being part of mondora. An opportunity to rediscover a sense of community and to understand that being together is not only sharing the same space but also having a common purpose.