This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 10
In 2011, Cocoon Pro was born. Since then, the stories of thousands of people across 10 countries have been weaving our emergent path. More than 500 work iterations with our customers, almost 150 people contributing to our open governance. And the energy. Oh, boy! The energy. This story of ours, is truly your story. Thank you.
10 years ago — the beauty of that moment is still strong in our memory. We wanted to generate something amazing, deeply valuable both in its way of being and in the service provided to the world. And we did not care about what was deemed “possible” by the managerial and entrepreneurial ethos of the moment, at all. In fact, when we decided to go for radical transparency, no budgeting, open governance, dynamic organizational setup, no hiring, and more, we were considered crazy or naive by so many people. Our families included. On top, we had no idea of how all of that could work or even look like. We were only 7 committed and passionate people, and we decided to embrace a huge “what if?”.
Guided both by the failure of “traditional” organizational vehicles in the crisis of 2009 and by the knowledge we had gained in our previous venture in the fields of open collaboration and lean enterprises, we began to imagine. Soon enough, we found out we were not alone. Groups of trailblazers around the world were already playing with the same committed desires. We connected, listened, cocreated, and learned fast. In 9 months, LiquidO was born: the core of our organizational setup, our open governance framework. And the entry point for anyone right into the heart of our organization.
The cultural heart
One thing was clear to us though: no organizational setup or management trick would suffice. It was about culture. Thus, it was about shared values. And it was deep. Instead of running workshops to define them, we spent countless days talking, playing, sharing, nurturing our relationship to each other and to the world. In hindsight, we spent at least 3 years gardening our cultural core, the true root of anything we would have been able to sprout. In the meanwhile, in 2014 LiquidO was already collecting mentions and prizes around the world. But we did not care. Clearly, we were already about something else.
The service model
Cocoon was born to be of value for people, to make work meaningful and healthy again, to undo the mess of a century of mechanistic worldviews actualized by control and imposition. But we did not know how to do that. Many of us had already 10 or more years of experience in helping organizations, and we all went back to studying and action research. In a few years our intervention framework was born, the Evolution Flow. And we started facing the puzzling question of how to scale out our mastery in what we do.
We walked, and walked. We found our impact, and how to make it exponential. Indeed, looking back, we can clearly see many ripples of what we have done, spreading out into the world in beautiful and often strong ways. People, ideas, relationships, methods, organizations, mastery, possibilities coming to life and mixing together. Watching all this, we realized we are much more than Cocoon. We realized it was time for a new phase, one in which we worked to help enable entire ecologies of work, systems of systems, across contexts and egotistical desires, in a dance of individual identities making the music together. And this is where our heart is today. The new decade is here, and we’re on it.
10 years have passed and the spark that brought Cocoon into being is still burning. We wanted to generate something amazing, deeply valuable both in its way of being and in the service provided to the world, and this is still true today. Every person, organization, and human system that has walked with us over these years has contributed with their uniqueness to build the impact we imagined at the beginning.
Now we are many more than 7 committed and passionate people, and we decide everyday to embrace another huge “what if?” to help enable entire ecologies of work in a dance of individual identities making the music together.