I am a Stoosian…. and proud of it!

So I claim to be a Stoosian. I already hear all of you thinking “What the …. is a stoosian?!”. Well to explain that I will first have to explain what Stoos is.

In January 2012 a group of 21 people gathered together in a Swiss ski resort in a small place called Stoos. This group of people consisted of the major thought leaders on management practices, being:

  • Catherine Louis
  • Deborah Hartmann Preuss
  • Esther Derby
  • Franz Röösli
  • Jay Cross
  • John Styffe
  • Jonas Vonlanthen
  • Julian Birkinshaw
  • Jurgen Appelo
  • Kati Vilkki
  • Klaus Leopold
  • Melina McKim
  • Michael Spayd
  • Peter Hundermark
  • Peter Stevens
  • Rod Collins
  • Roy Osherove
  • Sanjiv Augustine
  • Simon Roberts
  • Steve Denning
  • Uli Loth

These 21 people had a common goal. Each and every single one of them had the feeling that the management of organizations as we know it should change. During the Stoos gathering in January there was hardly any information that was made public about this group of people, the gathering and what they spoke about. There were some tweets that it was happening, but nothing about the contents.

Luckily the majority of the Stoos 21 voted to go public with their ideas and that’s when the Stoos network was born.

Ok, now you know how the Stoos network was initiated, but what is it and what is it’s goal. The Stoos network brings the change catalysts of the world together, providing a platform to exchange ideas, inspire each other and ignite new initiatives to change the world of traditional management to transform and create organizations that delight customers and employees.

To spread this message to the rest of the world and trying to expand the Stoos network several events were organized. At first several small lesser known community events were organized before the larger scale unconference events were organized. The first one being the Stoos Xchange (http://stoosxchange.org/tiki-index.php) and after that the Stoos stampede events in Amsterdam and Phoenix.

The first Stoos event that I visited was organized in Amsterdam on the 6th and 7th of July, the Stoos Stampede. A few people of the Stoos community stepped up and organized an awesome event for which people all across Europe travelled to Amsterdam to experience it.

Unfortunately I was only able to attend the second day of the Stoos Stampede, but nevertheless I met a lot of inspiring people and attended a number of interesting sessions. And on top of that I hosted my own session (of which I will write a separate blog post later).

So why do I feel that I am a Stoosian? Several years ago I was propelled into a management position of a development team. When I started in that position the most logical thing to do was to look at how my predecessor did it and see how I could work from that starting point.

The environment where I picked up the managerial role was a very traditionally managed environment keeping people restricted in a very rigid environment not allowing people to reach there full potential. Right from the start I had the feeling that there should be another way to manage organizations. After trying numerous of things that partly or completely failed things finally fell into place when I stopped managing the people but instead started managing the system and engaging the employees more in their work by giving them responsibilities that are close to their own interest.

At about the same time I had read Management 3.0 from Jurgen Appelo and decided to follow his Management 3.0 course in Vienna. During this course and the “roving coffee” that Jurgen organized on one of the evenings I heard about Stoos and the mindset behind it. It was something that I could completely identify myself with and from that day on I can say that I am a Stoosian.

So what has changed in my life since joining the Stoos network:

  • I have met a lot of inspiring people.
  • The ideas from the Stoos network have helped me to spark a change in my own working environment.
  • It has re-ignited my own ambitions to change the world.

Since being a part of the Stoos community has brought me so much it is also time to do something for the community. And for this I got inspired by a comment from Thorsten O Kalnin at the closing panel discussion at the Stoos Stampede.

Thorsten spoke to the audience explaining that we are the people that can bring the ideas of Stoos to the rest of the world he was basically asking people from the Stoos community to go to Management conferences to spread the word about  the vision behind Stoos and try to get the CEO’s, COO’s and CFO’s of the world into the Stoos network.

So this is exactly what I am going to try to do. When Astrid Claessen posted a tweet to ask for people that were interested to present at a management conference about Stoos, I immediately volunteered for it and the first talks about this idea were already conducted. So stay tuned because more information about this will be posted in the future.

More information about Stoos:


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