The Story of ForChiefs
At ForChiefs we are all united in our purpose to ignite meaningful work. This is the story about how we got here. All of us are experienced in having led and having been led in intense organizational cultures. We found each other in 2017 at a time of personal and professional transformation. We all had left the safe environment of employment and felt united in the mission to support leaders, teams and organisations in their transformation and in becoming great teams. Not by advising them what to do, but by facilitating and supporting them in discovering this for themselves. As there is no ‘one size fits all’.
This also meant a discovery for ourselves. How do we want to work together? What kind of organisation are we? These are questions we asked and continue to ask ourselves as we organically grow. In this article, we reveal a bit more behind the scenes at ForChiefs.
We are a network organisation, which means we maintain individuality, by all being self-employed, but use our connection as a network to multiply our impact. We like to see it as being voluntarily committed – it is a completely free choice to work together! This seems logical, but how many people are lucky enough to experience this on a daily basis at work?
At ForChiefs we are all equal, regardless of our time investment. Some of us actively build the system, whereas others enjoy to be involved in multiple projects and organisations. It provides all of us with the option to design our own work-lives, taking into account other obligations, projects, and personal circumstances. It is not about the time commitment and rather about the personal commitment.
Apart from the collaboration on our client projects, we have a regular heartbeat, through bi-weekly calls and a ‘ForChiefs Day’ meeting every two months in one of our locations in Germany, Netherlands or Sweden. On these ForChiefs Days, we actively work on growing further as a network and team. These days are absolutely packed with high energy, a lot of connection, open conversations and building the network. A word often used during the check-outs of these days: ‘exciausted’ (excited and exhausted!).
So, what does a typical ForChiefs Day look like? As in all the workshops that we do, we start the day with a check-in to fully arrive. We share how we are feeling, whether there is anything distracting us and we use a third question connecting us with the theme of the day. Then we check-in on our OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), to see how we are progressing as a network in terms of what we want to achieve in 2020. This brings focus and provides space to discuss important topics. Our last OKR check-in included constellations around the different Lencioni levels (trust, positive conflict, commitment, accountability, and results). To see where we are in terms of becoming a great team, what is stopping and helping us, and what our ideas are to increase on all levels.
On our ForChiefs Days we further share, connect and build on different themes, which all connect to our main pillars – leadership, vision & strategy, and coaching. For example, at our last ForChiefs Day:
- We learned, reflected and exchanged learnings around a coaching method called Kairos. This is where you write down important events and feelings for every year of your life to discover patterns, keywords, and life chapter titles. It’s a great tool for personal reflection and as an ice-breaker or trust exercise for pairs or small groups.
- We activated one of our values ‘work with fun on what needs to be done’. Yes, you feel it too, this is about admin and documentation! We discussed behaviours to start and stop, in order to live this value even more within our network.
- We reflected and exchanged on our different sales approaches and our desire to do even more long term projects with multiple colleagues, so we can have even more impact! This way we collectively trained our sales muscle.
As in all our workshops, we closed the day with a check-out where everyone looked back at the day and with what feeling she / he was leaving. Exciausted! Happy to have connected again, empowered with more clarity on next steps and slightly sad that it takes another two months for the next ForChiefs Day to happen..