Shared Governance

Can we still surround ourselves with talent without sharing the power?

Today, as leaders, we have all seen that attracting talent and keeping it is part of a subtle chemistry.

The question of meaning is the first element of this attractiveness and loyalty process, particularly for the younger generations. The sharing of governance on topics or projects which are determined collectively is part of this process.

Governing together does not mean surrendering power to other

This aspiration to “do things together”, which is a fundamental societal trend, cannot remain at the threshold of our private companies. Why? Because a leader who places him or herself in a position to face alone the complexity of the economic world, the speed of its cycles, the reduction of the time to market, the customization of offers, etc. is opting for a strategy will weaken both them and their organization.

Governing together does not mean surrendering power to the others, but deciding to share it with the others. It is therefore first and foremost a professional and/or personal life posture. It is also a logical and intelligent response to the orientations and the pulsations of our era.

How does one govern together?

Each governance situation is specific and the “emancipation mode” of each company is polymorphic.

On my side, I have hands-on experience. I confronted my manager’s “gratifying ideal” with the hard reality for us leaders: At Guichon Valves, the last company that I managed, I gradually set up a shared governance.

Currently, there are 6 co-directors and the turnover has significantly increased while the spirit of autonomy has spread throughout middle management, in all the departments and has inspired each staff member.

Bringing the group to deliver all its power

We have co-created the shared governance processes. To do this, we used the existing sociocratic and holacratic approaches, but it is our collaboration which has developed and enabled this result.

We shaped the alchemy by levels: first, we worked on the alliance principle with just the right dose of synergy and personal development. Then, we defined and adapted the processes which allow for permissions and protections.

In the end, this weaving of benevolence and emulation has played a catalytic role on the group and has led it to deliver all its power. ■

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