COCOONERS - Making It Happen - No 4, March 2018


The digital version of our "Cocooners" half-yearly publication. Catch up about news, tools, thoughts, facts, people, work, future. Welcome to Cocooners. No 4, Mar 2018.





When size doesn’t


In this number we share a story of courage. It is the

story about some people of a multinational high

tech company who understood that even if you

are today a big player in the worldwide market, it

is fundamental to recognize that everybody needs

to evolve its way of working. In particular, they

wanted a more adaptive governance of the most

important division of the company.

Read at page 6


Together to change the


During Fascism in Italy, the regime approved l

aws aimed at defending race and increasing

birth rates.

This was mainly achieved with art. 553 of the

Penal Code that banned both propaganda and

the personal use of any contraceptives.

On 10th October 1953, the AIED (“Italian Association

for Demographic Education”) was founded

Read at page 4


• Nalu


• Rory’s Story Cubes ®

• Organisation Design

• Core 2

Read at page 8

A word about Cocoon Projects

Read at page 10

Meet LiquidO TM

Read at page 12


Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018



want to tell you a story.

My first passion since I was 10 years old has been the gymnastics

and when it was the moment to choose my job, I decided to

become a gymnastics coach.

We trained for many years, among the others, some young girls.

Everyday we learned something new growing up together and day

by day, slowly, I saw the group turning into a team. The highlight of

this beautiful path was when we decided to perform a blindfolded


Yes, they couldn’t see anything for 3 minutes while they shared the

space moving and collaborating.

The music, the energy and their breaths were the only things that

led them.

When I’m thinking over the training aimed at the performance, I’m

sure about one thing: the experience would not have been possible

without trust. In each moment, every girl was responsible for herself

and for the others and, at the same time, totally certain to be in a

comfortable and protected space because they relied on the team.

When we work with people, we experience the same situation. We

have a common goal but everyone takes care of a part of it. Often we

don’t see the whole but if there is the trust in the team, we can let

go the control and open the mind to new unexpected possibilities in

order to achieve a bigger purpose.

Not understanding/seeing everything isn’t a limit, it is an opportunity.

When we lack something, the other senses expand and new



feelings appear.

To perform blindfolded wasn’t easy but it

was amazing. Let go the control and nurture

the trust!

Are risk and fear still everything most of managers

can focus on? Or is it just laziness? After all the

world-wide work done for 3 decades in understanding

complexity, uncertainty and adaptive systems, it still

seems nowadays most people in the “business world” are looking

for precise instructions on what to do and reassurance that they

will work. Even if reducing risk were the best focus to have, still

can’t these people see that the only risk this approach reduces is

that of thriving? All the off-the-shelf “solutions” and “models”

sold out there prêt-à-porter presume that context doesn’t matter,

that identity doesn’t matter. They all are about certainty indeed,

certainty to fail though. They’re about certainty to give in to fear,

constrain emergence, and kill the beauty of creativity that any

human system carries within.

Imagine you could wake up every morning knowing exactly

everything that will happen in the rest of your life. Every day.

Is that a life you’d want to live? No surprises? No derails? No

discovery? No hope? I would not. Actually quite the opposite, I long

for novelty. I use to keep and grow a collection, my collection of

first times. Once you start collecting first times you begin to see how

easy and interesting it is to live them every day. The first time you

walk, you fly, you visit a half-built house, the first time your new

colleague laughs, the first time your project takes off, the first

time you overcome fear and feel what freedom really is. The first

time you let go.

Here’s my entreaty to hordes of managers supposedly leading

companies of any size in every country of this planet: stop looking



for a prêt-à-porter work. There is no prescriptive solution to evolutionary

challenges. It is your life, you can live

it much more than that. It is our world, we

should love it so much more than that.

There is an important shift in the way people work and

live together. A shift that is only a matter of awareness,

because in its very nature it is well known by the human

kind (even if not by every human).

I’m talking about the shift from ego-istic behaviours to eco-istic


And it is not related to a quality of the person (there is not such

a thing like “being an egoist”), but to complex interdependencies

with the context that allow or not the rising of certain behaviours.

Everybody, and you can recognize it in yourself, sometimes acts

selfishly and sometimes acts altruistically. It is perfectly fine and it

is a good thing having both behaviours. But there is a third possibility,

represented by what I called “ecoism”. Ecoism means deliberately

acting for the advantage of the ecosystem(s) in which we

live, not just for a personal benefit or an altruistic aim but because

of a deep understanding of being at the same time an individual

and the system itself. Even if it sounds like a very complex definition,

everyone knows what it means to act ecoistically: think about

a mother with her family. It is not egoism, it is not altruism, it is a

deep feeling of uniqueness of her with her family.

I’m talking about it in many places and I’m going to write more

extensively about this topic, but the point is: it is time to become

aware of the power of our ecosystems, and we need to uncover our

natural ability to work and to live in this complexity.










Ecoism is a first important step in this

journey. The possible results are unknown

but it’s definitely worth it.

It is normal for children to ask questions. Asking is one of the

most natural ways to explore what we do not know and thus

build an understanding of what surrounds us.

As we grow up, however, we tend to lose the habit of asking to discover

and understand who or what we have in front of us.

Avoiding generalisations, and bearing in mind that asking is allowed

or even encouraged in some contexts, it is nevertheless often seen as

a disrupting element. In school it is not always allowed to interrupt

in order to ask questions, and those who ask too much are often seen

as the “difficult ones” who do not get it the first time. Even at work,

asking too many questions can be interpreted as a sign of incompetence.

As adults, in short, we run the risk of becoming used to asking

just for the sake of conversation, losing the excitement of discovering

through our questions.








And yet, people like me, whose job it is to design services, know very

well that asking questions is crucial in order be able to design something

that really meets the needs of its users.

In a broader perspective, complexity is increasingly becoming an

integrated part of our professional world and society, and even in life

in general it is important to have a beginner’s mindset, which is the

key to discovering, learning and adapting to change.

To do so, however, we need to be able to question our own certainties,

make room for new information and be able to empathise with




Therefore, let us remember not to be afraid to

ask and to try and keep that curiosity alive, like

when we were kids.






25 OCTOBER 2017

2 3

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018




For this number of Cocooners we love to feature

a piece about the story, the purpose and the initiatives

of an organization we are proud to work with

for many years now.








Ci siamo riusciti: adesso

LSP parla italiano!

Quest’anno, per la prima volta al mondo, Robert Rasmussen

ha acconsentito a ufficializzare l’italiano nella formazione di

massimo profilo dei facilitatori LSP, e lo ha fatto con noi.

During Fascism in Italy, the regime approved

In March 1971, the law was abrogated by the Italian

to respond and find new ways of intervening.

#diversieinsieme (#differentandtogether) in 2015,

laws aimed at defending race and increasing birth

Constitutional Court.

Innovation, both technological and strategic, has

#Nobullismo (#NoBullying) in 2016 and #costru-


From then on, AIED has been highly committed to

been considered one of the most relevant areas to

ireilfuturo (#BuildtheFuture) in 2017.

This was mainly achieved with art. 553 of the

opening family counselling facilities all over Italy

work on, so in 2010 AIED turned to Cocoon Projects

Penal Code that banned both propaganda and the

and spreading the concepts of birth control, sexual

and started a project based on evolution, which is

Moreover, AIED Rome has felt the need to innovate

personal use of any contraceptives.

awareness and prevention.

still ongoing.

the family counselling facilities, both techno-

This collaboration has proved profitable from the

logically speaking and service-wise, to be on par

On 10th October 1953, the AIED (“Italian Associ-

In the meantime, however, many other social

beginning, as the two entities were very much

with private clinics. It has done so by creating a

ation for Demographic Education”) was founded,

issues, such as violence against women, bullying

alike and the desire to create value and bring about

restricted online area for medical reports. This

with the purpose of repealing the aforementioned

law and spreading the concept of free and respon-

and cyber-bullying, gender inequality, etc. have

arisen and quickly spread. Owing to these devel-

real changes in society guided them.

As a result, a brand new website came to life, based

is an important tool to make access to medical

reports easier and cope with the constantly new

What’s up by Stelio Verzera

sible procreation.

opments, “AIED Rome” has deemed it necessary

on the needs of its internal staff and patients.

needs of patients.

We are living through an exponential phase of history,

Social media and web campaigns, along with

with many of us choking on a feeling of continuous

cultural initiatives, aimed at involving young

For many years, AIED Rome has been working


people directly, were launched, addressing topics

within schools and with young people, helping

relevant to AIED.

with sexual education for the prevention of

sexually transmitted diseases, respect for diversity

Since 2013, in fact, AIED and Cocoon Projects together

and, in recent years, bullying and cyberbullying,

have promoted various innovation contests, facing

too. For this specific reason, in November 2017,

issues worthy of attention each year.

AIED Rome published an educational guidebook

The core value has always been to listen to young

for parents, teachers and students, called: “Bulli e

people’s point of view and allow them to have

cyberbulli: ora basta!” (“Bullies and cyber-bullies,

their say on topics they normally wouldn’t get the

that’s enough!”). The guidebook, put together with

chance to discuss. Young people can teach us a lot

the aid of experts in different fields, has been

and excluding them from matters that are dealt

with every day is a mistake.

requested and is still used by a huge amount of

Italian schools, arousing discussions and debates

People have the power

and spreading knowledge and awareness of the

When problems arise in our Agency, i.e. obstacles to our

That’s why contests have always called for feasible


work, we often focus on technological problems, or issues

proposals, that could have a tangible impact

regarding tools and methods, or people.

on reality. The challenges launched so far have

2018 has just begun and there are already a lot

been related to #NoViolenza #Donne (#NoVio-

of initiatives that AIED Rome can’t wait to work

lence #Women) in 2013, #Giovani #LiberiDi-

on, certain that Cocoon projects will always be

Amare (#YoungPeople #FreetoLove) in 2014,

by its side.



Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018






14 100 +


In this number we are glad to share a story of courage. It is the story of some people from a multinational high

tech company who understood that, even if you are a big player in the worldwide market today, it is paramount

to recognize that everybody needs to evolve their way of working. In particular, they wanted to implement

adaptive governance in one of the most important divisions of the company.

It is always a magical

moment when we

meet a new group

rigidity. The “iteration

0” has been like

opening Pandora’s

As usual, we

started with

the smallest possible

facilitate the process

while providing them

with that all the

Once the ground

was ready, we

started to raise the bar.

In the meantime,

they were changing

their organizational

If you want real

change, tools and

processes are just

That’s why when we

proposed to involve

the entire division for

Now we are going

to conclude

the project and in

At the same time,

as always with real

evolution, other parts


of people for the

box, but with the

step, to release the

knowledge required,

We started helping

structure, and this

the tip of the iceberg.

two days, they picked

these months we

of the organization

first time, to start

deep awareness that

maximum potential

which, as always,

them to evolve their

required very deep

People make the

up the phone and

are running the last

have started to feel

“Maybe we are the ones who are creating

a project. It was

everybody already

of the group at that

was already in their

way of navigating the

work on organization


organized an incredible

iterations with this

the need to evolve,

our own barriers. In these two days we

November 2016 when

knew what was inside.

given moment,

minds and their guts.

complexity of their

design. A lot of stimuli

That’s why we fostered

co-creation event with

group. It has been an

just like their govern-

had no agenda, no slides, no laptops and

it happened with the

The time to face it had

which in this case

By doing so, a lot

work, introducing a

coming from all around

a very deep work

more than 100 people.

incredible journey

ance board is doing.

everything worked perfectly. Perhaps we

12 members of their

simply arrived.

was to re-design

of seeds have been

rhythm of evolution

them started to shake

on each person of

during which we have

We are sure that

are setting ourselves limits.”

Staff and the feeling

their monthly staff-

planted and in the

of their tools and their

the ground.

the Staff and on the

seen radical changes

amazing things are

I. C. during iteration 5.

was that of a huge

meeting. To be pre-

following months the

practices to make

relationships among

take place and we are

going to happen.

amount of human

cise, it was for them

fruits showed.

them more agile and

them. This step

leaving them with the

potential closed in a

to re-design their

adaptive, both from

represented one of the

awareness that the

cage of formality and

monthly meeting by

an operational point

most crucial moments

path has just begun.

themselves. What we

of view and in decision

in the entire path:



did, in fact, was to

making processes.



the culture started to

visibly change, the

tools acquired a deeper

meaning and people

started to realize their






real development


6 7

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018


A Cocoon Projects Jam happens twice per year, at the beginning of each half. It is the most important CP governance event,

open to all members and contributors and lasting two or three days. During the CP Jam we cocreate our direction for the next 6

months. Here below you can have a peek at our last Jam.






The Cocoon Projects Labs are our own innovation engine. New knowledge, mastery and even new value proposition elements are developed here.

They are open and voluntary structures, working by specific processes designed for proactively generating market-driven and high-quality value proposition.

It’s in the CP Labs that entrepreneurs and professional game-changers can express their best contribution in the co-creation of the next Cocoon Projects.

cable to our professional lives.

these themes here in Italy.

Nalu has his first dress… in shorts and t-shirt! It enabled people to live their new organisation in We also created a Linkedin group called “Organ-


3 amazing days to share ideas and visions. Growing and

learning together while you have fun. Cocreating the next 6

months directions to build our future. This is #CPjam #2018h1

#evolution #revolution #life / @CocoonPro


Looking forward to seeing what else @CocoonPro has in mind

to help companies adapt.

Few weeks ago we finished the development of the

first “minimum viable product” (aka MVP) of the

platform. We are really proud of it, even if we know

it is just an MVP. Why are we so proud? Because this

threedimensional ways, to envision it in creative

and radically new ways, allowing for the integration

of rational thinking, intuition and emotions.

Once again this tool has revealed its amazing

ization Design and Development Italia” to attract

and put in touch people interested in this emergent

topic. The seed is here, it’s growing and we

aim to nurture it, and by now we are organising


Stoked for the #collaborative #future #making of these days!

Amazing levels of #people #passion #knowledge #openness

#fun #learning @CocoonPro #CPjam #2018h1

tool brings about lots of possibilities for the people


the next meeting.

who are using it and for the Lab itself. On one side

people can now rely on something that gives and

enhances the possibility to join experiences and to

meet people for their mastery development path.

Rory’s Story Cubes ®

From the moment we started using Rory’s Story

Cubes, we’ve seen more and more people doing the

Core 2

We keep working with many people who want to

restart from who they are and what they know, in


Children ever smile because they live the moment where they

are. No matter the future. @CocoonPro #CPJam #2018H1

On the other side, the feedback received through

same. Lots of them are using this tool just for fun,

order to build their operational reputation based

the MVP, will feed the evolution of Nalu. The first

steps have been taken, but the path is still to be

uncovered! We’ll just nalu it.


some of them are experimenting, a small number

are already creating real value for individuals and

organizations. We think it is very valuable to be

living this unique moment. A moment when strict

rules exist no longer and everything looks like a

on the real value that they create.

These people have different stories and understandings,

but a common vision: a desire to align

their personal and professional lives, finding a

balance that can nourish their growth and make


#Learning by #experience. The most important thing is to #live

the #moment. Thank you #Cocooners #CPJam #2018H1

We love to integrate LSP with our edge studies as

mess. Chaos, indeed. And to move from chaos

them better people day after day, feeling that


we did in a masterclass at the last EODF annual


The topic was Adaptive Organisation Design.

It is about understanding and implementing a

to order, we consider it extremely valuable to

continue exchanging energy with our ecosystem.

So, if you want to share some insights or food for

thoughts about this tool, just let us know. We yearn

they are not wasting their time but that they are

contributing to the creation of something good.

We are realizing some truths about the important

values that the tool brings to those who decides

We’ve started to talk about a simple word and the conversation

is going more and more interesting, deep and wide. The word is

#smile. The origine of this energy are the #people.

@CocoonPro #CPjam #2018h1

completely new concept of the organisation itself,

to build new knowledge together.

to take up the challenge of exposing themselves,

putting the real system and the formal system in

the right order of priorities, while stopping trying

to fit the territory into our ideal map, and devising

organisations that allow people to arrange the way

they work together, according to the needs of the

specific situation while having the formal system

Organisation Design

On October 25th, in partnership with EODF, we

held the first italian organisation design meetup

in our headquarters in Rome. 22 people from

Rome, London, Termoli, Messina and Catania

but also about the limitations that a person can

encounter on their way.

Experimenting the CORE 2 tool with many profiles

gives us new insights, proving or demolishing

our hypothesis, showing the weaknesses and

strengths of our approach. Only this way can we


There are precious moments when you can feel to be part of

something goes beyond yourself, a stygmergic human #system

which breathes, thinks and acts in perfect unity and where the

individual will is replaced by collective responsabily. This was

#CPjam #2018h1 Thank u guys!

adhere to the real one.

participated, shared thoughts and knowledge and

develop the CORE 2 tool and learn how to use it to

By using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® we literally

put into practice everything they know. The mood

support people in their true growth path.


played with this concept, in order to understand it

resembled that of a “Carbonari” meeting, but the

The future is here. The result of two days of talent in people.

deeply, building it up so to be concrete and appli-

group’s will was to spread, nourish and evolve

Stay tuned for the

publication of all the

Thank you “Cocooners”#people #cocoonprojects #CPJam #value

active Labs and their work




Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018

Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018



Cocoon Projects is a last generation company,

Cocoon Projects’ governance system itself is

Cocoon Projects is thus involved first-hand in

These ongoing activities within the scopes of

We believe this is the time for establishing

devoted to supporting innovation and fostering

based on the Lean managements and Open

the edge international efforts for the develop-

Innovation, together with intense and contin-

a whole new culture in the management of

real value creation in the world entrepreneurial

Collaboration principles. It constitutes a last

ment of methodologies and tools enabling the

uous field operations at the side of national

today’s challenges for any organisation. And

ecosystem. It’s been designed to be effective,

generation adaptive organisational model

systemic improvement of organisations.

and international Customers highlight Cocoon

we’re able to design and co-execute ad-hoc

agile, open, fast and adaptive. Its Customers

called LiquidO TM

that has already collected

And it is directly engaged on a regular basis

Projects as the ideal partner for those organisa-

evolutionary paths on all the vertical aspects

are people and organisations in the need for

high interest and direct interaction by some of

by global networks of professionals in the

tions in search of sound experience within the

of this scenario.

significant evolution within the scopes of

the most relevant international experts in the

field, such as the European Organisation

most core and relevant scopes of Innovation.

work methodologies, tools and techniques and/

enterprise and management innovation fields.

Design Forum, the Stoos Network, the OuiS-

or stakeholders end-to-end relationships.

hare network, the Management Innovation

The goal is to make this change

Exchange (MIX).

really happen.


Imagine the space of evolution

in these three dimensions.

A value of zero on all of

the three axes would fit

for a company from

the Fifties of the last


Where is your organisation


Where should it

be tomorrow?















In the evolution of work across

the three dimensions

of leanness, inclusiveness

and openness, we can

provide services

in these 9 different areas.
























Cocooners - n° 4 - March 2018


What is LiquidO

You might have heard of a new breed of organisational models, responding

to the fast growing adaptability, engagement and collaboration needs

within modern company structures. Or you might have simply experienced

the sound problems of slowness, rigidity, bureaucracy, disengagement

along with various kinds of waste and bottlenecks that “traditional”

organisational models generate and suffer nowadays.

This is what LiquidO TM is all about: the original “liquid organisation”

model for governance, born from direct experience within Cocoon

Projects and in use in a growing number of for profit and not-for-profit

organisations willing to get liquid.

Liquefying an organization means disrupting the industrial-age driven

assumptions on which rigid structures are designed and move on to make

it adaptive, dynamic and anti-fragile. Based on lean management and

open collaboration principles, the LiquidO TM model is fluid,

meritocratic and value-driven, enabling stigmergic

behaviour and “organic” effectiveness.

Why you would

want it in your


Rigidly structured organizations

cannot cope with the

current pace of innovation

and its complexity, let

alone exploit it. We need a

completely different mindset

and consequently new models.

And we need them to be simple

and people-centric.

This is exactly why LiquidO

was born.

1. Real-time adaptability.

The industrial age organisational approach, where

each area is defined as a restricted group of activities coherent

to one another, has its biggest limitations in the risk to fall in fragmented,

sealed administration and culture. As the company grows, so grows the

complex ramification, branching and costs of these models. Lack of

communication, heavy bureaucracy, disastrous efficiency.





The completely different perspective realized by LiquidO, in fact relying

on people and competences without fixed roles, provides an integrated

and adaptive business management scenario shifted to a systemic

approach, pragmatically meritocratic and inherently capable of real time

adaptability to any context. It’s just like water, some would say.

2. Better and faster information processing.

Hierarchies are a sound bottleneck both for decision making and competences

evolution. Too many info to process in order to succeed. Moreover,

on the other hand, the distance between where and how in the organization

strategies are created, and where and how they have to be executed

too often creates waste, lack of effectiveness or even complete failure.

Non-peer evaluation, silos and recruiting inefficiency are additional

heavy side-defects of an organizational design philosophy based on the

two illusions of control and predictability, and therefore actualized with

structural divisions between thinking and doing.

LiquidO is a viable and operational way to let all the brilliant people in

the company effectively emerge. Anybody can join each wave, surf it and

enrich it, so to say. And leveraging different viewpoints, backgrounds and

competences today is definitely critical to succeed in taking better and

faster decisions.





3. Engagement and spontaneous leadership.

People are key in this picture. In fact, within

LiquidO everyone can decide whether to

join a process or not, try, and consequently

determine her level by fast

feedback loops from frequent and

specific peer-reviews driven by

the actual delivered value.

Besides a natural engagement

due to continuous feedback

and consequently improving

results, within this scenario

it’s really difficult to deny

emerging problems. Within

the old way of thinking the

organizations very often

conflicts, work overload, sense

of impotence, lack of decision

power, absence of endorsement,

unfair treatment and misalignments

are among the real causes of failures.

There is much more that can be done today, if

only we let go of control, predictability and rigidity.

LiquidO moves structures, processes and the organization

itself away from the center, where it is assumed that people have to adapt

to them, instead shifting the focus on people and truly empowering

them to dynamically find their maximum value creation spot within

the organization, expressing leadership effectively and without fear,

naturally growing and being rewarded for this.

Read the whole LiquidO whitepaper. It is available in

Creative Commons at


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