My guest today is Frederic Laloux, author of the very important management and business book, Reinventing Organizations. I consider this one of the most important books on business and management systems of this last decade, if not of this next decade. Frederic has researched those rare organisations around the world who have thrown away the traditional top down organisational structure, and adopted organisations of distributed intelligence and distributed power. These organisations are located all around the world, across multiple industries, and many have been in operation for decades in very tough markets. Yet they outperform every time..even though performance is not the goal.

If you are someone who yearns for organisations that operate with fluidity, have no extra layers of management, enables everyone to have power of choice and action, frees up the CEO to focus on creativity and stewardship, then you will love this interview and the book. You can tell by reading Frederic’s Bio that he is not someone who conforms to business or life as usual.


Frederic Laloux is a man of many projects that he tries to square, not always easily, with his inner knowing that he is meant to live a simple life, spending much time with his family and whenever possible in the silent presence of trees.

Among other things, Frederic advises leaders of organizations who feel called to explore fundamentally new ways of organizing. His research in the field of emerging organizational models, published in his book Reinventing Organizations has been described as “groundbreaking,” “spectacular,” “world-changing,” and “a leap in management thinking” by some of the most respected scholars in the field of human development and management.

A former Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company, Laloux holds an MBA from INSEAD, and a degree in coaching from Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado. He has traveled widely and speaks five languages fluently. Frederic Laloux lives in Brussels, Belgium, where he is blessed to share his life with his wife, Hélène, and their two children.

Show notes

*acknowledgement and sadness of the wounds we are inflicting onto the planet and ourselves

*what type of questions will our Grandchildren ask us?

*everything in his life has prepared him for this book

*the soullessness of the big corporations

*inquire into what would be the most meaningful thing I could do? Not the most impactful, simply the most meaningful thing now, and if I did this the Universe would provide me with an income

*fundamental departures from our current understanding of management

* a shift from the pyramid and layers of hierarchy that are common in today’s organisations

*the human brain of 80 billion cells do not have a boss, they have very clear co-ordinating mechanisms

*systems of distributed intelligence into the organisation. No one is the boss of anyone else

*not flatland by any means, you cannot do whatever you want

*everyone is powerful and has the power to make it happen

*precondition for this to work is a founder/CEO who is fully willing to not be the all powerful person, to no longer have top down authority

*the CEO must play by the same rules as everyone

*the power and control is baked into the system

*diss-identified from their ego

*the advise process

*don’t have a career plan, a life based around expressing the most meaningful choices is an emergent one

*the last thing he wants to do is restrict the circulation of these ideas

*the gift economy



*CEO of Unilver, Paul Polman

*Reinventing Organizations, the book

*Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

*Ken Wilber

*Spiral Dynamics

*Integral Theory

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