Becoming an authentic company



At Autisme Center Vestsjælland (ACV) I experienced the transformation in the group of the 35 leaders at a workshop, which purpose was to make ACV more authentic – a workshop where the outcome was very much an eye opener for the participating leaders. As one of the participants pointed out:

”In the past two years where I have been an employee at Autisme Center Vestsjælland, this is the leader meeting where I have got the very best sense of my colleagues.”

The purpose of the workshop served not only as a strategic tool to help the leaders in finding the organizations authentic identity, it also had a side effect: The employees got a better understanding of each other.

Autisme Center Vestsjælland

As a public organization, ACV works to give children and adults with autism the best offer on the market, and works to create good lives for residents and students, as well as providing security for parents and relatives to the users. But a big company in expansion with a flat management structure also faces some challenges when it comes to finding strengths, potentials and future basis for growth. The purpose of the workshop was to assist the 35 leaders of ACV in finding authentic strengths in the organization and to define the organizational authentic identity. To be authentic, you must be true to yourself both as an individual and as an organization. Of course, that is easier said than done.



When the waves went high

After a good one hour presentation from Nikolaj Stagis the following workshop led towards smaller group discussions. The room was full of good energy, and I very much felt a great deal of motivation among the leaders to get to the bottom of challenges within the organization by discussing the three dimensions of the authenticity – evidently finding a common ground. Briefly, the three dimensions are: The historical (an organization’s heritage, historical characteristics and original purpose), the reflexive (an organization’s opinions, vision and actions), and the expressive (an organization’s communication, expression, proximity and passion).

Overall, the outcome of the workshop was an eye opener for the participating leaders whose vision of the organization changed during the workshop. ACV left the workshop with a strong sense and idea about in which direction the organization should evolve.

As one leader pointed out:

“The workshop has given me a great insight into where each of us stands, and I am definitely looking forward to continue working with the tools that you (Nikolaj) have given us.”

It all started with a book – The authentic company

ACV’s motivation and need for a workshop about the authentic company stems from many years of organizational changes and expansion. A need for the right set of tools to identify the strengths and potentials within the organization became evident for ACV, and the book The authentic company was discovered by one of ACV’s leaders at a presentation in 2012. “Lederne” held a country wide round of presentations focusing on leader’s ability to be authentic, and the leader from ACV became very motivated by the presentation and ended up buying the book The authentic company – and her excitement spread to the rest of the leaders at ACV, where an additional 50 copies of the book were ordered.

ACV has planned a six-month strategy process with workshops and meetings based on The authentic company and Stagis’ methods. And with ACV’s strong history and articulated visions and actions for the future, we are excited to witness how ACV will flourish and evolve to become an authentic company.