"The time of lone warriors is coming to an end."
ChangemakerXchange is a global network of around 1100 social startup founders and activists in over 130 countries worldwide, initiated in 2012. We aim to provide 'changemakers' with access to a community that enables deep personal exchange, collaborative learning, resource sharing, and the launch of collaborations to collectively create greater and systemic impact.
Why New Work and Inner Work?
Even though the world as a whole is a healthier, more prosperous, and more equitable place than it was a few decades ago, the challenges facing humanity are becoming increasingly complex, especially in light of the climate crisis. We believe the time of lone warriors and "(S)heropreneurs" is coming to an end. In the future, collaboration, co-creation, and cross-thematic and cross-national joint action will count. This requires a more intense, empathetic connection among people and new more decentralized, fluid forms of collaboration and decision-making, which in turn are only possible through a high degree of self-management, conflict management and multi-perspectivity
Our concrete New Work Practices
Co-creation: The network decides. The heart of ChangemakerXchange is our global community, which we actively and regularly involve in strategy processes and our decision-making. Our principle is that day-to-day decisions are made by the team, but whenever our structure, overall strategy or values are at stake, the network gets intensively involved. For example, our current mission, vision and program pillars were created through input from over 100 members of the network. Community members also have a say in the selection of our partners through a multi-stage due diligence process to ensure that our values and vision are upheld.
Salaries: "Years of Changemaking" versus professional experience, and radical transparency. In the context of salary classification during the hiring process, it is not only traditional work experience that counts, but also social commitment during school or university, which we count up in years. Parental leave also explicitly counts as work experience. Our salaries are completely transparent and increase automatically by 4-8% per year (higher salaries increase gradually less), for 'bad' years we have jointly decided on a process for salary freezes and further savings.
Principles instead of hierarchies: Classical hierarchies, titles and privileges based on seniority were gradually replaced by jointly written principles, radical transparency and a "manifesto" that comprehensibly presents all processes within the organization.
Competency-based leadership: ChangemakerXchange is a non-profit limited liability company based in Berlin, consisting of a core team of currently six permanent employees, as well as an extended network of over 85 trainers and a 30-person "Strategy Group" consisting of members of the worldwide network. Leadership tasks are distributed among the core team members according to their respective competencies; quarterly meetings with the strategy group and an annual 2-day co-creation summit with all members of the community provide additional accountability.
Our concrete Inner Work practices with which we create the basis for this
Wellbeing: You can't do well, if you're not doing well: Mental, emotional and physical wellbeing is a top priority for the team. Guided by experts, we conduct quarterly well-being check-ins to look at various aspects such as our workload, the state of mind of our colleagues, and strategies to protect ourselves and our members from burnout and overwork.
Checkin and Checkout: To ensure the self-contact necessary for New Work, almost all of our meetings start with a short "check-in", for example a meditation or a very open question round about how our colleagues are feeling right now. Meetings usually end with a "check-out", for example a short self-reflection ("How did I feel about the meeting? How do I rate my contribution?") or group reflection ("What have we learned as a team? Where can we still improve?").
"Calibration": To regularly pause and critically reflect on our own New and Inner Work practices and to learn from each other how other colleagues are doing with our current way of working, we hold quarterly 3-4 hour "Calibration" meetings (realignment). Guided by a coach, we resolve potential conflicts (or avoid them before they arise), discover issues and aspects we should work on as a team and create understanding for our way of working and trust in each other.