In 2015, Adriaan Bekman, Bernard Kloke and myself met in Germany. Adriaan and Bernard shared their knowledge, experience and ideas about IMO Finance and how IMO consultants could deal with, and learn to deal, with money streams in their organisation development work. Here are some notes of the meeting:

  • financial reports should not contain any saldation, any summaries of numbers from different areas; each financial area, or department, or team, or activity, should be shown with its real financial numbers to achieve maximum transparency;
  • this maximum transparency should aim at showing the real process, the reality - as far as possible, behind the number; a combined and summarised number of two or more different processes does not show the reality anymore
  • financial reports should be made up in such a way that each responsible person sees the financial data, which he or she can influence
  • financial reports, which contain distributed cost, based on a percentage, are not helpful, because such percentage-numbers cannot be influenced (in German language we call them: verschluesselte Kosten, oder verteilte Kosten, nach einem einmal festgelegten %-Satz)
  • an important concept here is to find the smallest possible and still sense-making unit (or team), in order to 'see' as concretely as possible
  • this could also support the landscape mapping of units, of teams, related to each other with work processes, as a way of horizontal organising, like Adriaan mentioned in Doorn in November 2016
  • capital is materialised spirit - this is a research question
  • money always reflects, or mirrors, a relationship
  • money should always follow initiative
  • it is helpful to show in a report where the money comes from and where is is being used for
  • what are the steering elements of influencing money streams - this is a research question
  • a number stands for a reality behind - who is determining this reality?
  • it is helpful to read a lot of different financial accounts and annual reports of companies and institutions, listed on a stock exchange (to be found in section 'Investor Relations'), or non-listed, for instance from www.triodos.com, or www.gls.de, or https://www.hannoversche-kassen.de, or many others. You can find those on the investor relations page of public listed companies, search for instance for Amazon investor relations and read the most recent shareholder letter written by Jeff Bezos about rapid decision making (seemed to me very horizontal and IMO - like)
  • in Germany there is a rule: one does not speak about money. It seems to be a rule in many countries. IMO could encourage in workshops to speak about money, for instance in group of three: What is my personal, individual relationship with money? It will lead to very personal and sensitive storytelling about lives and biographies and relationships.
  • Horizontal Organising requires horizontal finance reporting, the financial data should follow the process, the value chain, the internal value creation processes; this is quite challenging and one of the more complicated things to develop; any people involved in this, and it should be as many as possible (those who also can influence the money streams) should be very familiar with the basic financial reporting formats like profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow (or liquidity), the importance of the latter, and the interconnections between those three;
  • we also shared some ideas about gift money; gift money requires an inner schooling - this is a research question
  • how to deal with money in a practical way:
  • take initiative
  • steer with the help of financial data
  • what is the client's need?
  • learn to 'see' the money stream behind the value stream
  • focus on how people work together
  • a possible way to structure financial data can be: a) show money stream related to development, research, individual development, well-being, recreation, ideas development (spirit-related); b) show money stream related to human resources, salaries, people, cooperation, relationships (soul-related); c) show money streams related to physical matter, physical resources, products and services, raw materials, here you can also use certain transparent (see above) key figures, or KPI's
  • learn to see the money stream flow from the client, to the company who works for the client, to the collaboration within and with suppliers of this company
  • try to relate every financial information you see to a concrete person (the one who can influence it)
  • in many cases money can be saved, look for those sources to work more carefully with money
  • a rule could be to save 1% of cost each year
  • Bernard mentioned that the 'famous' Oxford lectures of R. Steiner contain some remarks about a) product-meditation, b) how to learn to look backwards from the client to the company, c) activities of the people involved; he did not remember the exact lecture, maybe some of you know
  • the consciousness soul requires clarity and transparency about the money streams /flows
  • IMO is about the move from me to you, from ego to the circle
  • here money plays a key role and is related also to the life forces in relationships, there is a relation to the aetheric Christ in social life - this is a research question
  • I will try to describe some of those ideas in more detail in the coming blog posts.
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