In April Russian IMO group was hosting three big events – International IMO Conference, and two events for clients: Synergy of Individuals business dialogue and a seminar on Family Companies.

Hosting international meeting of our IMO community in Russia was an exciting and challenging endeavor. Only one of Russian team, Joachim Heinz, lives in Sochi – the city which hosted all of us. Joachim with a distant support from Sergey Arfanidi, created a wonderful space, where everybody felt warm and welcomed.

At this meeting we were not 8 countries, but 9: Chinese group joined us in Sochi for the first time, and they brought with them warmth, sincerer interest, joy, wisdom. We all felt enriched by their participation.

We started our mornings, singing together, steered by our inspiring voice coach Hans-Peter Ulli and his Russian partner Konstantin Koschukhov. Then every morning we had IMO Impulse talks, presented by colleagues from different countries – Alexander Schwedeler, Hilmar Dahlem, Ronen Hahn and Tatiana Babanova. Each shared his or her perspective on IMO Impulse, and that created deep dialogues among colleagues about what IMO Impulse means for all of us.

Each day a variety of workshops allowed us to get to know new concepts, developed in country groups, and experiences gained by colleagues over the year. The feeling was that we as a community are becoming more and more professional, and together form a deep source for change and development in our countries and in the world. In the end of the meeting Adriaan Bekman shared his personal biography and insights of 50 years in consultancy.

Not only did we work, we also enjoyed the beauty of Sochi on Wednesday afternoon and gifts of Caucasian culture and cuisine on Thursday social evening. It was an exciting and new experience even for the Russian group. Our country is so huge and diverse, that we still have a lot to learn about it riches.

Synergy of Individuals Business Dialogue started on Saturday 13th, right after we finished our IMO meeting. More that 70 clients from all over Russia (from Sakhalin Island in the East to Sankt-Petersburg in the West of Russia) and 16 IMO consultants from all over the world got together for two days to research, how companies can involve people and create communities driven by shared impulse and values, where everybody acts as a free responsible leader, striving to create value for clients.

We started with keynote words from the leader of Russian IMO group – Joachim Heinz and two of IMO clients – Dmitriy Zatsepin from OilEnergy company and Yury Nikiting from Anix Trade Yard.

Nine workshops, presented by pairs of IMO consultants, shaped a major part of the business dialogue, creating space for learnings. They were divided into three flows: Process – Dialogue – Development, in each flow participants could choose one of the three workshops. After each flow participants worked in mixed groups: they shared learnings and insights, ideas and concrete steps to introduce changes in their own companies. We “grew” three beautiful trees with the fruits of these group discussions. Based on this rich harvest each participant could create for himself and his company a road map for implementing changes in their own companies.

It was beautiful to see, how perceptions of the participants changed from one flow of workshops to the other. They were skeptical in the beginning, and their souls and minds became more and more open and enlightened by the end of our meeting. Warmth and living quality of the IMO community and the IMO methodology created a miracle.

This event was a true example of IMO community working together: IMO Russia team, despite long distances and five time zones organizing this event, volunteers from different parts of Russia, who took on their shoulders all technical support during the business-dialogue, our international colleagues adding their experience and practice, and phenomenal support to make it one of a time event for everybody involved.

A nice element of the business-dialogue was an opportunity to buy a newly published book “From Monologue to Dialogue” by Hans-Peter Ulli. It was published in Russian right before our Sochi meetings.

Last, but not least was a Family Companies seminar, conducted by Hermanus Meijerink. The topic of succession in family companies is so far new for Russia. Most of the companies are around 25-30 years old, and only now the first generation of owners, pioneers of the companies, are approaching the first threshold in passing the leadership and capital of the companies to their successors.

The story of Terra Viva company, which is now 60 years old and expecting the 4th generation of owners to govern the company, was a perfect example. It allowed to look at personal situations of the participants, to raise some urgent questions and to think of the first steps on the path to a more aware and solicitous succession process in their companies. «Let’s meet every year, learn and exchange where we are», - proposed one of the participants.

The outcome of these three events is yet to be seen and felt in Russia, but already now we understand that it had a great impact on us, IMO-Russia team,  and on the clients who participated in the business dialogue and Family Companies seminar.

It allowed us to present IMO methodology in Russia with a new power, participants shared that they could see IMO methodology as a whole, where everything is connected. It allowed our team to work together and meet each other on a far more personal level. It allowed all of us move a step further in our professional development and understanding of what IMO is and what it brings to the world.

Tatiana Babanova

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