Democratic CEO round table, part 1

I’m now in Washington DC, and the first 24 hours of the World Dynamics round table for democratic CEO’s has been fantastic. There are some great people here, who can tell some amazing stories. There’s an incredible level of experience, openness and curiosity present – and it’s just plain fun.

The conference started thursday evening Mart Laar, the first prime minister of Estonia. He talked about democracy and about values and principles he beliveves are necessary to practice democracy. And he should know: Under him, Estonia went from a hopeless ex-soviet backwater, to a modern, fast-developing economy. His speech was very inspiring and moving, and his down-to-earth authentic and slightly underplayed style was wonderful.

Today several of the participants have had a chance to present, and I talked briefly about the principles behind Enterprise Systems (my old IT company). In the afternoon we did a short open space session, which seemed to go over really well with this crowd – as I’d hoped it would. If there’s one tool that can promote organizational democracy, I believe it’s Open Space meetings.

The day ended with a wonderful dinner with everybody in really high spirits. My mind is still racing from all the input and all the incredible stories I’ve heard today, and I hope tomorrow will be just as interesting.

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