An interview with Lafayette Parreira Duarte, IMO consultant in Brasil, is the start of a new series of interviews with IMO colleagues that will result in short blogs. We call these blogs ‘Take care’ because in our interviews we pay attention to those very special moments in which we, IMO consultants working with our clients, experience the joy of change. We take care of these moments.

Lafayette describes that in 2014 he took part in a ‘Horizontal Leadership’ masterclass in Holambra, organized by IMO. As part of this, he visited the agricultural company Terra Viva and he saw how people on the seedling nursery field did work so well together as teams. And it surprised him how clearly they told about their activities and their goals. Their enthusiasm impressed him.

In the hospital Santa Filomena in Rio Claro, where he works as director, he told about this and they listened sympathetically. But it had no effect. So Lafayette decided to visit Terra Viva with some of his employees. With a bus full, he left for this memorable visit. The nurses and the managers of the hospital saw how the people of Terra Viva were showing diligently how they were doing their work as self-steering teams. Lafayette saw the sparks, the light shining in the eyes of his personnel. And it also filled him with joy himself.

Back at the hospital, they took enthusiastic steps to work with self-managing teams here as well. It worked out very well. Lafayette wondered: How is it possible that their eyes light up and their ‘I’ appears and becomes visible? He saw the souls shining, like if the powers of thinking, feeling and willing were mobilized in the people as complete, whole human beings. They find meaning in their daily work.

This story took place some years ago. Now, during the corona pandemic, Lafayette notices that the self-managing teams neglected their vitality. Recently, some nurses asked to talk to him about this. They missed the team spirit. Then they agreed to take this up again. And in the meantime, some steps have already been taken and Lafayette could see the light in their eyes again. This makes him happier too. He often reflects a saying of Adriaan Bekman: “If you don’t maintain and take care of things, they will disappear. If you don’t give meaning to things, they become meaningless.” That precisely motivated to do the same! 

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