September 2018. The nights are getting longer, the air grows chilly at night and tasty mushrooms are in high season in the mountains surrounding Schladming, Austria. Most famous for being a fix point in the Ski Alpine World Cup, the little mountain village in Styria also played host to this year's lab10 collective retreat. In a cozy hut next to the still green slope, we spent three days intensively working on questions of organizational structure, roles and team building.
Since the lab10 collective is working on several projects in parallel, we took this time not only to collaborate and work on problems together but also to socialize. One of the most important aspects of effective teamwork is knowing your peers, their abilities and how to best communicate with one another. In team building exercises a common denominator is key: We found empty stomachs to be common across the board and effective tools for motivation! During our retreat we chose to take the time and treat ourselves to some home-cooked delicacies that we prepared together, as a team under the supervision of our esteemed chef David. The Austrian classic alpine dish "Käsespätzle" and Lasagna with homemade pasta were certainly the highlights of our menu and it was great fun! After all, cooking for a larger group of people is no small task and requires careful planning, precise execution and good communication.
In the field of emerging, leading edge technologies the only certainty is change: With the cancellation of the ARTIS ICO that was planned for October and significant changes in our technology and roadmap, it became clear that we need to rearrange our priorities as a collective and move ahead in full steam.
The organizational structure of the lab10 collective is therefore evolving to better fit our needs: We are by no means a traditional company - there is no traditional corporate hierarchy. Instead, we strive for cooperation and meet each other as individuals and at eye level. That being said, in the context of the work that we do in technological ecosystems that are evolving in many directions at the same time with high speeds, in the past it was not always easy for us to quickly arrive at decisions in matters of strategy. To streamline this process and to work together with greater efficiency and less friction, we decided to try something rather unconventional: We are currently implementing Holacracy in order to improve our decision making processes and to have a clearly defined and better measurable approach to our work as a team. In Holacracy, an organization is comprised of circles within circles - each of them with its own governance structure and a clearly defined way for reaching decisions quickly and effectively. During our time in Schladming one of the topics we worked on was defining those circles and the roles within them in more detail.
Since the weather was perfect for outdoor activities, some of us also used this opportunity to reflect and recharge on a hiking trip in the surrounding mountains.