Koldo Saratxaga, Founder and promoter of K2K Emocionando and ner group
We talk with…
Founder and promoter of K2K Emocionando and ner group
“There are no perfect formulas for anything. I believe in evolution, not in perfection, not in finished roads”
It has actually been 16 years since we started a debate that lasted many months between the organisations that at that time were in a process of change with the collaboration of k2K. I remember that the passion was remarkable and the concepts we were putting on the table were really groundbreaking as they were going in a different direction than the one that prevailed in the traditionally called workplace relationships. While it is true that they were understandable by those who were at the beginning of a new journey, even then we were beginning to understand that what we were proposing was not how to work or what the processes should be, but we were putting on the table a cultural change for how to share a common project.
We began to use terms such as common project, organisation, and we tried not to anchor ourselves in the concept of a company that was around at time, and which I am sorry to say still prevails, to refer to the unit of work with different interests between ownership, management and workers. In these long and deep debates it began to be understood that we were talking about a New Style of Relationships (NER, for its initials in Spanish). The easy part was shaping it, defining some rules or codes that limited certain possibilities, that gave peace of mind. The prevailing culture was always present. The real challenge was getting out of those corsets that defined the precarious relationships that existed.
I have to say that, at this moment, K2K has worked and cooperated with more than 100 organisations to move their organisational change towards NER.
For the assessment, Walter Pack is an excellent example of this, I have to say that it is remarkably high in all the aspects that we could analyse or compare.
We have overcome 2-3 of the hardest economic-social crises since World War II, and I can assure you that more than
Personally, I am proud to have shared these three long decades with thousands of people who have lived and felt that there are other ways of doing things in this world of work that offers so little satisfaction beyond a salary that only feeds the instilled consumerist dynamic.
I have been asked this question a few dozen times. There are no secrets.
At K2K we present ourselves as a team of people who ‘feel, think and do’. I personally believe that this is the natural way human beings create, given our characteristics. I like to say that the things that are exciting come from the gut. When it comes from the brain, the self appears that tries to take care of personal interests first, which makes it more complicated to get to a world of common goals. We forget about ‘we’ and the ‘all of us’ doesn’t even exist.
I like to explain this with the example of manager or leader. A manager sets him or herself challenges, especially quantifiable ones, and is very aware of how much is sown and how much time and how much it costs to carry them out, focusing on the harvest. It’s the results that matter even before they’ve begun. Whereas a leader looks after the land and stores the seeds in a good place and condition, knows when to sow them and most importantly, knows that it is not a matter of effort, lower costs and not dividing tasks, but that it depends more on the sun and rain. That is, it depends on the many things that will happen in that future, in that space with so many unpredictable events, however, there is the knowledge that if we have taken care when sowing the seeds, the results in the long run will be plentiful. It’s a fact of life. By company we sometimes mean the place, the buildings, it’s inert. Organisations are made up of people who come together to create goods or services for the outside world. However, by common project we mean an organisation that creates products and services while facing common challenges that are defined and shared by all the people who make it up.
We are here to walk and enjoy the road. There is nothing more rewarding than walking, much of the journey in silence, in pursuit of new experiences that bring you closer to your own meaning of life, and finding such experiences without the yearning to go looking for them.
Well-being is always sporadic because it stems from achievements in which you gain power, an image, from having, winning, competing… Happiness is a state of being, it’s a state of continuous inner peace. NER helps the latter more. Self-management is a good path.
This feeling, this way of living the present, is achieved in one’s personal life throughout the day, when one is enthusiastic about what one is doing. So, to approach it is to be on that path. It is a sense of continuous creation and positive energy that is transmitted and spread to people’s environments.
Knowing the degree of enthusiasm of the people in the organisation tells us a lot about their degree of personal evolution and the evolution of the project as a consequence.
In the history of business development I think there is a word that stands out: innovation. There has been a continuous innovation of products and services, motivated in many cases by the warlike appetites of the major players, which have been changing humanity’s customs and ways of life. This innovation has skyrocketed in recent decades, with the global world, which exists only for consumption, and with humans’ discovery and madness for everything modernity and differentiation stands for.
However, this innovation brought to everything around us has barely changed in a clear way in terms of the inoperative hierarchy model that prevails in business relationships, which are becoming increasingly impersonal and of mammoth proportions. Relationships are still between ownership, executives and workers, with different interests and with a great loss of wealth creation for society and a very unsatisfactory and unrewarding style of relationships.
More than 70% of people are not satisfied with their job. This has to do with ‘the evil of loving modernity, for its modernity itself’. Neomania.
NER, NER GROUP is an organisation style based on people and focused on the customer and efficiency, in which everyone works together to create environments that guarantee sustainability for the organisation and the social environment with a clear, forward-looking vision. It’s an open, social, work relationship, organised in self-managed teams that sow by mutual agreement and share and distribute a good part of the harvest. There are no dismissals but there are
For many years I have maintained that the word that best defines the situation in which society finds itself, and that will last forever, is neither innovation nor uncertainty but complexity. Meaning, how to link the different elements that are constantly interrelated in personal and business life. This requires a very high and constant balance and harmony within our being and our organisations.
We are living in a universe that is pure change, constant evolution, it is an impermanent state (this is an outdated term; impermanent is understood as that which does not have any permanence, detention, stability, continuation or duration, without limitation of time or that cannot stay or remain in a place or site), and to humans this frightens us and we prefer the permanent, changes unbalance us, we prefer to pursue what we believe gives us security and well-being. COVID-19 is a good example. We were haywire, out of control, and yet we begged for everything to go back to ‘how it was before’.
The future does not exist and luckily every awakening is different. Just look out the window. If it’s cold and rainy, it’s not a bad day but a beautiful different day, and also necessary. If we look at nature, at plants and animals, we will see there is continuous change.
Faced with a different, unexpected, changing… complex day to day, the least we can do is be united, relate and share that complexity, that moment, as a united team and walk and make our way together. A great wealth that our environment, the whole universe, brings us is diversity.
We know that no two people or two moments are the same, it is the sum of the possible diversity. This is what the reality of which we are not very aware is like. Long live diversity!
This is because together we complement and enrich ourselves with our relationships, with coexistence, with diverse skills and personal talents that we bring.
Knowing what the meaning of life is for each person, what we have come to do, as well as knowing the raison d’être of the organisation, the family, the squad we have decided to be in. Each person is the most important thing in our existence and from this position we can have the energy to love and share.
Having said that, I don’t know, nor does anyone know, what the organisations of the future will be like, just as we do not know what our evolution and personal situation will be like. However, I believe that those that are more based on people and their values, that consider them with the characteristics I have mentioned and that are able to share their business project and in that way, excite those talents and skills that everyone possesses, will be better off socially, emotionally and economically.
Saratxaga’s professional career began in 1980 in Vidrierías de Llodio, where he headed several departments for four years. After working at various companies, between 1991 and 2005 he took on the role of General Coordinator of the Irizar project at Irizar, S. Coop, one of his greatest professional achievements. He has authored several books, including Un Nuevo Estilo de Relaciones para el cambio organizacional pendiente (A New Style of Relationships for Pending Organisational Change), El éxito fue la confianza (Success Was Trust) (2010), written with Jabi Salcedo, and Sentimientos, pensamientos y realidades (Feelings, Thoughts and Realities), among others.
Currently, and after founding K2K Emocionando (2005), he acts as an advisor and dynamic consultant for various public and private business projects—around 50 to date—, making the pending organisational change based on the new style of relationships (NER, for its initials in Spanish) a reality. He is also the main driving force behind Ner Group, an association that was created in 2006—although it took legal form in 2010—, to which Walter Pack and almost thirty business organisations that believe in fair and sustainable human development belong.
In his spare time he likes to dream and make those dreams come true.