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Joachim Stempfle



The inner journey


Joachim is the founder of atrain, a global consultancy firm. Following his university studies, Joachim started to train as a psychotherapist, while at the same time doing research and getting his doctorate degree at the university. In addition, he was doing facilitation work in the industry. Out of this facilitation work, atrain emerged – initially as a small startup, but the company rapidly grew in scope and global reach.
Joachim’s work is guided by an unwavering belief in human potential. His work is based on the premise that people have unused potential to do well and to do good. Liberating this potential will lead to profound and sustainable inner growth. This inner growth enables people to change the system they operate in “from within”. In this way, change capability is inscribed in the DNA of the organization. In order to enable growth at scale, Joachim works with intact teams, leadership communities, as well as entire organizations.

In his role as founder of atrain, Joachim and his team have experimented with new ways of working for quite some time. Instead of traditional hierarchies and reporting lines, atrain is organized in self-organised teams. Leadership is distributed among several councils that are open for applications to any colleague in the organization. The inner and outer journey of every atrainer is supported by a “resource person” – a colleague that forms a deep relationship with the person and supports their inner growth and the development of new skills.

Beyond the business world, it is important for Joachim to catalyze positive change in society. As a thought leader, he helps to inspire new thinking. atrain is co-hosting the annual TEAL around the world summit. Most recently, he and his team have started to apply atrain’s expertise to work with children and schools.

Session outline

Working in a TEAL organization requires and enables personal growth. Growth happens by embracing and working through the challenges that life puts in front of you. Mastering an outside challenge usually requires addressing an inside challenge – embracing tension and discomfort, unlearning, relearning, evolving. Doing so enables you to gain awareness and grow in skills and wisdom.

Four archetypical challenges are particularly relevant in the context of a TEAL organisation:

1- Finding your place. In an organisation that is running on the principle of self-organisation, how do you find the place where you can contribute the most and grow at any given point in time?

2- Finding yourself. The TEAL principle of Wholeness invites us to bring our “full selves” to work. But who are you, really? The Wholeness principle is an invitation to gain an ever deeper understanding of how you became the person you are today, what drives your behavior, and most importantly, what matters to you.

3- Letting go of yourself. A lot of our behavior is governed by our “ego” needs: the desire to be safe, to be successful, wanting to be appreciated, seeking happiness. Following the path of “ego” needs in an unreflected manner can lead us to live our life on autopilot, responding to triggers and demands or pursuing goals in an overly rigid manner. TEAL organisations invite us to let go of ourselves a little, so that we can open our minds to the needs of others and put ourselves at the service of the evolutionary purpose of the organisation. Paradoxically, we need to find ourselves first before we can let go of ourselves.

4- Finding your Self. As humans, we are tasked with a dual challenge. We are called to master our lives in the physical world – learning, being effective, earning a living, having an impact. At the same time, there is a part in us that is seeking for growth beyond success in the physical world (the “Self”). How do you create the conditions for yourself to listen to and nourish the Self?

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