The New 3EO Toolkit and Adoption Guide

Boundaryless is excited to publicly release the new version of the 3EO Toolkit with 7 new canvases, a User & Release Guide, and an Adoption Guide with a market-proof, co-creation, and engagement process to evolve towards Haier’s RendanDanHeYi.

Emanuele Quintarelli

June 08, 2022

Dear colleagues and friends, from an exotic management curiosity, that popped up in the far east, the last few years have contributed to making Haier’s RenDanHeYi the de-facto source of inspiration to fundamentally rethink how organizations can pursue higher levels of innovation, ingenuity, passion, scalability, and customer-centricity. 

Whether by consuming former CEO and Chairman Zhang Ruimin’s speeches or written pieces, following a panel with international experts at a global conference, or attending one of Boundaryless’ training, managers and practitioners from the United States to Japan have been able to appreciate how significant the structural discontinuities introduced by the RenDanHeYi are in terms of radical transparency, power distribution, bureaucracy busting, accountability of each and every individual to the demands of the market.

More than 60K small and large companies are currently connecting with the Chinese manufacturing leader to investigate its ideas, frameworks, and solutions with only one goal in mind: discovering innovative management models that could be taken as inspiration in their geographies and companies, to unlock the same extraordinary business opportunities and results Haier has been enjoying for decades.

Thousands of companies from hundreds of countries and, yet, a consistently frustrating first reaction:

“This is too far from who we are. There is no way we can copy-paste what Haier has done in our organizational design”. 

It seems we are in a cul de sac with a growing number of CEOs and board members convinced about the strategic importance of achieving outcomes similar to those reached by Haier and yet a mounting preoccupation about the inadequateness of the preexisting culture, processes, technology, and practices as a basis to do the same.

That’s the goal of this post and of our work!

As Haier’s Open Source Research Center, Boundaryless has been enjoying the unique opportunity of collaborating with startups and incumbents to answer the common question of how to draft and roll out a successful transition journey towards the RenDanHeYi rooted in the unique DNA, environment, trajectory, and ambition of each firm. Today we are offering our community the public release of the work we have been focusing on and refining for over two years.

A New 3EO Toolkit

The 3EO Toolkit 1.0 together with its User and Release Guide (download both from here) feature the latest developments and a number of additions to the canvases Boundaryless has fruitfully leveraged to envision and design more distributed and entrepreneurial organization models.

On one side, this new open-source toolset broadens our scope to the most strategic component of organizational transformation (the why, the overall direction, its boundaries, and accelerating factors) and, on the other, provides a more concrete help to companies already moving towards the RenDanHeYi by:

  • Further clarifying the definition of 3EOs and using it to update the leadership layers and key processes at the basis of the toolkit.
  • Introducing new and more refined templates for envisioning the future, setting strategy, building valuation adjustment mechanisms (VAMs), designing experiments, structuring micro-enterprises (MEs) and ecosystem micro-communities (EMCs).
  • Giving visual and textual recommendations, tips, and rationales about the application of each canvas.

With both new and refined canvases, this new release of the 3EO Toolkit now features 7 transformation catalysts:

  • The Envisioning and the Strategy Setting Canvas act as “framing” aids to assess, visualize and evolve the high-level ambition, the potential blockers, and the strategic direction the evolution aims at.
  • The 3EO Map envisions such indications through high-level organizational artifacts and dynamics that should be happening at each leadership layer and key process.
  • The Micro-Enterprise Canvas, the VAM Canvas, and the Ecosystem Micro Community Canvas are intended to operationalize the design by sketching, prototyping, and validating agreements focused on the entrepreneurial development of the organization.
  • The Organizational Experiment Canvas is slightly more generic support to manage a portfolio of experiments required to allow an iterative journey of exploration, validation, and learning towards the 3EO.

The 3EO Adoption Guide

The 3EO Adoption Guide builds on and situates the new canvases into a coherent co-creation and engagement process we have already validated in consulting initiatives from Europe to Asia, involving large and small financial institutions, energy providers, manufacturers, and professional services and communication players, and other firms.

Our approach leverages the wisdom of socio-technical systems, Whole Scale Change, and complex adaptive systems but also the real-world experiences of Haier, Morningstar, Buurtzorg, Zappos, General Electrics Appliances, Fujitsu, MAQE, and Boundaryless itself to suggest a path for experimentation aligned to the principles of the RenDanHeYi and still accessible to more traditional, hierarchical and controlled organizational contexts.

Each phase is described in terms of its goal, core activities and steps, the formats we have tested, and the canvases we tend to use.

Together with the process, we transparently share several lessons learned to be discussed, validated, and improved thanks to the broader community. Among them:

  • How to avoid linear evolution journeys
  • How to experiment with RenDanHeYi in hierarchical environments
  • The centrality of contracts at getting the evolution started
  • A set of key questions to produce unique and contextually organizational answers
  • The relationship between the RenDanHeYi and other frameworks such as Agile, Sociocracy, and Holacracy

We close this second guide with examples from global pioneers from which insights for the 3EO are extracted and commented.

How to use and explore them together

More than providing answers, taken together, the Toolkit and the Adoption Guide are meant to raise the attention and potentially some ideas regarding the challenging, strategic, and urgent organizational questions all of the market is facing:

They ultimately empower every team, unit, and company to tackle the decisions of power centralization and distribution, control and autonomy, security and motivation, collaboration and competition, speed and inclusivity critical not just for the success but also for the survival of startups and incumbents.

In the coming months, we’ll have multiple opportunities for delving deeper into such questions, the canvases, their use, and our learning, including an event to launch and explore the 3EO Toolkit with GE Appliances, Intesa Sanpaolo, MAQE, and Gummy Industries on the 21st of June. Please register at “The RenDanHeYi in practice. Voices from the world”.

Access to the new materials

We are releasing the new 3EO Toolkit, its User, and its Adoption Guides in open-source. Feel free to go ahead and download them from our site.

Are you into future-proof organization design concepts, techniques, and tools?

Join us at the upcoming 3EO / RenDanHeYi Live Masterclass in September:


Emanuele Quintarelli

June 08, 2022