Organisations fascinate me. It is the human interactions and dynamics which are so facinating. Over the years I have read many books and listened to many commentators describe how they think organisations work.I have my own experience and opinion but sometimes an author puts their concept into words which really “hits the spot ”
A facinating book that has this quality is called “Reinventing organisations” written by Frederic laloux .The subject of the book is nothing new ,it describes the various phases in the growth of an organisation from autocratic leadership to people empowerment . The idea that sets this book apart from others is that humans and leaders can and have created organisations inspired by “the next stage of human consciousness ” a sort of enlightenment !These organisations he called Teal organisations .The words of this author are very grand indeed !How can the simple capitalist view of making money through activity be married with this grand term human consciousness ?.What the author manages to describe very well is how organisations can move from a basic tribal structure with command and control to a self regulating higher conciousness model .The use of colors to describe the various phases of the growth of an organisation takes us through several phases ( colors )and results in the ultimate phase in development that is becoming a teal organisation.
A teal organisation is highly sophisticated in it is both authentic and integral,it is a living system.Gone are the results at any cost culture and goals are things of the past .The leaders no longer give commands live by performance management . It is the final death of the KPI !!!
So what are the attributes of a teal organisation according to laloux
1) teal organisations self manage and no longer needing hierarchy.The power at the top that separates colleagues into the powerful and the powerless is gone , the shadow sides of the organisation such as politics and back stabbing is a thing of the past
2) teal organisations encourage people to be people,rather than
the narrow professional self that turns up to work each day,the real person turns up.The authentic self is the mantra ,speaking up becomes the norm.The use of reflective space and time is encouraged moving away from the constant “busyness” seen in all modern organisations .Story telling is encourgaged with people sharing their own journeys .
3). Teal organisations have a life and sense of direction of their own ,they are connected and alive to to the external ecosystems and know how they fit in .
So could we image what pragmatic steps are needed to Create a teal organisation or is this form of utopia a dream
In my opinion the 5 steps towards a teal organisation are
1) Top management and stakeholders have to be “comfortable in their skin” to really do something different
2) Real courage is needed to bring in new practices that seem “strange and hippy”
3) organisations need to be well organized to change – the teal level of sophistication requires that the previous phases are successful. It is impossible to go to sophistocated without being basic .In other words organizational systems ,skills and practices have to be at a high level to “turn the corner’ towards becoming teal
4) HR needs to be modern supportive and highly creative
5)There needs to be a sufficient number of open people “change agents ” to create a movement towards teal
Teal organisations are clearly a way forward let’s keep this going for further debate