"Reinventing Organizations" by Frederic Laloux. Excerpt and summaries PT.2. going teal






By Bogdan Grebenyuk, Product Manager at Thermevo
on Jul 31, 2018
In previous publication we considered 5 most popular management paradigms that are used to run the most efficient companies and organizations of today.
Here we're going to consider the key features of the most modern and efficient management type.
As we figured out, the most productive, and person-friendly type of management is Teal. But how to become Teal?

What are the key factors of "Going Teal"?

  • Good life breeds success, profit and etc, not the other way round
  • Focusing on one's strength, paying less attention to weaknesses and failures
  • There are no mistakes, just opportunities to learn
  • Wisdom beyond rationality
  • Think "Both-and" not "Either-or"
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Wholeness is a goal


Here is a list of companies already using Teal Management:

  • AES Energy sector―Global―40,000 employees―For profit
  • BSO/Origin IT consulting―Global―10,000 employees (1996)―For profit
  • Buurtzorg Health care―Netherlands―7,000 employees―Nonprofit
  • ESBZ School (Grades 7-12)―Germany―1,500 students, staff, and parents―Nonprofit
  • FAVI Metal manufacturing―France―500 employees―For profit
  • Heiligenfeld Mental health hospitals―Germany―600 employees―For profit
  • Holacracy Organizational operating model
  • Morning Star Food processing―United States―400-2,400 employees―For profit
  • Patagonia Apparel―United States―1,350 employees―For profit
  • RHD Human Services―United States―4,000 employees―Nonprofit
  • Sounds True Media―United States―90 employees and 20 dogs―For profit
  • Sun Hydraulics Hydraulics components―Global―900 employees―For profit

Teal Breakthroughs

  • Self-management - peer relationship allows coworkers to operate effictively even at large scales without any hierarchy
  • Wholeness - bringing all of you to work, not only quite narrow part of personality called "professional"
  • Evolutionary purpose - organizations becomes some kind of living entity and its members are invited to understand which way company wants to move further and what purposes does it have



Main Management Practices Used in Teal Organizations

  • Self-organized teams
  • Leaders and Coaches when needed
  • Almost no staff functions
  • Coordination and meetings when needed
  • Simple project management minimum plans and budgets
  • Decentralized decision making
  • Transparent info and finances
  • Anyone can spend any amount of money provided
  • Advices are respected
  • Multi-step conflict resolution
  • Focusing on team performance
  • Self-set salaries

What does it mean "Wholeness"?

  • Self-decorated workspaces with no status markers
  • Community building, storytelling, support, etc
  • No given job titles, each member names his own role
  • Discussions about commitments
  • Conflict resolution time
  • Recruitment interviews held by future colleagues

Evolutionary Purposes

  • Strategy is built by collective efforts of self-managed employees
  • Decisions are driven by company's purpose
  • Competition is irrelevant
  • Growth and market is important only if they help reaching purpose
  • Profit is natural if everyone is doing the right thing
  • Much simplified budgets, no targets or tracking
  • Suppliers are chosen by purpose fit

Basic Norms of Teal Organizations

  • We can't change people, but we can change ourselves
  • We take ownership for our thoughts and deeds
  • No rumors
  • Resolving conflicts one-by-one without driving anyone else into the problems
  • No blaming on others. If there is a problem we think how we can bring a solution there.

Why Teal Companies are Successful?

  • Common purpose makes individuals to boost their energy
  • Self-management makes extra motivation. Employees stop working for someone and do their job to meet inner or company's standards.
  • Self-management provides opportunities to learn continuously
  • Employees are not forced to take management roles that might not fit them and are able to focus on desired tasks and purposes.
  • Employees do not waste their time and powers on maintaining hierarchical pyramids inside the company
  • Quick and meaningful decisions

Summing Up

All these features listed above allow Teal companies to beat other management types with efficiency and purpose level. Also it's obvious that idea of Wholeness which underlies Teal Management extremely increases loyalty among employees.

In sum we can see that Teal means less time waste on hierarchy, centralized decisions, and competitions between employees. Instead, this type of organization offers common purpose for all coworkers, involving employees in the most desired tasks and goals, flexible commitments and lesser management expenses. All these advantages increase company's income significantly without losing quality of its end-product.

Do not forget to check our first publication about "Reinventing Organizations" by Frederic Laloux, cause there we described key features of 4 other efficient management types of today.

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