My Tuesday evening routine includes a call to Susan in New Zealand. We have been exploring a process called Working Out Loud. I love books and am always interested in book recommendations, so I asked Susan for hers. One of them was Reinventing Organizations by Fredrick Laloux. I ordered it, but somehow the book title (there are hundreds with similar titles) and the butterfly on the front (what’s going on with a butterfly and a computer?) resulted it ending up at the bottom of my reading pile.
Then John Stepper mentioned the book too, and I started to read it.
The book made me shake. It was both a sense of coming home – here was someone who could articulate so much that I had felt but not been able to express, and a realisation of what is possible. I could not believe that a ‘home care’ organisation – the almost fabled Buurtzorg – was leading the way in such a radical new way of working. Laloux describes a new paradigm of organisation, that he calls teal. Teal organisations embody self-organisation, enable people to bring their whole selves to work, and allow the organisations purpose to evolve.
Laloux would describe our team as a ‘green’. This means that we see ourselves as a family, focus on the culture of our team, our values and how we work together. I don’t see myself as a typical CEO, but many team members, even through they are self-employed, still refer to me as their boss.
The first step to self-management is changing how power is used, and being clear about roles and accountability in a different way. This is both personally challenging and exciting. Team members are either reading the book or watching videos on teal to prepare for the team meeting. I have just seen a message from Michelle who says ‘I am finding the book very thought provoking”.
My next task for today is the team agenda our two-day team away days next week. I am eager to hear what my colleagues think, and how this could be the start of moving towards Teal.