Finding the way to achieving a teal organization is a bit like trying to make your way over to a radiant, aqua-colored light beckoning from afar. You see where you want to be but there is no clearly demarcated way to get there. Most accomplished business leaders find that the path to Teal becomes a large part of their Third Act .
And why shouldn’t it be? Teal Organizations contribute to the betterment of the world, profiting employees and customers. They are resilient, opportunistic, and make money. But the pursuit of money isn’t the primary objective. It’s a means to an end. Teal Organizations are the nurseries of thought-leaders, high-achievers, and exceptional quality. They are organizations worthy of a legacy.
The Holy Trinity of Teal
There is no standard size or type of Teal Organizations. These varied companies sell services, parts, and can be not-for-profit or for profit. But all do share commonalities. If an organization is a living body, then each and every Teal organization possesses three vital organs. Miss one and the Teal status ceases to exist. These vital organs are:
1) a strong sense of purpose
What exactly are these vitals and what do they mean? Does your interpretation of these words align with that of accomplished Teal Organizations? Let’s make sure we are all speaking the same language.Strong Sense of Purpose
Teal Organizations are driven by a strong sense of purpose that ultimately makes the world a better place. Every staff member’s decision is intimately tied to the organization’s ability to move towards and support this purpose. In lieu of putting the decision-making power into the hands of a few people trying to predict and control the organization’s future, members of the organization (employees) listen in, understand, and share what the organization wants to become. The notion of competition does not exist because it is not congruent with the purpose. This creates true teamwork along with all the accompanying benefits that are so elusive to non-Teal organizations.Self-Management
Management in Teal Organizations is self-led. Teams organize around a shared goal, which has proven to give staff members the autonomy and satisfaction they crave to fulfill their highest potential and utilize their top talents. It’s a system based on peer relationships, skills, empowerment, and personal motivation. Hierarchy is eliminated. Self-management is how Teal Organizations get the highest possible performance out of each and every employee. It’s a highly efficient system built on trust and belief that individuals aspire and will work hard to reach their highest potential. Holacracy is one example of a self-managed operating system utilized by some Teal Organizations.Wholeness
Wholeness in Teal is scaled to both the organization and the human beings who run it. Instead of having departments that operate as cogs in a machine, organizational structure is analogous to a living organism that can quickly adapt and respond to the surrounding environment. It does this by not keeping individuals restrained into restrictive, compartmentalized functions. The creative skills of a computer technician is not locked up in the IT department. The quiet insecurities of the stalwart company president are shared and respected. All of an individual’s attributes have a role to play in the organization.
The Leadership Role (or Your Role)
In the seminal book, Reinventing Organizations, author Frederic Laloux asserts that an organization’s stage (red, amber, orange, green, or teal), is defined by the way its leadership looks at the world. Are you a leader? Yes? How do you see the world?
In grasping how these vitals fit into real world organizations you may find it helpful to look at case studies. Laloux’s book is filled with concrete examples of the overwhelming success (both financially and of the well-being of the employees and customers) of Teal Organizations.
In your own quest of Teal, what might be lacking within your organization to declare that you have the Teal trifecta? Or backing up even further, what must you do to get to the point where you as a leader can see the world for its capacity to uphold Teal values in the business realm? How might your current daily challenges be addressed within the context of Teal?
The integrity of your answer matters to you, the lives of your employees, every customer you serve, and with whom you establish business relationships.
Interested in learning more? Beyond Teal presents Facilitative Leadership Program (FLP), based on the work of Bruce Peters, CEO of Beyond Teal. FLP includes a new module called Creating & Guiding Self-Led Teams, based on the principals of Teal and Self-Led.
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Bruce Peters has spent the last 15 years living his own “Third Act.” Based on his personal experience and in working as a guide for hundreds of leaders, he has designed a unique process for getting beyond where you areand into the creation of your own Third Act for you and your organization’s version of Teal. It starts with the question of what is the difference you want to make? Learn more at www.beyondteal.com.