Evolutionary teal organizations: can this new model of business heal our ailing world?
Originally posted at disinfo.com
What is an evolutionary-teal organization?
The best way to think about it is like this; nature is capable of managing eco-systems that are unfathomably beautiful and complex. These living systems are always adapting to survive in ever-changing environments and as a result they evolve to become more efficient and better suited at sustaining themselves.
In the industrialized world, businesses function more like clunky destructive machines instead of living organisms. The effect that this has had not only on our environment but on our culture and our way of life, is self-evident.
We have all but destroyed this planet by creating a global consumer driven culture that is never satisfied. The end result of this is now frighteningly clear: we are now in the midst of the 6th Mass extinction event that our planet has seen in the last half billion years-where every species on Earth (including our own) is at risk of being wiped out!
Sadly, most are unaware that its come to this.
But the good news is that if we choose to view the problem from an objective standpoint, we become better able to see that possibly, our best hope for changing it is to reverse engineer the very same process that caused it.
The root of the imbalance
Is it the hierarchal nature of business structures and the mechanistic way in which they function a major reason why industry in general is so destructive?
These pyramidal structures create disproportionate imbalance within the very walls of their organization. Such imbalance creates on-going power struggles in the upper levels and a dog-eat-dog environment in the lower by those who are both vying to get ahead while they secretly loathe those with power over them.
Such environments hardly create a place for personal growth. How could anyone expect business structures like these to do anything but destroy this planet? They are consuming themselves from the inside out while consuming all the resources in, on and above the planet’s atmosphere.
By putting the soul back into business structures so that they function like living organisms as opposed to lifeless, destructive machines, we become more empowered as individuals and are better able to create and run sustainable businesses that help heal our ailing world.
Putting the soul back into business
An evolutionary-teal organization recognizes that its employees are its greatest capital. A teal organization creates an environment where individuals are encouraged to bring their “whole self” to the workplace with the intent that they discover the unique talents that they alone possess.
When an individual finds their true self, their soul, they are then able to help restore the balance that is missing in our world.
Like a vibrant living organism a teal organization survives by adapting to changes in its environment. And it evolves to become more efficient and effective as a result. By being in the now, it is better able to anticipate how it will adapt to ever-changing future conditions. By remembering what it has gone through in the past it retains fundamental innate intelligence at its core that empowers all of its living systems.
From this perspective of a business model, world change becomes much more accessible to the masses when progressive green/teal entrepreneurs step up to form new companies or recreate existing ones in this vein.
This is from the book “Reinventing Organizations” by Fredrick Laloux:
Constant exercise of power by chief to keep troops in line. Fear is the glue of the organization. Highly reactive short-term focus. Thrives in chaotic environments.
~Division of Labor
Highly formal rules within a hierarchical pyramid. Top-down command and control (what and how). Stability valued above all through rigorous processes. Future is repetition of the past.
~Most Government Agencies
~Public School Systems
~Formal Roles (stable and scalable hierarchies)
~Processes (long-term perspectives)
Goal is to beat competition;achieve profit and growth. Innovation is the key to staying ahead. Management by objectives (command and control on what;freedom on the how).
Within the classic pyramid structure, focus on culture and empowerment to achieve extraordinary employee motivation.
~Culture Driven Organizations (e.g., Southwest Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s, …)
Here are three breakthroughs of evolutionary-teal organizations:
Self management: teal organizations have found that the key to operate effectively, no matter their size and without the need for either hierarchy or consensus, is based on peer relationships.
Wholeness: Organizations have almost always been places where we are required to bring only the skill set that the job requires and leave the other parts of ourselves at home. We are also expected to show a masculine resolve by displaying determination and strength while hiding any doubts and vulnerability. With rationality ruling as King, the emotional and intuitive aspects of being feels unwelcome and harshly out of place. Teal organizations maintain a consistent set of practices that allow us to reclaim our inner wholeness and develop it in the workplace.
Evolutionary purpose: Teal organizations are seen as having a sense of purpose and direction that is all their own. Instead of trying to predict and control the future, these organizations grow and evolve into it.