Teal Australia is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Perth WA. Values guide all of our interactions, internally as well as externally. Our core values are:
- Loving Kindness
- Sympathetic Joy
As a group we embrace an open evolutionary culture. Welcome inside to have a look at what life in a Teal organisation is like:
- Self-organizing teams
- When needed, coaches (no P&L responsibility, no management authority) cover several teams
- No executive team meetings
- Coordination and meetings mostly ad hoc when needs arise
- Radically simplified project management
- No project managers, people self-staff projects
- Minimum (or no) plans and budgets, organic prioritization
- Most such functions performed by teams themselves, or by voluntary task forces
- Few staff remaining have only advisory role
- Interviews by future colleagues, focus is on fit with organization and with purpose
- All employees are walking manifestations of our values
- Significant training in relational skills and in company culture
- Rotation programs to immerse oneself in the organization
- Personal freedom and responsibility for training
- Critical importance of common training that everybody attends
Job titles & job descriptions
- No job titles
- Fluid and granular roles instead of fixed job descriptions
- Recruitment, training, and appraisals used to explore juncture of individual calling and organizational purpose
Flexibility & time commitment
- Honest discussion about individual time commitment to work vs. other meaningful commitments in life
- High degree of flexibility in working hours, as long as commitments are upheld
- Focus on team performance
- Peer-based processes for individual appraisals
- Appraisal discussion turned into personal inquiry into one’s learning journey and calling
- Self-set salaries with peer calibration for base pay
- Narrower salary differences
- No bonuses or profit sharing; all profits goes towards establishment of vegan eco-village
- Unlimited earnings potential for individual facilitators
- No promotions, but fluid rearrangement of roles based on peer agreement
- Responsibility to speak up about issues outside of one’s scope of authority
- Dismissal last step in mediated conflict resolution mechanism
- In practice very rare
- Caring support to turn dismissal into a learning opportunity
- Self-decorated, warm spaces, open to children, animals, nature
- No status markers
- Specific meeting practices to keep ego in check and ensure everybody’s voice is heard
- Fully decentralized based on advice process (or on holacratic decision-making mechanisms)
- Regular time devoted to bring to light and address conflicts
- Multi-step conflict resolution process
- Everyone trained in conflict mgmt.
- Culture restricts conflict to the conflicting parties and mediators; outsiders are not dragged in
- All information available in real-time to all, including about company financials and compensation
- Total transparency invites outsiders to make suggestions to better bring about purpose
- Clear values translated into explicit ground rules of (un)acceptable behaviors to foster safe environment
- Practices to cultivate discussions about values and ground rules
- Quiet room
- Group meditation and silence practices
- Large group reflection practices
- Team supervision and peer coaching
- Conscious sensing of what mood would serve the organization’s purpose
- Storytelling practices to support self-disclosure and build community
- Organization seen as a living entity with its own evolutionary purpose
- The concept of competition is irrelevant; “competitors” are embraced to pursue purpose
- Practices to listen into the organization’s purpose:
- Everyone a sensor
- Large group processes
- Meditations, guided visualizations, etc.
- Responding to outside prompting
- Strategy emerges organically from the collective intelligence of self-managing employees
Innovation & product development
- Inside out: offer is defined by purpose
- Guided by intuition and beauty
- Suppliers chosen also by fit with purpose
Purchasing & investments
- Anybody can spend any amount provided advice process is respected
- Peer-based challenging of team’s investment budget
Sales & Marketing
- Marketing as a simple proposition: this is our offer to the world (inside out)
- No sales targets
Planning, budgeting & controlling
- Based on “sense and respond”
- No or radically simplified budgets, no tracking of variance
- Workable solutions and fast iterations instead of searching for “perfect” answers
- Constant sensing of what’s needed
- No targets
Environmental and social initiatives
- Integrity as intrinsic yardstick: What is the right thing to do?
- Distributed initiative taking, everyone senses the right thing to do
- "Change” no longer a relevant topic because organizations constantly adapt from within
- Everyone involved to let the best response emerge from collective intelligence.
- If advice process needs to be suspended, scope and time of suspension is defined
- Decisions are made using the advice processes which is a simple form of decision-making that transcends both consensus and unilateral action. In principle, any person in the organization can make any decision. But before doing so, that person must seek advice from all affected parties and people with expertise on the matter. The person is under no obligation to integrate every piece of advice; the point is not to achieve a watered-down compromise that accommodates everybody’s wishes. But must be sought and taken into serious consideration. The bigger the decision, the wider the net must be cast―including, when necessary, the CEO or the board of directors. Usually, the decision maker is the person who noticed the issue or the opportunity or the person most affected by it. With the advice process, the ownership for the decision stays clearly with one person: the decision maker. Convinced that she made the best possible decision, she sees things through with great enthusiasm, trying to prove to advice givers that their trust was well placed or their objections immaterial. While consensus drains energy out of organizations, the advice process boosts motivation and initiative.
- Benefits of the advice process:
- First, it draws people whose advice is sought into the question at hand. They learn about the issues and become knowledgeable critics or cheerleaders. The sharing of information reinforces the feeling of community. Each person whose advice is sought feels honored and needed.
- Second, asking for advice is an act of humility, which is one of the most important characteristics of a fun workplace. The act alone says, “I need you.” The decision maker and the adviser are pushed into a closer relationship. This makes it nearly impossible for the decision maker to simply ignore advice.
- Third, making decisions is on-the-job education. Advice comes from people who have an understanding of the situation and care about the outcome. No other form of education or training can match this real-time experience.
- Fourth, chances of reaching the best decision are greater than under conventional top-down approaches. The decision maker has the advantage of being closer to the issue and usually has to live with the consequences of the decision.
- Fifth, the process is just plain fun for the decision maker because it mirrors the joy found in playing team sports. The advice process stimulates initiative and creativity, which are enhanced by wisdom from knowledgeable people elsewhere in the organization.
Inspired to reinvent your organisation?
Reinventing organisations for the next stage of human consciousness calls for changes in all four quadrants; 1) assumptions and mindset, 2) culture, 3) behaviours, and 4) structures, practices, processes and IT systems.