Self-Managing

There are three significant changes that Teal organizations embody. The first we’ll think about is self-management. They have taken significant steps away from a strong hierarchical organizational structure and moved toward a flatter one. There may still be a CEO but that person is more a figurehead, one who actively embodies the values and vision. Although actively engaged in projects that are important to them, the CEO is not the key decision maker, for that power has been given to self-managed teams within the organization. There are fewer titles and a fluid movement between roles. Often there is peer evaluation and everyone has input regarding salaries!

In what way have you encountered these ideals in your place of work or church community?

The Contemplative Fire Companions that met shared stories of when we have encountered the walls of hierarchy; at times in our life, having a chain of command felt safe and secure. At other times it was restrictive and inhibiting. Have you encountered those walls? Where? What was your response?

We share awareness that Contemplative Fire has some structure, but its founding DNA is community engagement and its vision is for diversification with small local based communities, woven together by a shared Rhythm of Life and shared Vision/Values. We have a lot of Teal within us. We want to deepen that way of being in the world.

Rather than walls, Teal organizations have doors, open doors, lots of them, reflecting the organic nature of their life. Information flows. Things are always changing. Ideas, filtered through the purpose/vision/values of the organization, come in and out. Trust is a thread that joins the members.

I delighted in reading about for-profit companies that work with this model! It deepens my hope for our world. Some are truly trying to live a different way.

Can you, with me, imagine your company, community, church functioning this way? I think it smells like Jesus. Can you imagine with me our world moving in this direction?

Love and prayers

Anne

Contemplative Fire Community Leader (Canada)

What is ‘teal’?

As some Companions in Contemplative Fire gathered to explore Laloux’s ideas, we called our times together, ‘Teal Talks’.

‘Teal’ describes an evolutionary stage of human consciousness in relation to social organizations. Just as humans mature through emotional stages of development, Laloux describes the evolutionary development of our social organizations from small bands, to tribes, chiefdoms, nation states, and corporations. Within the later stages he describes corporations or organizations that are hierarchical, achievement oriented, and pluralistic. Each stage is allocated a colour – magenta (bands), red (impulsive chiefdoms), amber (conformist tribes/states, organizations), orange  (achievement nation states/corporations), and green  (pluralistic groups/organizations). Finally, he sees evidence of the most current level of our human consciousness in some organizations which are ‘teal’. These communities or companies have let go of much of their hierarchy along with the supporting structures and practices. They embody the three hallmarks of teal or evolutionary growth: purpose driven, self-managed and value a wholistic approach to life and business.

How do you respond to this simple description of Teal? If curious for more, search www.reinventingorganizations.com

We met and we talked. We talked ‘teal’ and that led us to speak of our experiences in life. Our times became rich and meaningful. It felt like to me, the way life was meant to be lived.  We discovered more of who we are individually and as a community. We spoke of becoming more of who we are, both individually and as a community. More. Not more in a BIG sense but more in completeness.

Can you, with me, imagine your company, community, church functioning this way? I think it smells like Jesus. Can you imagine with me our world moving in this direction?

Love and prayers

Anne

Community Leader Canada

 

Mazes

Again and again I think I’m going somewhere and then BAM I hit a wall. I spin a bit, need to turn slightly and get on my way again. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a maze as I continue to try to find my way forward. I think I’ve found the way and I have, then BAM, a wall appears again.

A year ago Philip from the UK Contemplative Fire community suggested we read Frederic LaLoux’s book ‘Reinventing Organizations’. The author describes it as guide to creating organizations inspired by the next stage in human consciousness. Many of us within our community felt like we’d found a way forward. This book described us, both as individuals and as a community. The evolutionary principles within it were ones we were attracted to and which under-girds Contemplative Fire’s community life. Yes, a way forward! Someone else, beyond our world, beyond church-land was describing a wonderful way to live – enlivened by purpose, self-managing and holistic in relationship.

We began to meet for ‘Teal Talk’. People came and went, staying for as long as it was significant to them. We met as often as we wanted, usually every few months and we talked about what we wanted to as inspired by the ideas within the book, our lived experience and our longings.

Although the idea of a blog had been percolating within me for about a year, it was one of our ‘Teal Talk’ times that brought it together. One member said, ‘We need to share these ideas with others in the community.’ Of course we do. My desire to find a contemplative pathway through this chaotic world is infected by my desire to grow individually, as a community leader, and as a member of a community that seeks to be ‘teal’ in a very ‘orange’ world.

I know the colour words can be strange. We’ll tease those apart in weeks to come. Right now some questions to get us started.

Do you ever feel you hit a wall of hierarchy? A wall of the traditionalism? A wall of competition? A wall of strategy, planning and budgets? Maybe you’re a bit ‘teal’ too and living in an ‘orange’ world.

I’m finding my way and I hope you’ll join me. I trust our journey will expose some walls and help us find a new way forward. A whole new way – it’s a way of Peaceful Power.

Love and prayers

Anne

Community Leader Canada