Surveys, conversations and observations assert companies to be places of dread and drudgery, rather than passion and purpose. Behind a façade of success, many top leaders are tired of the power games; despite their overloaded schedules, they feel a vague sense of emptiness. Pioneering oranisations in a whole range of sectors are operating with new structure of management that show how we can deal with the complexity of our times in new exciting ways, and how work can become a place of personal fulfilment and growth.
Laloux borrows Ken Wilber’s colour spectrum to explore the successive stages of management evolution. Teal organisations are all about self-management (peer relationships, autonomy, distributed power), wholeness (authenticity, passion, creativity), and evolutionary purpose (agile practices that sense, respond and replace the machinery of plans, targets and incentives). The Dutch nursing care provider, Buurtzorg, provides the perfect case study of a teal organisation. Buurtzorg have removed layers of bureaucracy, to end an outcome that was proving distressing to patients and nurses alike. Jos de Blok transformed the company into a self-managing enterprise, with teams of nurses serving well-defined neighbourhoods. Its purpose is not to changes bandages as efficiently as possible, but to help the public live, as much as is possible, a rich and autonomous life
Already, it’s clear that we can create radically more productive, soulful, and purposeful businesses, schools and hospitals. Laloux emphasises ‘we are at an inflection point: a moment in history where it’s time to stop trying to fix the old model and instead make a leap to the next one. It will be better suited to the complexity and challenges of our times, and to the yearning in our hearts.’