On 2 February 2015, Kathleen Mojica and myself had a unique opportunity to speak about a new learning for us with the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP). We were invited by their leadership team to talk about what we’ve learned from a book we’ve read, Reinventing Organizations, by Frederic Laloux. ECCP’s leadership team was curious about emerging trends in ways of working and organizing.
Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux is a very interesting book describing a new type of organization, called “Teal Organizations”, that Mr. Laloux has discovered through extensive research. Teal organizations have been described as “highly productive, with very high commitment and engagement with its people, customers, and the community.” His assertion, backed up by many examples and success stories of companies, is that teal organizations achieve this through revolutionary self-management practices, non-rigid hierarchy, and highly adaptive, interlocking systems for information sharing, communication, and conflict resolution.
When Kath and I spoke at ECCP what impressed us was the knowledge and curiosity exhibited by members of their management team. Those present were highly engaged and willing into look into their own practices as a team and an organization. Almost everyone agreed that self-management practices, free access to information, and supportive structures for communication and conflict-resolution made for more engaged people and healthier working environment. What some found more challenging was that in teal organizations, traditional management hierarchy and control is largely removed. Nevertheless, all present courageously agreed to look further into teal principles and what they can create together as an organization.
Overall, it was refreshing for me to experience and interact with people who were hungry for knowledge and alternative ways of being and doing. I enjoyed the discussion and interaction with the ECCP management team and commend their openness and curiosity.
Reinventing Organizations Redux with the Human Capital Club
After Kathleen and I spoke with the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) about Reinventing Organizations, we were pleased to receive another invite to speak about the same topic at the Human Capital Club forum on 4 June 2015 at the Dusit Thani. Organized by ECCP, it was attended by mid to senior level leaders from a variety of industries: Transportation, FMCG, Real Estate, BPO, Telecommunications, Consulting, and Higher Education. I was pleasantly surprised to find two representatives from my alma mater, the University of Asia and the Pacific.
Many had attended after receiving the invite out of curiosity on how leaders and organizations might better engage, inspire, and bring the best out of their people. Some had attended out of an intuition that something needed to change in their own organizations, that if they were to truly be successful for the future, they needed to connect with their people in a deeper, more meaningful way. In response, myself with two of my colleagues- Kathleen Mojica and Butch Tan- provided them with a short briefing on teal organizations and answer questions during the Q&A afterwards. And what a response we received!
Barely halfway through the presentation people started to ask us questions- how do teal organizations work, how do they deal with conflict, how do they collaborate efficiently? People were genuinely intrigued and curious and wanted to understand more. I had to gently deflect questions and remind people that we will entertain more questions in detail during the Q&A. I barely had enough time to cover my briefing before people again engaged in active questioning, especially how do you create and maintain teal organizations.
What struck me the most was how open attendees were to the concepts of teal organizations, including from industries I didn’t expect it from- a global food company and a local air transport company. I had thought that both companies would stand for rigid hierarchy and control in an effort to deliver consistent results. What stood out for me was almost everyone was hungry for a new way of working and doing business, one that brought out excellence in individuals and is more effective at engaging with younger people. Overall, it was a truly enjoyable and eye-opening experience.