Teal organisation handbook – in statu nascendi
I have just started to write down a teal organisation handbook.
The idea is to work together in a teal team without defined manager using the teal statute.
The book will grow in English, Polish, Russian… languages in parallel.
It is very fresh, the team consist five people till now.
Any comments very welcome (see bottom of this page)
If you like to join or make any input contact me please.
The team in alphabetical order
Mirka Białobrzeska, Ewa Bocian, Mariusz Bocian, Zdzisiek Kolmaga, Alla Lisińska, Victor Vorski
thanks a lot to Victor for his help and correction of my English
Many wisdom traditions affirm that when we act from deep integrity and align with what we feel called to do,
the universe conspires to support us.
Frederic Laloux “REINVENTING ORGANIZATIONS” (2014)
Area of ideas and causes, the mind, the inner world
We have created mechanical world with organisations made in a machine shape with people treated as machines. Our parents, or better to say grandparents, were growth and lived together what means their day by day live was together with family and work as a mixture. Together with family means with parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren together in one place. Looking from our perspective is even difficult to understand their life.
We are now in divided world. Family means no more then two people with children maybe. Family members have different duties in many places than the time they are together is limited. Our grandparent’s need was to have separate place in too crowded environment. Our need is to have enough intimacy with somebody in close relation. Being in day by day in direct contacts our grandparents did not need to many words to communicate. They were able to communicate more by their actions defined by tradition and habits. The intimacy was obvious and even did not defined. They were able trust each other just because of their current family state. It was more similar to existence in small village were all know each other including life histories. The people were not educated in nowadays sense but they were in very well defined social environment.
The modern organisational system was created on our grandparents social base. To build modern capitalism system the simplest way was to copy existing organisation scheme already well tested in an army or in the church. Using hierarchical structure with direct orders and instruction was very effective and useful with employment of non educated workers.
It should be obvious for everyone the modern society is different then it was a hundred year before. Many of modern organisations have taken lesson of it and changed slightly, making more room for creativity and freedom within their hierarchical structures. This way the conflict between hierarchy and people who are looking for their personal grow, expression of creativity, being with connection to feelings and their deep values, becomes even more visible.
As usual, change of our material environment is faster then change of our minds and habits. Many of us observe this, then we dream and feel a new paradigm of organisation would be not only possible but it will be a remedy for growing personal pain and mankind global problems as well.
Looking from neurological perspective and Nonviolence Communication (by Marshall Rosenberg) feelings are like a flashing lamps on our mind dashboard showing the difference between real fulfillness of our needs and our expectation about it. The process is starting from our intention when we make observation of important for us elements of reality. Both of them are compared with our deep needs-values resulted as a difference between them and expressed as feelings.
If the comparison is positive, our feelings are pleasant and we are looking for strategy-action to repeat this experience, in opposite we are looking for strategy of improvement.
However we are well trained by modern society to cover our feelings, a specially if they are unpleasant. It is usual for many of us, just jumping from facts-observations and opinions to immediate action (strategy) without any conscious of feelings and needs. Some of us still are able to recognise feelings consciously but often without needs identification. This process works very well usually unconsciously.
Even our language does not help to make distinction between needs and strategy. For example; how difficult is to decide if will to obtain power should be classified as need or strategy. Considering, we humans have common needs, helps to clarify that power is just a strategy that covers behind non fulfilled needs like safety, autonomy or meaning maybe.
I hope it is visible that recognition of feelings and needs behind them is crucial to be in state of creativeness and flow. If you imagine a team of people and all of them in happy state, usually you are not able imagine amazing actions and unbelieve projects they can perform. This is a dream of many managers, how to lead people towards full creativity and flow. They dream about it but they, the same time, afraid to lose control even the control they have till now is only illusion.
I was able, few times, successfully transform team to the teal stage described above, transferring control into trust and becoming a coach instead of the director with illusion of control.
Hopefully it is becoming clear why first chapter of this book is written down about the trust, feelings and needs.
It helps to identify and discover proces starting form the trust, through taking responsibility then transferring into commitment, identification within the team and common objectives. It shows how important is identification of our deep needs-values and their compatibility with the team values.
There is no room for manipulation or any communication tricks as they are easy identifiable and kill trust immediately. This way the trust, built slowly, step by step becoming a valuable part of organisational culture.
The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him;
and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.
Henry L. Stimson “The Bomb and the Opportunity” (March 1946)
It is crucial to recognise people have ability to be trustworthy or distrust, we are just equipped with both type of “software” by evolution, we are usually happy to use the first one as quickly as we recognise trusty environment.
We switch our “software” in time of the first touch with an organisation, usually in time of employ interview. It is worth to observe that switch from trust state to state of cheating game can make some pain but is easy and quick.
In opposite switch from cheating to trust going with pleasure but takes some time, we have to be sure it is not a next stage of a cheating game.
Potential Employ – May I do my work partly from my home with agreement of it with this organisation?
Representative of Employer – Sorry, how we can control your work time if you would be out of our office?
PE supposed thoughts: “I am not enough trusty for them even my proposal seems to be beneficial for both”, “They do not trust me, how can I trust them?”, “The cheating game has started just now” – experienced one. You can add more supposed thoughts…
RE supposed thoughts: “The proposal seems be logical, but follow procedures we have to control work time”, “It is shame, I would work partly from home as well, but this is not enough trusty place”, “What he is dreaming about? We have to correct this as quickly as possible?”. You can add more…
PE – What about a salary for this position?
RE – It is my question; what is your expectation?1
PE – I suppose about 6,0002 after tax should be acceptable for me.
RE knowing his budget 7,000 – We can offer you 4,000 and 2,000 follow our bonus scheme.
The “carrot and stick” game has started.
If the market value of this job is really 7,000 the long term employment is less probable.
This does not build trust and finally could be not economical in long term as well.
Next example, I was the PE years ago:
PE – What about a salary for this position?
RE – What is your expectation?
PE – I suppose about 10,000 before tax should be acceptable.
RE – Considering your experience and knowledge, expecting long term employment and reminding our marked research we would like propose 12,000 with some extras follow our incentive system, there can be bonus as well however it depends on financial results in the end of the each budget year.
I have met this kind of situation two times. Every time the story was similar later. In both cases it was fruitful with long term cooperation. Both companies have been growing quickly. There were many very interesting and amazing projects I was participant and initiator of them sometimes. I was happy to work within trusty environment taking possibility of experiments with driving my teams to teal and be a coach instead of the director. Both companies were so successful then it was only time issue to be sold. The trust built in the first interview were so robust then any distrust behaviour later was easy explained myself as a human mistake.
You can complain that what is possible in big conglomerate is not so easy in small startup.
Let look on another example from tiny over invested startup:
PE – What is a salary for this position?
RE – What is your expectation?
PE – I believe 2,500 after tax would be good.
RE – You know we are in time of investment what is visible around us just now. We are transparent with our finance information for all our employees. We plan next year 3,000 salary for this position however it is impossible for us just now. We can share with you other benefits but 2,000 it is everything what is possible now. Is it acceptable for you to continue discussion about other benefits we can share with you?
PE – I used to be on your training and would be happy to join the team, however I have to be realistic and able to survive till next year. Let me know details of other possibilities.
RE – OK, you can make … what will give us extra income … what makes extra income for you.
Usually people are very open for any situation it gives them chance to switch “trust on”, every time they meet true story with chance for realistic participation in future befits and pleasure from real team work.
We are created by evolution to organise “hunting projects”, involving all people in a our tribe in the way everyone is able to help.
Another case of managing:
Manager – George, our water system was blocked this night. You have to unblock it today till end of the first shift. Take our KERTER equipment and together with John start with it as quickly as possible. Is it clear for you?
George – Yes, seems to be clear. Are you sure John is not busy with any other work?
M – Nothing is more important today then mentioned problem. Don’t wait with it.
G – OK, boss.
Similar case but another managing style:
Henry – What is going on, George?
George – We had serious leakage on our water system then it was stop this night. You know, we have this old fashion pipes maybe more then 50 year old. They are divided piece by piece and can be moved in any case of a ground movement. I am just thinking not only how to seal it but to prevent similar problems in future. However I am not sure what could be the best solution now?
H – What possibilities you see till now?
G – We can obviously use our KERTER equipment and just dig, seal the broken pieces and unblock them, however it does not help for future. Next month we can face the same problem again. It is not logical for me to do it again and again.
H – Do you have any idea for prevention?
G – There is possibility to push the plastic pipe through the old one, however there is risk on the bends. I am not sure about it.
H – What about lower pipe diameter after this action?
G – The old one is much more then oversized. I do not expect any problem with it. Plastic one even with lower diameter has lower pressure drop.
H – What about bends problem you have mentioned about?
G – We have two bends on this pipe. I afraid there will be problem to push plastic pipe through them. Supposedly extra cost for digging there?
H – What is the cost of unblocking? Is it comparable with expected digging cost?
G – It seems could be maximum two times more then sealing, cleaning and unblocking only, including plastic pipe which we have in our storage already.
H – I remember we had this problem three times last year, hadn’t we?
G – Yes, we had it three times. You are completely right.
H – What would be your decision if you had to pay for it?
G – I can expect three or four times the similar problem next year. It is worth to pay for digging and for the plastic pipe.
H – I would like your style of thinking, you are not only professional but good householder too. It again pleasure to discuss with you. What do you need more to start your action.
G – Nothing, I am ready now, thanks for your support, Henry.
They met each other in the cantin at the lunch time.
G – Hello, Henry. I am almost finished my project of pipe pushing. We had to dig around the first bend only. Then I will finalise it on the first shift with lower cost.
H – Well done, you had very good idea with this plastic pipe.
G – I have found similarity in another part of our water network. I will consider is it worth to copy this idea there.
You can answer yourself what is a value of trust from accounting point of view.
We will look carefully in the next chapters how trust builds process of taking responsibility and building commitment.
1 Question about employee salary expectation is typical in Poland, what could be different in UK or somewhere else.
2 All amounts of money and any other details useful for identification described situations were changed.