Teal Teams: An overview of this disruptive organization model from EAE Business School
30 de September de 2020
30 de September de 2020
How does the organization of a tribe differ from the organization of a government? Or how does the organization of a task differ from the organization of a startup? As today’s personal relationships are not the same as the personal relationships of 10 to 100 years ago, the ways that we organize ourselves to achieve certain objectives are not the same either.
Over time, with the progressive intellectual and technological development of societies, paradigms in organizations have steadily been transformed. Fear, authority, chains of command, all these elements have evolved, with new ways of operating gradually becoming established in companies.
As a result, one of the most disruptive cultures in recent years has emerged, known as Teal culture. What is it all about and how do organizations with this culture work? On 15th September, the former student on EAE’s Master in Leadership and Coaching, Lisett Rodríguez, and Jordi Vila, a lecturer at the School, gave a presentation on the topic in an interesting online session entitled “Teal Teams: Reinventing organizations”. Running for over an hour, the session focused on the key points of this culture and looked at various examples.
Ready to discover Teal culture? Let’s find out more.
By way of introduction, they showed a video entitled “Something is changing”:
After the video, the lecturer Jordi Vila encouraged the attendees to take part by asking a number of questions. Firstly, he asked what they thought was the underlying message of the video. The answers included that “the world is changing”, “we have to reinvent ourselves”, “nothing is set in stone”, and “disruptions generate new needs and put forward new ideas”.
“He continued encouraging and challenging the participants by asking who knew what needs to be adapted. The responses were very varied: “Customers, the consumers themselves”, “It is a kind of conversation between companies and customers. The ideal situation is to find the sweet spot, where the customers’ needs and the companies’ goals coincides”.
Lastly, the lecturer asked the most important question:
Teal organizations, what are they?
Jordi Vila then split the participants into 3 groups and gave them a few minutes to prepare their response, after which the students responded. All the teams agreed on certain points:
“It involves self-supervised, self-managed teams that are non-hierarchical, horizontal, adaptable and versatile”. But is that it?
After listening to the responses, the coach Lisett Rodríguez addressed the main topic, focusing on the evolutionary processes of organizations, as defined by the theorist Frederic Laloux:
The evolutionary model of organizations according to Frederic Laloux
Red organizations: “Led through and based on fear. This is how gangs work. There is a clearly chain of command and no opportunity for anything else”.
Amber organizations: “Moving beyond fear, there is a formal hierarchy. However, there is still a very clear, structure pyramid chain of command. The leader is on top and all the subordinates below them. This structure offers robust, difficult processes”.
Orange organizations: “They work like a machine, with innovation and responsibility coming into play, as well as competition for promotion and meritocracy. Although such organizations have worked in the past, mechanization has created disjuncture over time”.
Green organization: “We are very familiar with this kind of organization because it is applied in many cultures nowadays. It encompasses empowerment, the inclusion of values and the development of common purposes. We work as a family. We are no longer seen as machines”.
So, what about Teal organizations?
The coach Rodríguez explained that “Teal culture is a paradigm shift from everything that has worked before. It is the next evolutionary step for organizations. From green to teal, there is a big change in relation to the concept of family. While this may be a great concept, there is a chain of command that still generates certain obstacles that stop us evolving. There are children but also parents. In contrast, in Teal culture, we are all equal. There are no parents. The chain of command works totally differently”.
Explaining further, Rodríguez defined the 3 key concepts that underpin this culture:
To conclude, Rodríguez finished off by emphasizing that “Teal culture is a cross-sector approach that runs vertically through levels of command, so it offers a unique new and way of running organizations”.