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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Hunt

Teal Organizations

I was inspired by how Teal organizations handle meetings and job roles. I’ve noticed that when I go to work, I’ll begin with a good mood, convincing myself to make the most of the situation. Then we have our pre-shift meeting and all that hope and positivity falls away. Each meeting is full of micro-managing, new rules for experience specialists that have been added even though they aren’t necessary, and instructions or guidelines that have been repeated at every meeting and throughout each shift. There’s a big divide between managers and experience specialists that doesn’t encourage honest and open communication or a sense of shared involvement or goals.

Trusting experience specialists to be self-managing, to each be able to take turns leading each shift and holding themselves accountable for duties would improve job performance and improve relationship within the workplace. I like how their description says that as Teal organizations develop, the number of meetings becomes fewer. Being able to trust each other because all team members care about furthering the mission of the organization seems like a quality that all workplaces should have.

Being able to adapt to changing conditions and being on top of current needs of the organization is important for a complex adaptive system. Having people who are flexible and can support the needs of the complex adaptive system is the part of the basis of its success. When leaders can trust that they’ve found people who follow this framework, less meetings are needed, and the meetings that do happen are less concerned with micro-managing and more about higher level thinking and sharing basic information that has changed since the last meeting. Instead of punishing people for not having the exact attitude and opinions as the CEO or higher-up leaders, valuing and respecting each person’s viewpoint is a better way to lead. If someone is falling behind or having a negative influence on the organization, that’s a reason to speak with them, but as the guidelines for Teal organizations say, going beyond tolerance or judgement is the best way to move forward and be successful.

As previously stated having a divide between experience specialists (the lowest level employees) and management is detrimental to workplace culture. For example: just last night, I worked with the manager who we all respect the most. Even though he has one arm in a sling right now, he was working harder than anyone, helping out on the floor, replenishing stock, cleaning, fixing what needed to be fixed, and just being there when we needed him and helping make our jobs easier when we didn’t even realize we needed help. My coworker and I agreed that that is the kind of behavior we expect, respect and appreciate from a leader: going through the stressful times with us, putting themselves out there without being asked, and not expecting thanks or praise for doing so. If we all had that kind of attitude, to help each other without question or complaint, with no need for credit or special attention, just doing it for the sake of our organization sand community, it would be a more positive next-level work environment.

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