Otherwise known as Teal, it refers to a philosophy and practice introduced by Fred Laloux. In his book, Reinventing Organizations, Laloux maps out his version of the evolution of human organizations and presents a model for leading us into a future of work that is more human and planet centered, as well as more just and equitable.
Most of the people I’ve encountered in the Teal community have been white folks from the US and Northern Europe, and a smattering of super cool Brazilians working in the corporate sector. And yet, Teal has much to offer US-based People of Color working in the DEI space or committed to designing organizations/institutions that dismantle white supremacy, promote equity, and nurture positive social change.
Why? Because these are the three primary principles of a Teal organization:
Believing that all beings are interconnected and all people inherently whole and complete, a Teal organization welcomes all members’ wisdom and contributions;
Like a B-corp or social enterprise, a Teal organization serves a purpose beyond profit, and acknowledges that its purpose may evolve over time;
Understanding that different people have different strengths and zones of genius, a Teal organization ideally allows for flexible hierarchies which allows important decisions to be made by the most informed and skilled, rather than just those “at the top.”
But despite the challenges it presents, what excites me most about the model is not only its potential to amplify voices and perspectives in an organization that would otherwise go unheard — but the fact that organizational success is inextricably tied to the ongoing growth and healing of the people involved. Rather than being only a site of labor, the workplace becomes a site of transformation and healing.
So, are organizations actually doing this?
Yes. And I’d love to see it happen more. Especially in the US. And especially by WOC founded and led organizations.
Are you interested? Let me know. I’d love to hear your take and explore how it might apply in your own work environment.
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