The Teal movement refers to the evolution of organizational structures. It rejects the old type of management and hierarchy and replaces it with independence and common purpose. Such organizations are characterized by self-management and wholeness. It means you come to work as a whole human being, with all your strengths and weaknesses. Silencing your ego (try that at any corporation...) and using both reason and emotions to pursue the purpose of your organization.
In this kind of companies there is a decentralized structure that consist of small teams taking care of their own responsibilities and interacting with other parts of organization. One person can fill multiple roles and needs to accept them. Roles' acts are guided by the organization’s purpose and the individual will to fulfil it. Rapid changes and adaptations are continuously made and implemented in small structures without the need for big reorgs. Full transparency is the end-goal. Learn more about reinventing organizations from this simple explainer video.
Holacracy is a part of the Teal movement focused on self-management. Positions, called “Roles”, are defined around the work, not people. Each person fills several roles according to one’s skills and talents. They may come from different circles (groups of roles) and are defined by name, purpose (an inspiring reason to act), accountabilities and few other elements. Roles can be created, removed or updated during the Governance Meetings. This regular and structured process helps the organization to adapt and resolve “tensions”, which are problems or improvements. Decisiveness and authority among the company is distributed to roles so all decisions are made locally. All of the rules are transparent to the whole organization and everyone is bound to keep them equally, including the “old” CEO.
This purpose will evolve and we will constantly seek its new meanings and new ways of expressing it. Before I reveal it, let me tell you a story of a pencil.
This story is based on a lecture given by the economist Milton Friedman, which inspired me to define this purpose.
There is not a single person in this world that can make a pencil without exchanging goods & services with other people. If we take a closer look at this “simple” item, we will notice that it takes many elements to ultimately produce it.
There is wood, which was cut down with a saw. This saw requires iron, which needs to be mined, transported, melted and transformed into steel. There is graphite, which may or may not come from mines in South America. There is rubber, which most likely comes from Malaya and some paint to satisfy the aesthetic part of our human nature. Finally, a piece of metal, which holds the eraser and the wooden base together.
I think it is safe to say that thousands of people from all around the world collaborated to make this pencil. They do not know each other and they probably speak different languages, have different skin colors, religions and political views. They might even hate each other if they would have met. Yet, they have traded, which in the end produced something really valuable. When we purchase a pencil, we are actually trading few minutes of our life for few seconds of life of all those people. And for everyone involved it is a win-win transaction. This amazing spontaneous order enhances our life on every step and maintains peace. French economist Frédéric Bastiat said “When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will”.
Inspired by this philosophy, we have defined the following purpose of our organization:
Catalyze means “cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst”. We believe that by making it easier for people to trade goods & services, we make the world a better place. The fact that our software solutions and services allow people who have no clue about each other make voluntary win-win transactions is exciting and fills our minds & hearts with hope for a happy and prosperous future.