Oct 2, 2020
Dan is excited today to be joined by his guest, Simon Holzapfel. Simon is the founder and Executive Director of Copper Beech & Company, where they provide financial literacy for high net worth families. He is also an educator, agilist, and learning innovator. He has dedicated his entire adult life to equipping young adults with the knowledge and skills they require to work, think, and live well.
In this episode, they will be exploring the topic of the Teal movement, Agile organizations, and education during the pandemic. Simon thoroughly explains what the Teal movement is, why it is important, and what it looks like when applied to a variety of organizations. He also shares about a unique project he is a part of and what they’re doing to bring authentic agile to the world.
What is the Teal movement?
A reference narrative for how the world of work is, how it has evolved, and where it is going
It is a navigation tool to understand how you can achieve the next level
Laloux (the founder of the movement) proposes that there is a concentric circle to how organizations have developed over time
Red: Command authority, division of labor, power, fear, and chaos (examples: street gangs, mafia, tribal militias)
Yellow: Hierarchy, stability, control, formal roles, long-term perspective (examples: traditional churches, governments, public schools)
Orange: Competition, accountability, meritocracy, objectives, profit (examples: public universities, large corporations)
Green: Delight customers, shared values, engagement, stakeholder balance, culture over strategy, empower (examples: Ben & Jerry’s, Southwest Airlines) — This is where agility tends to live right now
Teal: The next iteration of agility into antifragile organizations, built around higher purpose, self-management, distributed decision-making, wholeness, and evolutionary purpose
Laloux is not saying other colors other than teal is bad; he is saying that all of the other colors are instrumental and getting to where we are now — but they’re cruft
Laloux recommends, as a society, we shed these other colors as best as we can
Recommended further reading: Reinventing Organizations, by Frédéric Laloux
Where this movement connects to different organizations:
Teal education: Students are encouraged to ‘pull’ information into their lives rather than be pushed into learning (Examples: eduScrum, Montessori education)
Teal manufacturing: self-organization, teams pulling in work (as opposed to work being pushed on to them), and bringing your whole self to work (Examples: Morning Star, Buurtzorg)
What Teal organizations look like/involve:
A healthy bottom line
They are incredibly efficient at generating value
Employees are far more productive because they are listened to, encouraged, and engaged
They foster more active engagement which, in turn, creates better results and outcomes
It’s not about no rules or no structures; it is simply a different set of principles (by and large, the agile mindset)
Involves intent-based leadership
Trust is incredibly important — without it, everything will fall apart
Everything is visible and transparent (visibility is the trust builder)
The leaders or teachers create a feedback-rich environment so that the employees/students can learn quickly
About the BU Agile Innovation Lab:
The goal: Bring authentic agile to the world (including college students by meeting them where they are with the interests that they have)
They want to complement schools and not compete with them
They are striving to create a more open ‘meta’ that creates more equity
Authentic agility + trying to introduce more Teal structures
Mentioned in this Episode:
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