I thought about how we in a more visual way could explain that a “teal” organization is much more than the 3 breakthroughs, “Evolutionary Purpose”, “Wholeness” and “Self-Management” pinpointed in Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations. So I used the five AQAL elements of Integral Theory (All Levels, All Lines, All Quadrants, All Types & All States) to make a short example of a self-reflection tool to be used in a teal-inspired organization by its members / colleagues. In order to find their blind spots and development blocks that hinder further growth towards the overall purpose.
Each of the four images below represent a different view or perspective of the Organization:
1) The Interior Individual perspective of each colleague (what are my inner beliefs and values, invisible to others?). So there will be a number of self-assessments equal to the number of colleagues in the organization.
2) The Exterior Individual perspective of each role, a colleague takes on (what are the observable skills and competencies needed to perform well in this role?). So there will be a number of self-assessments equal to far more than the number of colleagues, as each colleague most likely have many roles – however, some roles might be the same, so its’ not to say how many self-assessments there would be in this category. And maybe you wouldn’t need to assess all of them but just the sample critical ones directly related to the purpose of the organization?
3) The Interior Collective perspective of each “we-space” in the organization (each project team, production team, departement as well as the organization as a whole). Each “we-space” that has its own sub-culture, and varying language, values, unspoken rules, etc.
4) The Exterior Collective perspective of the whole organization, with all it’s supporting systems and structures fitted to the purpose and the people (ownership structure, organizational structure, decision making structure, laws & regulations, infrastructure such as IT and physical support, compensation models, etc.). Here, there will ideally only be one assessment, unless the organization is so big that the assessment has to be made in smaller groups. Which each make their assessment, possibly of the parts they know most about, which are then combined to one assessment later.
As an example, I used the volunteer project of making the book, Reinventing Organization, into an online knowledge database, a wiki. It’s not a formal organization, but I felt it fitted the bill – a group of people coming together to manifest a joint purpose. So I have (without too much thought, just as an example) suggested some assessment questions to ask in each of the four quadrants, in order to exemplify how I think Integral Theory can be used to raise self-awareness in the informal organization around the “RO Wiki”. And I have suggested some “development levels” for each question, with the RO Wiki in mind – not how it is today, but how it might ideally be, in order to best fulfil its purpose. Please do not think too much about whether a level should be “orange”, “teal”, “1” or “5” – but rather think about the idea of asking these types of questions in all quadrants, to see if the four quadrants “balance”. I guess I would like to see a future, where you do not only make annual accounts that balance, but also a “quadrant review” to show their balance!
But the point here is in fact not so much what result you get, but more the process used to getting there. Hopefully, the reflection process each person goes through, both individually and in buddy groups and larger teams, will help the individual as well as the group become more aware of strengths and weaknesses? And also be able to see the blind spots that hinder further growth and embodiment of the overall purpose. Plus consequently make adjustments to everyday work so that these blocks become fertilizer for growth! Not only for the organization and all its members (including beneficiaries and recipients), but maybe even the surrounding community and ultimately, the planet…?
What do you think about this idea, I wonder? Please contact me and let me know 🙂
If you want to know more about Integral Theory, I would like to recommend the book “Integral Life Practice” by Ken Wilber, Terri Patten, et al. You can also read my “infographic” about the main five AQAL elements via this link: Integral Journey.