Building the organisational map to change the world
In and amongst all of the changes going on in our world there is an increasing focus on the ‘next level organisation’. The World Economic Forum theme this year was ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world’ and major organisational leaders explored the levers needed to ensure the right change happens. Some of us OD types refer to this ‘next level organisation’ as a ‘teal organisation’ – a concept given shape by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organisations.
Teal or as we often call them ‘conscious’ organisations operate on some fundamental principles such as:
- flatter, more agile structures with significantly reduced hierarchical or central control
- true matrix working
- commitment to a higher purpose, serving a great good
- a deep commitment to the well-being of its employees
- creating a community with all stakeholders
But most organisations can’t make the leap to ‘teal’ in one step. It needs to be approached in a conscious and purposeful way, led by a team who can hold the vision for what the organisation is capable of becoming.
Being able to diagnose the current organisational ‘level’ is a helpful step in this process. A diagnostic of course provides information against a framework which is powerful in providing visibility, at a glance, to the opportunities and challenges. And it’s so much more than that because through its very process, a diagnostic activates deep conversations and reflections that reveal information that is known but often not explored.
Why does it matter where our organisation is now or in the future? It matters because organisations are a fundamental gateway to changing the core values and principles by which we live our lives. We spend huge amounts of time in work. Organisations are powerful collections of people expressing values and behaviours which when combined with others doing the same thing creates the core culture that informs much of society’s culture. This is the gateway to ‘creating a shared future…’
As organisational leaders we have a responsibility to not only oversee the financial health of the organisation but the cultural and behavioural well-being – of both the organisations and the wider society in which it operates. This is where the real bottom-line contribution is made.