Where’s the Psychological Safety for Speaking Truth to Power in Self-Organisation? (Abridged)

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This is an abridged version of a series of 9 longer articles here, and was published in Enlivening Edge here. We all know that living systems depend on feedback to survive and thrive; and organisations are no exception. And the lack of such feedback leads to poor organisation health, even organisations working towards Teal. So much essential information is lost … Read More

INTRO PART 1: Seven Stages of Self-Organisation on the Road to Liberating Wholeness & Evolutionary Purpose

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Transitioning an organisation into Teal—truly, deeply, and completely—is easier to read about, understand, and be inspired by than it is to actually do. This is new territory. It can be confusing, messy, and is littered with roadside casualties. I’ve been on a personal and organisational journey through this territory over the last 25+ years, in many organisations. It’s been interesting, … Read More

INTRO PART 2: The Road Ahead–How Psychological Safety, Power Shift, Self-Organisation & Teal Fit Together

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Self-organisation—by one definition—is one of the three management breakthroughs of Teal. It requires a Power Shift away from hierarchical or informal shared power to distributed power. That shift requires a sense of psychological safety—without it, it will fail. Let me explain from the bottom up. Psychological Safety I am referring to psychological safety within the context of an organisation; not … Read More

Forget Hierarchy- Let’s Collaborate!

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Letting Go of the Management Hierarchy  In the mid-1990’s, it dawned on me that the conventional way of running organisations was no longer an option for me. I started to experiment with alternatives, introducing new ways to run meetings, make decisions, set ground rules, resolve conflict, and give and receive feedback. Some of these are outlined in this free preview … Read More

Creating Space for People—Not Work

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Roles Don’t Have Feelings, but People Do I was mixing up my expectations of roles and expectations of people. My colleague was not his role, but a person filling it—and while roles don’t have feelings, people do. While I was technically correct in that there were no formal expectations about how I would treat my colleague as a person, that’s … Read More

Decentralising Decisions About People/Org Relations

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Power Shifts from Legacy Power-Holders to Transparent Processes The Compensation, Dismissal and Recruitment rows of this Self-Organisation Maturity Map from HolacracyOne show that as Holacracy/Self-Organisation practice matures, formal authority for People/Org Relations is decentralised and replaced with distributed authority, such as “distributed peer-to-peer or market-based process[es] encoded transparently in Governance”.  This decentralisation of formal decision-making authority for People-Org Relations is  … Read More

Relational Wholeness: Trust, Safety, and Depth

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Getting Past the Glass Floor When the structures put in place through Stages 2–4 are functioning, we are in a position to implement social processes that challenge shadow power and invite trust, safety, and depth in the interpersonal relations among people energising an organisation’s roles.  Without a structural foundation, any social processes we try to adopt will be rendered ineffective … Read More

Deepening Personal & Organisational Tension–Processing Capacity

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Deepening both Organisational & Personal Capacities for Processing Tensions  As described at the end of the previous stage, now that more tensions are starting to surface more fully, such as:  There are two things that need to happen. Firstly, the organisation needs to develop a variety of clearly defined pathways for people to process their personal and interpersonal tensions; which … Read More

Liberating Evolutionary Purpose

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Closing the Loops by Legally Encoding the Separation of Operational, People, and Owner Contexts  Where in Self Organisation do we look at issues of ownership, equity share, and distribution? How can such matters be handled clearly and equitably? These questions generally play a background role whilst people are getting on with the work, until suddenly they don’t. When an issue … Read More