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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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!

Nick OsborneArticles2 Comments

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

Clarifying who does what

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

Learning a New Set of Rules I immediately did all the Holacracy training that I could. I learnt about a way of self-organising without a management hierarchy, but with a set of rules that govern roles with clearly defined and distributed decision-making authority; organise the roles to form an organic structure; and define clear processes for working efficiently, evolving the … Read More

Creating Space for People—Not Work

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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:  personal tensions: like my own relationship to the organisational purpose, or issues I have with feeling like the people/org relationship is not fully balanced or equitable interpersonal tensions: in relationships … Read More

Liberating Evolutionary Purpose

Nick OsborneArticlesLeave a Comment

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