For all those who are Reimagining Work, there are a few places left at this event next Friday, July 14th, in London. Alison Wooding and Sarah James Wright are facilitating a session on ‘Supporting the Movement’ as part of a rich programme of contributors exploring a new consciousness at work. We’d love to see you there!
About seven years ago I was working with a group who were exploring a potential restructure that would affect the ownership and remuneration in the business. As the group sat talking, I noticed a dominant voice in the circle – that of the people who land the work. As I tuned in, I became aware that those who sought out and closed deals displayed an inherent sense of entitlement and worth.
As I continued to hold this in awareness, I heard the archetypal voice of Hunters. Out in the world, their job was to track down the target, make the kill and bring in the meat for all to feast upon. Spontaneously a village appeared in my mind’s eye. I saw a triumphant Hunter group returning home and witnessed their particular strength, skill and alertness. I could discern the same energy signature at work within the business conversation at hand.
I recognised the truth of this pattern in wider business culture and saw how it underpins current hierarchical structures and related beliefs about money-generation. The assumption that the ‘big earners’ hold power and maintain everyone else sets up a particular dynamic, in which those being maintained are rather beholden and dependent upon the money-bringers. In the case of the business group that day, it was expressed in a benign, fatherly way, but examples like Sport Direct present a different, more exploitative face of the uncaring business winner.
There and then, I wondered about other forms of organisation that might release greater potential and wealth-generation for everyone. As if in answer to the question, the scene shifted and I found myself viewing the village as a whole… seeing the basket weavers, the growers of plants, the nurturers, the healers, the entertainers, the elderly and many others. Extraordinarily, I saw that everyone was actively participating and that each was contributing something. They each had a place and purpose within the whole, regardless of age, gender, or the nature of their role.
In that moment, I registered something profound about value and contribution. That there can be a different template for wealth creation based on wholeness. We can build upon a different truth: that every human life is inherently valuable to the life of the whole. This is borne out in our GenerativeWork approach and many alternative systems being proposed in the field of New Economics.
Returning to the business conversation in hand, the purpose of the session was to explore a new organisational form. Knowing that the culture of this organisation was deeply creative and built upon awakened principles, I tuned in, sensing an opening and listening for systemic readiness. The tension in the space built, as different people proposed alternative ideas and forms of governance that would have changed the ownership structure. The emergent potential hovered momentarily and then the group directors closed the conversation down. Much like a wisp in the wind, the seed of potential moved on and the decision was made to keep the structure as it was.
I, in the meantime, took the precious seed to heart. Sarah and I continue to pioneer new potential that we know will fall upon fertile organisational ground at the perfect moment.
The Teal Exchange, 1-day event, 3 March 2017, London EC1.
The term ‘Teal’ to describe the corporation as a living organism was proposed by Frederic Laloux in his book, Reinventing Organizations. The color teal, along with its living organism metaphor, is seen as the next phase of organisational evolution.
This concept of an organisation as a living entity, with its aspirations of self-management, wholeness and emergent pupose has captured the mind of many corporate leaders, coaches and advisors. Indeed, many Teal-focused forums are springing up around the world, where business leaders and consultants get together to share experiences and create a better tomorrow. They are asking…
In our current climate, how does this concept become a reality?
One challenge is that the business world does not have the artifacts or language needed for such a paradigmatic shift. Many believe that the models and inspiration we seek lie not in the business space, but rather on the periphery, perhaps in unexpected disciplines and concepts, places we less often explore.
In this spirit of exploration, Agile consultant and ‘untangler’ Tobias Mayer has created a 1-day event. The Teal Exchange invites business leaders, workers and consultants into dialog with, for example, artists, poets, theologists, biologists, musicians, psychotherapists, life coaches and organisational change agents. Alison Wooding, co-founder of GenerativeWork.Space, is one of the guest speaker/facilitators on the day.
If you would like to explore the promise of Teal, come along on 3 March, London EC1 (9am-5pm). Full details can be found here on Eventbrite.