The term “Teal” to describe the next stage of corporate evolution was proposed by Frederic Laloux in his book, Reinventing Organizations. A Teal organisation is considered an organic, living entity, unlike most corporations today which can best be described as mechanical in both intent and execution.
But those of us embedded in the Agile community know that this concept is not new, indeed we have been striving for the release of control and the promotion of nurture for many years now. Is Teal then just a reinvention of the Agile wheel? Yes and No.
Laloux offers three simple, yet powerful principles that would describe a Teal organisation:
• evolutionary purpose
• wholeness at work
Although many of us have been working towards these same ideals, perhaps under slightly different headings, there is also those within the Agile community that misunderstand the ethos, and stay rooted in the old, mechanical paradigm (e.g. consider SAFe). We also have the problem of the Agile Manifesto itself which anchors Agility firmly in the software development space. Perhaps a Teal worldview, which reaches further afield, can offer us a pathway to the wider organisation, while at the same time offering us a new metaphor to dismantle the illusion of mechanical control forever.