Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux was a game changing book for me.
I decided a long time ago that it wasn’t worth working for anyone else (in the traditional sense) and I needed to be able to stand my own ground. If I was going to work for someone, at least I wasn’t going to lock myself in by pretending I’m some kind of long term employee loyal to the company (no company is going to be loyal to their staff if it hits the bottom line). No. At most, I would be a freelancer who does 70% of their work for one client.
That wasn’t enough though, so I started to really do my own thing. After owning a few businesses (some more successful than others), I saw that it’s not much better on the other side either. Sure, you sometimes make more money doing your own thing and hiring people when you need help, but if you’ve done it you’ll also know that half the time you just wish you were workin’ for the man and had the luxury of being able to walk away (no matter what you think, it’s far easier to walk away from a job, even when you have mortgage payments due, than it is to walk away from staff waiting for a paycheck and creditors waiting for payment).
It seems we’re all trapped. There are of course deeper political reasons for this situation – the constant growth demanded by the banker class who control our currency was fine back when resources were cheap and plentiful, but now that they’re running out we all have to work harder and longer tomorrow to have the same standard of living as today. Anyway, that’s for another post. My point is that people have to work harder and longer than ever before just to make ends meet, and for the majority, this is drudgery with no fulfilment – they work in a job they don’t enjoy to earn money to pay for escapism to forget that they have to work in a job they don’t enjoy. This is all very inefficient, and the reason why Frederic Laloux has me excited is because he’s demonstrated that we can do a lot better.
Frederic Laloux has been studying companies where ‘employees’ are really happy and fulfilled, they get to do what they enjoy, and they’re making a difference. Not only that, but their companies are more efficient than ever and dominate markets wherever they go. They are called self-managing or Teal organizations, and here’s their secret:
- Self-management: To operate effectively based on a system of peer relationships, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus.
- Wholeness: People no longer have to show only their “professional” self, or hide doubts and vulnerability. Instead, a culture invites everyone to bring all of who we are at work.
- Evolutionary purpose: Instead of trying to predict and control the future, the organization has a life and a sense of direction of its own. Everyone is invited to listen in and understand (and contribute to) what the organization wants to become, what purpose it wants to serve.
This all sounds a bit strange if it’s new to you, but for now just understand that it’s proven successful and it’s growing. If you want to be at the forefront of something great, read Reinventing Organizations to understand what this is all about.
I’m so excited about this that I want to meet anyone and everyone who’s on the same wavelength. To that end, I slapped together this site. If you’ve read Reinventing Organizations you’re probably also very excited, don’t you think it’s a good idea to meet up with everyone else in your area who’s also excited about this?