Last year, our fund manager Pasi Havia came across a book called Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux. This book introduces a new paradigm of organisational structure: Teal organisation model. Teal organisation is characterised by three breakthroughs: self-management, wholeness at work, and evolutionary purpose.
This looks a lot like us, Pasi thought to himself and suggested our CEO, Tommi Kemppainen, to have a look. He, in turn, recommended everyone else to read it. And here’s what we think about it.
It is only natural that our own digital nomad Pasi was the one who came across with Teal. He has a background working in the creative IT business. Pasi has always taken his work with him wherever he chooses to live in.
For Pasi self-management is self-evident: “If you are digging a ditch for work, keeping track of the time spent working makes sense. In IT it is different. A lousy line of code does not get any better by punching more hours to the timecard. “
Knowledge work is independent of time and place. We appreciate individual styles of working and offer our colleagues the freedom, responsibility, and support they need in order to bloom.
All working at HCP have diverse backgrounds and skills with different responsibilities allocated. We do not prejudge how others fulfill their tasks – the key is to complete them. When people feel involved, they pursue their tasks in the best way they see fit. This removes the need for micromanaging.
Instead of a rigid hierarchy, the individual with the most expertise works on any given topic and makes decisions after seeking advice from his colleagues.
At HCP, the CEO is one of the team members. One of his tasks is to listen to all others to find out where they are coming from and where they are headed to next. This helps us refine our strategy together accordingly.
Our Compliance Officer Juhani Halminen pointed out one potentially major weakness in Teal: the model has not lived through many economic cycles yet.
To tackle some foreseeable problems, we have agreed on swift decision-making processes during economic downturns. This should allow us to get back to normal Teal-style working even in the worst times. We have also prepared for challenges by saving up a healthy recession buffer for bad times.
An organisation without power hierarchies works for us. In a country with an excellent education system, advanced information networks and a high level of trust among the population, we believe that many other organisations could adopt similar principles. It might seem like many organisations doing knowledge work function without traditional leadership. This, however, is not to say that their processes would not have an appropriate organic structure.