A vision of tomorrows' new work - an organisational take

We are heading towards agile models of work. Collegial circles and open networks seem to be formats where individuals can best leverage knowledge, be flexible, profit from collaborations so that everyone - that’s companies and individuals - can strive to the best of their ability. That’s due to economic development, market competition and to the development of the concept of man. 

Our core motivational drivers are likely to remain the same as they are part of our DNA and personal history. But what we are witnessing as a global society is a shift from time to health being valued most. Those who are happy, at peace with themselves and act out of kindness are considered to be rich and successful.

Equality, trust and psychological safety remain a mindset and a cultural topic that build upon leaders who are required to reflect on their self- and external management functions to allow for such a culture. In collegial circles as well as in open networks everyone has those leadership responsibilities to some extent. 

An anti-fragile teal organisation structure

Frederic Laloux has defined teal organisations by answering the question on how to work effectively without hierarchichal strucutures but a living system. There are either flat or interlocking circles of evolving roles, people are working independently and manage themselves while they are collaborating and are connected by a higher purpose and shared values and distributed decision making. Anyone can make decisions as long as they have identified and consulted the ones who will be impacted by the decisions. There is no consensus and not everyone has to agree. There are basic assumptions and norms of teal organisations on self-management, wholeness, practices and evolutionary purpose.

Teal Organisations, Frederic Laloux

But is teal the final destination or just a stop-over? Here’s the thing; in optics a section within perceptual psychology, visible light represents a small fraction of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. This image represents the visible spectrum of humans due to our capacity to absorb and process electromagnetic waves.

visible electromagnetic spectrum

Teal as the word says is a turquoise to blue-green color represented in the spectrum somewhere between 497 - 487 nm. While cyan blue already starts at 492 – 487 nm, the next two development steps would be between 488 – 380 nm namely indigo blue to purple just as ultraviolet begins. So, following the model of Mr. Laloux and making the case that we can draw parallels to developmental psychology and combine ideas with the social and organizational development characteristics, predictions point to Blue and Purple Organisations as the upcoming steps.

In Blue and Purple Organisations we work in International Partnerships as Augmented Personas out of a sense of global interconnectivity and guardianship for the sustainability of our planet. Health, inner peace and acts of kindness are seen as values of richness and success. In international partnerships we acknowledge the fact that we work in a trustless environment. Both trust and distrust are infectious. Therefore, we will still assume that we relate to one another with an assumption of positive intent until we are proven wrong, trusting co-workers remain our default means of engagement, while freedom and accountability remain two sides of the same coin. But we no longer hold on to the stigma of trust as a transgressive source of power, status, money or competition. Technology will make sure of policies are being followed while interpersonal relationships and communication give us the opportunity to further steer and regulate.

Today knowledge workers have a strong need to apply and further explore their capabilities and to create impact. Tomorrow, our unique differentiator and personal value proposition will become our source of power by which we focus on asset exchange and value creation with other individuals, networks and companies at the same time. While doing so no evangelic or higher purpose is needed but the pure ease and joy of executing the job is enough to produce excellent performance. Self- and team management are implicated by rules of leadership and followership while the respective role defines responsibilities instead of hierarchy. Technology and AI will be broadly used and better understood by many. That secures compliance in transactions and quality in output while workers can focus on creative tasks and social human interactions. Data is no longer a collectible value asset for a few corporations. Individuals have control as data-ownership shifts back to private individuals while corporate bodies keep their responsibilities in that area.

Blue and Purple Organisations, hrtechventures, Viktoria Szalontai, 2020

Again, this case is a further elaboration based on the teal organisation model developed by Frederic Laloux. The idea is that the spectrum of light is only made visible when given a filter or a surface that can split and reflect the segments of light at the same time. Light itself is radiating in a bundle and appears white if it’s not fully absorbed or partially reflected on a surface. Just as people who shine their light coming from different industries, regions, cultures, with personalities and skills. The development stages between infra-red to ultra-violet are inherently present all the time in every individual as we collaborate, interact, support, inspire and deal with each other. At work we meet and perform being at our actual and potential state of development. We are working in teams towards common goals or as teams in divisions towards non-common goals that need bridging and adaptation as we go.

This is the area where our Talent- und Performance Management is located. We like to see our services and tools to bridge todays and the future challenges of work from an individual as well as from a corporate people strategy perspective.

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