Archives September 2022

On diversity, again

I’ve seen the weakness of too many organisations run by white athletic men in suits. The lack of diversity leads to group-think, shut out of capability, limited creativity, and loss of motivation except amongst the clones. People get listened to and promoted because of their BMI, teeth, and hair, not their ability.

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PCS: producing different results

One of Teal Unicorn’s clients in Vietnam is PCS

PCS Courier is one division of PCS. PCS Courier were the first introduced to the work innovations, which are now happening with great success in the parent company.  You can read a report on the parent group here, and a summary here


At PCS Courier in 2022, Dr Cherry Vu of Teal Unicorn trained and facilitated them in simple agile concepts: daily Scrum-style standup meetings; Teal Unicorn’s own version of Kanban boards (which we haven’t shared yet); and our version of the Agile concept of ShuHaRi, which we wrote about here.  They will all be in our upcoming books. 

This team grew 52% new customers and 22% revenue in a week. We are so proud of them. We went on to help the parent group as well.  

PCS Courier even sent Cherry a birthday wishes video!

Here are some reflections from a team lead at PCS Courier:


What did we do to produce different results?

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Blog posts for August 2022

The most exciting post of the month has to be another client case study!  (Find them all here )

Succeeding in a large organisation that doesn’t (yet) have agile or open management

After our webinar Open Management: From Theory to Practical [in Vietnamese] Dr Cherry Vu had a question from a unit head: “What can I do if I’m in a large system that doesn’t have agile or open management?”  Perfectly timed, we received an email the day after from a Branch Director of a major bank. It is fantastic what she and her people have achieved in less than a year. We asked permission to share with the community, translated from Vietnamese, hoping you find it helpful.


The other big post was


The word ‘open’ now underpins everything we do at Teal Unicorn. We believe the words ‘agile’ and ‘agility’ are overworked, over-stretched to cover more than the words actually mean. What do we mean by ‘open’?


As usual we had something to say about management:

Escalating decisions

I’ve seen again the WL Gore model of allowing employees to make “above the waterline” (i.e., low-risk) decisions on their own, and only requiring approvals for “below the waterline” (high-risk) decisions. It always seems to me that this is just as patronising as not allowing employees to make any decisions at all.

Forms of management

We have written a series of posts around the forms of management.  It is time to update and summarise them here as we get ready for our new book, Open Work. We see management in four forms: Executive, Value, Personnel, and Functional, and the not-manager role of coach.

Open decision making

From our book Open Management: a manager is not necessarily a decision maker, in fact they usually shouldn’t be. I identify (at least) six modes of group decision-making

No you don’t want a revolution

Revolution – even “peaceful” revolution requires overthrow of someone and something, so it always requires force even if blood and fire are avoided.  It requires the threat of blood and fire. Even without violence it is violent.  It involves change without consent.  It’s not invitational, and it’s not inclusive.

And a few IT-related posts for a change:

Why do we even have IT projects?

Challenge the assumption that we even need a project.

Defects Over New

Any team that doesn’t prioritise fixing defects over building new features is doomed. [Ok that’s hyperbole]


Being the owner of any digital asset (product, system, application, platform…) within a large corporate typically means…