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…