How to Succeed

Here is Teal Unicorn’s formula for success in advancing towards Open ways.

Cherry is getting such amazing results in Vietnam. It is so hard to share the case studies in English, to be heard so that someone will want the same outcomes. The telling gets lost in the cacophony of online voices, which breaks my heart: I’m sure we would have the same results elsewhere.

[Updated 20/12/2022]

Cherry’s message to executives is simple:

  • You can’t make people do good work, especially knowledge work. You need them to want to. You can only invite, motivate, and inspire, then get out of the way and enable.
  • Respect, empower, and trust your staff. People want to do their best.
  • Be better people. Aspire to teal. Reflect on your own behaviours and their effect, the messages they send.
  • Make work better: improve results, and – even more – improve the working lives of your staff.
  • Embrace failure. Make it an asset not a cost.
  • Fix the system not the individual. Unreasonable systems make people unreasonable.
  • When you make a move,  make it “open, then closed”.  Use Collaborative Community Rituals, as Teal Unicorn calls them.
    • Get everybody together
    • Diverge on ideas
    • Converge on actions
  • Ask questions, don’t tell. The answers are in your staff. Explore together.
  • Have a coach or coaches. The answers lie in those doing the work, but they will benefit from facilitation, objective reflection, and the injection of experiences and theory.
  • Don’t try too much. Step by step. Experiment locally. Experiment with anything in our book  The agile Manager, small a, especially
    • Team goals not individual. Work as a team.
    • Collaborative rituals within and across teams.
    • Change how managers manage. Servant management.
    • Visualise work.
    • Skills not roles – fluidity of work. Let people self assess as shu ha ri, with peer review.
    • Self organising teams – fluidity of structure
    • Cross functional teams
    • Work with staff to simplify work systems. What do they need?
    • Map the value stream(s). Simplify flow.
    • Open the books, be transparent about finances.
    • Let staff work out how to apportion pay, first the bonuses, later the salary.
    • Pay people to leave. Work harder at recruiting the right people.
  • There is no standard template. Don’t ask us consultants for answers. Every group is different.
  • You don’t need to believe or trust me. Try it.

That’s it. No one method: we teach Lean, Agile, Kanban, ToC, Kaizen, Toyota Kata, whatever… It doesn’t matter. What matters is Human Systems Adaptability, especially the human bit.

The results speak for themselves. Tens of thousands of followers, book selling out in hours, dozens of happy clients, from lingerie to banks, and most of all, millions of dollars of value for them.

Can we do the same for you?

(Really want to know the formula?  This is as near as we get to one)