At Teal Unicorn, we are on a mission. Our mission is to make work better for as many people as we can: better results, better lives, better society.  And to have a good time doing it.

We looked around for a good word to wrap up all the ideas associated with that mission.  the world uses “Agile” a lot, and Business Agility, but it’s asking too much of that word.  We used it for our first book we wrote together, with a small “a’, but we have given it up for a better word: Open. What do we mean by ‘open’? Open architecture, open source, open access, open door, open space, open communication, open discussion, open leadership, open innovation, open ended, open up, open book, open eyes, open minded, open hearted.

We must be open: open society to higher consciousness; open organisations to greater transparency and inclusion; open teams to collaboration; open individuals to self-examination, honesty, and vulnerability.

To open up to better work, we are opening up the organisation like a flower, letting light and air in, making room to move and grow, exposing the workings, inviting others in, welcoming, creating possibilities, allowing pollination, letting the value out, letting us thrive.

The key to advancing work is the manager. We must open up management to be invitational, inclusive, serving, and transparent. Better ways of managing enable better ways of working. So we talk about Open Work, and Open Management. We also looked around for a model that summarises all that we see making up Open Work and Open Management. We like the Business Agility Institute’s model, and the Open Leadership Network‘s. [Note: while we admire the content created by the OLN, we do not endorse any of their political statements and have ended all association with the group]. In the end we made our own word cloud of all the concepts:

Human: people, values, humanity, wholeness, culture, sharing, empathy, diversity, inclusiveness, egality, trust, integrity, authenticity, open, transparency, curiosity, learning, mastery, pride, empowerment, freedom, authorisation, servant manager, safety, wellbeing, flourishing, health. [states]

Systems: customer, value, flow, feedback, quality, lean, streams, iteration, networks, complexity, chaos, emergence, antifragile, shift left, teams, organisation, collaboration, ritual, sharing, resilience, human error, holistic, data, science. [artefacts]

Adaptability: ambiguous, uncertain, iterate, increment, experiment, explore, observe, adjust, agile, fluid, organic, improve, curious, embrace failure, fail fast, small, granular, simplify, flexible, pragmatic, resilient. [actions/adjectives]

We share everything we have learned about these ideas:

– on this website as Better Ways of Managing and Working, philosophically underpinned by Better Ways of Thinking about work.  There is a lot of meat there. You will find even more…

– in our books. Here they are on Amazon as paperback or Kindle (we get an affiliate commission when you buy via these links):

The agile Manager, small “a” : We must work in new ways. To change the work we must change how we manage, how we think about management. What got you here won’t get you there. These are new ways of managing which are changing business, government, and not-for-profit organisations, big and small. Small “a” agile because it is about new ways of managing across the enterprise, nothing to do (specifically) with software. This book is about the impact of these new ways on management in the modern enterprise – how to change your ways of managing. Learn more.

Open Management :: Our other book, The agile Manager (small a). is practical experience and advice on better ways of working and managing. It was the how, this is the why. This book, Open Management, is a philosophical manifesto, an appeal to our better selves to advance work and society to greater humanity and a better world – better ways of being. Learn more.

S&T Happens: Surviving and thriving in a VUCA world requires an organisation to be constantly adaptable – meaning resilient and agile. We must cope and change. We survive by mitigating risk and absorbing shocks (resilience), and we thrive by capitalising quickly on new opportunities (agility). We change how we see the future, and how we plan for it. Learn more.

Why do we invest so much energy in sharing these ideas, online and in books?  Because they work, amazingly well.  You can see a bunch of client case studies here, and you will see more in our newsletter in future.

Our results speak for themselves:

  • Production output in 2020 increased by 90% compared to 2019 with the same number of employees. Factory income in 2020 increased 84% compared to 2019. Revenue in 2020 grew 115% compared to 2019. Profits in 2020 grew by 320% compared to 2019.
  • Increase bank branch sales performance by 158% in 10 weeks. Annual quota achieved in 10 weeks. Top performing bank branch.
  • 110% of [a demanding] annual sales quota in 5 months.
  • Equipment sales increased by 5 times over 5 months.
  • Highest revenue month (October 2020) is 4.49 times higher than the previous highest revenue month (March 2020).
  • In 2020 in the middle of Covid highest revenue month ever.
  • Productivity up 68% over 5 months.
  • In April at the peak of Covid-19 we sold 14,000 units while normally only 7,000 units per month.
  • Four staff are selling as much real estate as 45 used to.

Talk to us if you would like to know about doing this kind of thing in your own organisation.  We provide training, coaching, and consulting for selected clients who are committed from the top down to making work better.

We explained how our mission is to make work better for as many people as we can: better results, better lives, better society.  And to have a good time doing it. That last line wasn’t a joke. That “better lives’ in our mission is all about making people’s working day more enjoyable. It’s not done with free massages and fruit.  We must start with heart: restore humanity to work. it’s the first third of that model we told you about in the previous email, for Open Work: Human Systems Adaptability.  A wonderful book on this is Humanocracy, by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini.  Highly recommended.

We have already talked about how well this stuff works, the “better results” in our motto. It also has a big impact on people’s lives.  We coach integrity, transparency, empathy, vulnerability. Better work is about restoration of decency and trust. When we train, a few people cry. We get testimonials from people about how their family notice the changes in them as much as their staff do, how they feel like they’re better people, how their days are so much happier, less stressful. One manager said to me “I don’t remember laughter in meetings before”.

That’s what is in it for you. Sure, it feels good to deliver better results. What really matters, though, is that it feels better to go to work.

So make the most of this global community for your benefit.

Join us on twitter (Rob and Cherry) and LinkedIn (Rob and Cherry).

Reach out to others you see in the Teal Tribe. We make introductions and we see others connecting.

Go back to our sources, such as the Business Agility Institute, the Open Leadership Network, Teal Around the World, the Global Drucker Forum, Humanocracy, and all the other communities making a difference.

Dig into all the great books we learned from.

Find some good training, coaches, and mentors.

Most of all, get a good job that allows you to flourish.

That’s what Teal Unicorn are in this for: firstly, to make your working life better, and secondly, to inspire you to be a better member of society. We can all grow, and the best direction for growth is to a greater humanity. The “teal” in Teal Unicorn comes from a model of social evolution that some of you will know. Teal is the colour code of the highest form of social behaviour so far seen (humanity will get to blue one day).

[And “unicorn” is IT-speak for those organisations whose ways of working are indistinguishable from magic, i.e. the ultimate operating model.  So in Human Systems Adaptability, Teal Unicorn represents the ultimate Human Systems, which then gives us great adaptability.  We talk a lot about the systems stuff, the how, in our book The agile Manager (small “a”), and we look more at the humanistic aspects, the why, in our book Open Management.]

Talk to us if you would like to learn more.  As we said above, we provide< training, coaching, and consulting for selected clients who are committed to making work better for themselves and those they work with.