Teal Space

At Teal Unicorn, we have a favourite approach to workshopping improvement with clients, developed and refined by Dr Vu.  We call it Teal Space because of the influences from Open Space Technology.

This page is a work in progress.


  • People who know the work
  • from all levels in hierarchy
  • Invited people, not ordered to be there


Full day.  If we have to, half day.


in a big room and/or online.

If hybrid, a videoconference facility in the big room is good.  Zoom works.

For breakouts, having all virtual attendees break out together is easier than having each breakout be hybrid.


Zoom, Powerpoint, Miro, Slido, post-its, walls and whiteboards.

We create an “obeya” (big picture portfolio-level dashboard) on Miro to record outputs from each step.  it becomes a permanent tool for the client.


Most workshops follow this general pattern:

  1. Set principles for the workshop
  2. Define good. WDGLL in the current context (team, organisation, product…)
  3. Set a vision of who we want to be (more than what)
  4. Define a common goal that we can all agree on
  5. Capture the impediments that prevent us doing/being our best. Group them.
  6. Discuss which impediments we can improve and how. Break into groups, then come back together.
  7. Create a Kanban of actions.
  8. Agree who and how to start improving.
  9. Close: confirm we have covered every topic raised.
  10. Agree to do this again

Keep it moving

  • At the start, agree we will be focused and fast
  • Cherry’s most popular sayings in a workshop: “yes or no”, and “move on”.
  • Shut down when people start going down rabbit holes or off focus.


From Open Space:

  • Whoever comes are the right people: attendance is by invitation not coercion
  • Whatever happens is the right thing
  • When it’s over, it’s over
  • Law of mobility: if you’re not adding value or getting value, move on

Plus we add:

  • We are here to improve not complain.
  • It is what it is. We don’t need to surface history, grudges, blame, lost opportunities, how we’ve gone backwards etc.
  • Focus: No rabbit holes
  • Move fast to get results
  • No lectures, grandstanding, mansplaining
  • Be present. Camera on, laptop and phone down.  If you don’t want to be here, go somewhere else.