From Orange, through Green towards Teal: one organisation’s lived experience

—–Written by Ian Byrne——

Makers Academy is a coding bootcamp that decided to “go Teal” twelve months ago.  The last year has been an intense period of transformation and experimentation – with its fair share of both successes and challenges along the way. As we have reflected twelve months on, it is clear that many of the issues we had anticipated have arisen, and we have learned valuable lessons in the course of dealing with them. In addition, a number of challenges have emerged which the literature does not reference and we hadn’t anticipated…and the learning has been equally valuable in this regard.

In the short workshop at IEC 2016 we want to share some of the most relevant learning of our journey to date. We have found that there is a substantial gap between knowing the theory, on the one hand – and in putting it into practice, on the other.  We have developed our session to draw first-hand on our lived experience at Makers Academy, in such a way that can be of most practical use to both organisations considering (or mid-way through) making the leap, as well as to Organisational Development consultants working in this field.

This session will focus primarily on closing the gap between knowing and doing, highlighting practical insights and recommendations for organisations making the leap. In setting out a roadmap for moving from Orange to Teal, we will cover the following topics:

  • Summarising the key stages of the journey from Orange, through Green to Teal – emphasising the pros and cons of each stage, together with the necessity of passing through Green on the journey towards Teal
  • Exploring the need to work with both the formal organisation (structure, processes and systems) and informal organisation (culture, its shadow, individual mindset, capability and behaviour) – emphasising how the balance between these two shifts over the course of the journey, together with the need to learn to embrace paradox in order to fully embrace Teal
  • The developmental challenges and opportunities presented by such an organisational shift to the individuals within the organisation, together with insights on adopting an integral approach to transformation which encompasses third person (organisational) frame, second person (groups and teams) and first person (individual)

Leo Allen, one of the members of staff at the bootcamp, will describe his experience of being involved first-hand in the process of a company going from Orange to Teal. Ian Byrne, an expert in organisational transformation and Gestalt psychology who has been working as consultant for Makers Academy, will add his perspective as an outsider coming into the company to help them with their transition.

Workshop outline

 

1) Leo – my personal journey
2) Makers – making the decision to go teal
3) What happened – a third person organisational perspective
4) Ian – what I found when I arrived (a second person organisational perspective)
5) Leo and Ian – my first person learning
6) The story today – where we have ended up

Presenters

Ian Byrne specialises in helping organisations adapt to the emerging VUCA environment (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). He an MSc in emergence and complexity approaches to organisational transformation, is an Action Inquiry fellow, a Gestalt psychotherapist and has worked with major blue chip organisations as well as start-ups. His overall approach to transformation consulting is heavily informed by both Integral Theory and Developmental Psychology.

Leo Allen is a Software Engineer and Coach who has worked for startups across four continents, from CouchSurfing in San Francisco to an international charity in Bangkok. Most recently he has been working for Makers Academy, a new style of educational establishment that has recently attempted to embrace Teal.

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