From the box of unanswered (unanswerable?) questions:
Is it enough to try?
I’ve been taught that yes, yes, absolutely YES it is enough to try. Failing is fine. Just do your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you. I’ve heard this philosophy, I’ve preached this philosophy, I’ve lived it. As a parent, it is baked into my core. As a people manager, it is indispensable to motivating my team. We can control our effort, we can’t control results. All you need to do is try. Trying is enough.
But the funny thing about the comparison is that it does work on a few levels. Apples and oranges are both fruits, after all. They both have vitamins and minerals. They both grow on trees. They are both breakfast juices.
So you can see why it’s not completely wrong — in fact it’s downright excusable — to be a person who compares apples to oranges, which is exactly the type of person I become whenever my peers do great things.
Take Buffer (an apple) and Slack (an orange), for instance. Whenever I see Slack’s unicorn growth, I immediately wonder, “Why aren’t we growing like they are?”
I am beyond blessed to work at a place that thinks deeply about not only the type of business that we do but also the way that we go about it. We move and adapt and experiment with new ideas all the time. And I think we’re on to something pretty special.
Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux might fundamentally change the way we do things. It tells the story of how companies have evolved along a spectrum of paradigms and ideas to the point where we’re capable of a pretty rad new way of working together.
The spectrum looks a bit like this:
The final step, the Teal step, is where we’re headed.
I’ve been involved with Amber and Orange organizations, and I’ve admired Green organizations from afar. Reading about Teal organizations has blown away my expectations and ideas about how to work, and I couldn’t be happier.
From the book:
Extraordinary things begin to happen when we dare to bring all of who we are to work.
Reinventing Organizations summarizes the main characteristics of Teal organizations into three parts:
Self-management. Everyone follows their interests and passions.
Wholeness. Everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole self to work.
Evolutionary purpose. The organization grows organically in the direction that it’s meant to.
This means no hierarchy or org chart for the company; we’re all a hybrid version of self-employed, in a certain sense. We’re trusted and valued and free. We share deeply and engage fully with every part of our being—hopes, fears, strengths, weaknesses, gratitude, humility, love, and whatever else you care to share. And when it comes to setting the vision for the future, we let the vision set itself.
It’s radical and beautiful and edifying and perfect. I want to hand a copy of the book to everyone I know and place it on the syllabus for every business class there is. I want everyone to be able to work this way. I’m beyond grateful that I get the chance to do so.