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Extremely teal

For the past three blogs we’ve offered a retrospective of the Forzes open network meeting on January 9. We’ve covered holacracy and we’ve introduced an organization that is widely acknowledged as a forerunner of reinvented organizations. Our latest blog was filled with equal measures of love and criticism on the future of learning and development.

This time we’d like to revisit the event to hear again from Jan Dirk Hogendoorn. Jan works at Finext, another of the forerunners: an “extremely teal organization” as he’s fond of saying. Since the start of Finext, a financial service with 150 employees, the way colleagues cooperate is based on freedom, responsibility, trust and transparency. In 2011 almost 100 colleagues bought the company back from Ordina.

Finext, as Jan Dirk Hogendoorn tells us, is known for maybe the most extreme way of teal organizing. It does not have any managers, functions, salary scales or staff departments. Within Finext you will find teams with a maximum of 10 people, who take joint responsibility for all work, including staff related tasks and any other overheads. Thus teams fully fend for themselves. Together they make their own decisions about everything, and divide roles such as HR, Controller, Sales, organizing events or marketing. Teams choose their own products, and monitor their costs. All teams share a joint branding and corporate identity, the building, the website and a CRM (Customer Relation Management) system.

Every 6 months, teams evaluate themselves, and think about their feedback to others. Once a year, each team member proposes their salary, which the team will assess. If necessary, salaries will be amended- this can mean decreases as well as increases.

What benefits does this way of working bring?
• it offers more joy in work, and an increased motivation;
• it makes the organization more efficient and flexible;
• and, finally, it increases customer satisfaction.

What contributes to this new way of working and organizing?
• don’t see it as a goal itself;
• making people responsible;
• being transparent
• defining a clear ‘purpose’ of the organisation.

How can other organizations embrace this ‘extremely teal’ way of working?
• just start or
• start with a small step.

I’m curious what first step you’re considering to move towards a more teal organization. Let us know in the comments below. We love to hear your thoughts!

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