Going Teal, the blog that started it all at Grace Network

Grace Network embraced Teal about 12 months ago. We like to share our experience with people and are now actively working across Gloucestershire to spread the word . We were tidying up some old files (busy day in the office!) and we came across this memo that we wrote. It was our Jerry Maguire moment- the bit where he writes a new manifesto for his company and then gets sacked and abandoned. We thought it would cool to share the original text so you could see how we started and the elements of Teal that first gripped us. The bits in black italics are bits we have added today to provide context and explanation of the words.


---Something is broken---

- People- used and ignored

- Environment- used and destroyed

- Leaders- used and broken

The root issue is HUMPFA (Grace Network term for things that going wrong in the world- stands for the Human Propensity to F**k Things Up) combined with technology.

Many people have wished to wipe out entire races and places but until the 21st Century we didn't have the technology to build Auschwitz

Many people have wished to eat and eat sugar, meat and fresh fruit but until the 21st Century we didn't have the means to do this on a global scale

---Everything is Stupid until it is not, everything is rare until it isn't---

We need paradigm shifts in order to change things. Thomas Kuhn reminds us that all knowledge is held is webs of mutually supporting concepts and ideas. If you want to break one it is hard as you sometimes break the web. This is scary and dangerous and worries people.

Think Capornicus, think Christopher Columbus, think Tesla, think the first person to speak out against Jimmy Saville.

If we want to break the web we need to be ready for people to tell us we can't and to defend the web with their life as if the web changes, power changes.

---Everyone is working to a management theory, even when they say they are not---

We all need ways of simplifying the world as it is too much to bear otherwise. We do this by creating frames of references.

Faith, family, values, processes- all are simply ways of explaining the messed up world we live in. All seek to reduce HUMPFA's impact.

For example, people are lazy and stupid so we break down their roles at work into a list of actions- McDonalds do this.

For example, to get things done people need to "work harder" and yet despite how hard we work we can't get things done- most big corporates do this.

For example, we use democracy to drive our group forward- lots of fluffy charities and groups say they do this.

Don't trust someone who says that they don't have a driving purpose or structure in their organisation or life. They are either lying or haven't stopped long enough to vocalise it.

---Teal People---

1. Follow life like a plant follows the sun- Life in all its fullness/LUKE 4.

2. Tame the Ego/HUMPFA impacted part of us- don't be ruled by the evil we have had done to us and the evil we do. Don’t be like"whitewashed tombs"

3. Truth as the compass- "the way, the truth, the life"

4. Be and embrace your whole self. Look to live life at peace with who you are and work in a place the can accept that. If you are a foot be a foot if you are the stomach be the stomach. The body needs all parts.

---Teal Places---

1. Self Management- take responsibility, be in charge of what you know

2. Wholeness- be yourself, be prepared to be real

3. Evolutionary purpose- the place follows the vision, leaning towards the sun.


Remember complexity means that the management theories break in contact with the real world. The real world is not controlled but instead self manages. When we try and control nature it rarely works.

---Self Management---


1. No bosses= anyone can do what they want. NOOOOOO. People work in defined roles and create their own coordination processes.

2. Concensus decision making= meetings and flip flopping. NOOOOOO. Less meetings as people can make decision on their own when they are informed.

It needs coaching and ownership. Head office only do the head office functions.


Bonus and incentive structures are not helpful. People should work hard because they are part of a team. They should work because they understand why. We can then share profits when they come.

Ask people to set their own salary.

You can hide from a boss but you can't hide from a colleague


GN is a whole organisation. We already have this fully implemented.

Allowing pets and children in the office place. Inviting HSMS (Heart, Soul, Mind Strenght- Grace Network’s language for human wholeness across 4 areas of the the human experience). Inviting Thankfulness.

Ground rules are needed- not policies but family rules. Simple. Short and Alive.

Coaching and reflection space.

---Evolutionary Purpose---

A company with a noble purpose has no competition.

Sense and respond rather than predict and control.

We try to operate 20 years ahead and plan for the next day.


Simple budgets, like a petrol tank and speedometer.

Not used to manage performance.

If someone isn't motivated the problem isn't the lack of targets. Fix the motivation problem first.


Change management isn't a thing. It is all organic growth.

Non-static systems all change all the time. It can never be still.

What is the pycological level of ownership? Who is driving the change.

---Role of the CEO---

1. Public Face

2. Sense where the organisation is leading.

3. Hold the space for TEAL to happen. Don't bottle it.

4. Role modelling.

5. Have space to do projects like any other staff. Get back to the things you enjoyed.