By Zsuzsanna Toldi for Enlivening Edge Magazine
On the 8th of December, the Hungarian Edition of Reinventing Organizations ( A Jövő Szervezetei—The Organizations of the Future) was launched in Budapest.
I think the book’s arrival was heralded under a lucky star; it was the day of the Feast of Immaculate Conception. Hopeful coincidence.
Let me share some fun facts with you about our edition:
- It is about 100 pages longer than the English version, due to characteristics of the Hungarian language.
- The typesetter is a sailor.
- Our book jacket’s design aims to help the reader to memorize the organizational metaphors.
- “Reinventing” was impossible to translate shorter than half of a sentence, so we gave the title based on the Danish title.
- We put in lots of QR codes for easier access to all related webpages.
- We received the publishing contract from the author with a pink Post-it heart on it, saying: Good luck!
Probably he felt that we would need some luck. Being greenhorns in this field, publishing Reinventing Organizations was an exciting adventure for our team. The project was progressing in an organic way; we learnt how to manage it step-by-step. At every milestone a new player stepped into the field, pushing the book forward towards completion.
Despite the late announcement of the book launch meetup, about 80 participants were interested in the event and wanted to buy the book. All these people made it on time, in spite of the heavy Christmas season traffic jam in the city, which is a miracle itself, but at least the good luck which followed us along our path.
The meetup participants enjoyed the high energy level and inspirational and joyful atmosphere of the evening as well as the compassion they felt in the company of each other while listening to the speakers and working with the map that explains the organizational characteristics based on the book, developed by Circle43 team.
Frederic Laloux sent us a video message which attracted the attention of our audience, whose level of consciousness is Teal-ish, to our responsibility for our world. His kind anecdote about the complicatedness of Hungarian language made us laugh and we enjoyed his words.
The next chapter
Since the event we are trying to handle the endless string of book orders. It seems Reinventing Organizations makes its way now to the Hungarian public, showing the success and viability of the new paradigm to decision-makers, managers, entrepreneurs, teachers, as well as all kinds of community leaders and communities.
With Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations we now have a practical guide to build organizations based on the belief of abundance, hope, trust, and compassionate cooperation. We painfully lack these in most of our companies, for-profit and non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, and government institutes.
I will never forget the middle manager who told me: ’You know, when I arrive home, I sit down at the dinner table with my kids. But I can’t relax with them; there is this thought constantly bothering me, that I should go and work on my computer.’ Or the young team leader who wanted to step higher and become a manager and was sent to an Assessment Centre. After a year he could not talk about it without tears. He was so badly humiliated.
All these practices kill our creativity and motivation, destroy trust, and make business operation costly slow.
Regarding the changing expectations of the workforce (Millennials, labour shortage in different industries, growing need to find work/life balance, etc.) Hungarian companies face the challenge to pay more attention to company culture and management culture. It seems the highly hierarchized, Red/Orange organizations are not so attractive any more.
People repeatedly tell us at Aquilone Training OD Ltd. during our Organizational Development projects, that they want to trust and be trusted; they want to be empowered, be involved in decision-making, and create the future of their organizations together, as peers, not subordinates.
Teal in Hungary
By the time Frederic Laloux’s book arrived to us in Hungarian, we already had a high awareness of the Teal Movement in professional circles. The first English language edition of Reinventing Organizations quickly found its way to the different communities of all kinds of social science professionals in our country.
There is not only awareness, but the first experiential Teal projects have been started in local start-ups, and a community service non-profit as well. Also OD teams start forming their own culture based on the best practices served by the book—just like us, in Aquilone OD.
I see awesome examples of brave companies who make huge steps toward finding a way that leads them out of the consciousness of fear and scarcity to the consciousness of trust and abundance.
Besides the Teal projects, there are many different developments in Hungarian organizations, containing very progressive elements. A big bank reformed their performance management system, based on strength and self-management, and also started dismantling the performance scaling. In another organization of 300 people, the teams decide about their working hours, and everyone may have as much leave as they want. In a 15-year-old product development company all the salaries and finances are transparent; bonuses are given by the decision of the team members.
These companies are successful and offer a friendly and safe space for their employees to develop, create and feel involved.
Any kind of organization, group, or team could be the space and community where we can meet the new paradigm, where we can develop and experiment, how Teal would look in our Hungarian way.
Now Laloux’s theory and practice is available in our mother tongue, which makes it easier to spread the word and find the way this knowledge could take root in our organizations, from schools to factories.
I know one single book cannot change our life, our belief system, but I trust that it induces a more conscious development of organizations. The witty minds of Hungarians like proofs and facts and practicalities; Reinventing Organizations provides them with all these about the progressive patterns Laloux describes.
The best practices are here; the great results are undeniable. Frederic Laloux helps us to explain and show our clients, that those things most people wish for in the rough terrains of work and responsibilities are normal, acceptable, and right. We want a whole life; we want to be ourselves; we want to have real choices.
It is time to discover and also learn from the organizations based in Hungary which are already developing new practices and finding their next stage—mostly responding to the growing pressure of insufficient workforce, or the different expectations of the younger generations, and accepting the economic necessity of profitability that is hardly achievable in the old way.
These are the organizations where we can find our local examples of successful developments. I hope the Hungarian Edition of Reinventing Organizations will be our great companion on the road to our promising future.
Zsuzsanna Toldi does organizational and management development programs at Aquilone Training OD Ltd. By education she is an organizational consultant, M.B.A., entrepreneur, teacher of history and literature. She describes herself also as a “big fan of dogs, book, and nature, with forever love for Budapest, my home town where our office is.”