By Charlie Efford for Enlivening Edge Magazine
Teal Dots In An Orange World by Erik Korsvik Østergaard
The only way (in my opinion) to truly understand why a Teal organisation operates the way it does is to develop your own consciousness to the point where Teal ways of working reflect who you are.
Trying to understand Teal from an ‘Orange’ perspective is like trying to describe the view from the top of the mountain when you have never been there. However, imagining what the view would be like is a great incentive to start the ascent.
Teal Dots in an Orange World is a book written from an Orange perspective looking excitedly at what Teal organisations can bring to the workplace. As such it will appeal to those who are growing ‘Teal buds’ and would appreciate an explanation of Teal in a language that makes sense from their current world view.
Erik Korsvik Østergaard does an admirable job of conveying the available thinking and ideas that Orange organisations are using to adapt to a fast-changing world. He takes the reader through the emergence of concepts such as self-management, Sociocracy, Agile and Lean Startup. All of these are proven ways of responding to rapid change.
He sees organisations operating with these approaches as ‘modern and progressive’. He also, quite understandably, declares that Teal is only really practical for small organisations and is quite impractical for large scale ones. His solution for large scale organisations is to create an Orange world where Teal ‘dots’ can operate in appropriate pockets.
He describes in very practical ways, with accompanying case studies, how Teal-related practices can be introduced and incorporated by those organisations who want to modernise. His book is essentially offering ways to make the Orange machine a little slicker and more adaptable to a changing business world.
I suspect it will appeal to Business Schools and provide a valuable reference for business change consultants.
I would not recommend this book for those have already made the leap to a Teal level of consciousness. I suspect its essence will simply not resonate with you.
Whilst Erik admirably describes a range of Teal practices, he does so from an Orange perspective, and the underlying reasons and motivations for his suggestions didn’t connect with me. They may however, really appeal to those taking the first steps towards Teal.
In short, I didn’t get the sense that Erik really understands the Teal world view. “Teal dots in an Orange world” captures the book’s essence and Erik’s views perfectly and is completely authentic in that regard. The book is a valuable contribution for the market it is aimed at.
I have a feeling that Erik will adjust his views as his understanding of Teal matures and I look forward to reading his next book when it does.
Charlie Efford has a diverse background that includes periods as an Army Engineer, Management Consultant and Therapist.
The recurring themes in his life are Leadership, Balance, and Holding Space for others. He is steadily drawing these threads together to offer space for leaders of all shapes and sizes to explore what becoming more conscious means. charlie.efford@conscious-