Meet Teal Unicorn™, Experts in Advanced Management
Jun 22, 2023
I recently had the pleasure to participate in a master class on Open Management, led by Rob England and Dr Cherry Vu, organised by itSMF Belgium and hosted at the CTG offices in Diegem.
Rob and Cherry have their own company offering consultancy, training, coaching and content on advanced management, like Open Management under the Teal Unicorn™ brand. They started the session by explaining that the way we manage our work is rather based on 20th century thinking, usually based on one specific model, with which we try to manage all possible changes affecting our work.
Today, this approach is not effective anymore, in a world that is becoming more and more marked by VUCA:
Volatility (the speed of change)
Uncertainty (the lack of predictability)
Complexity (a multiplicity of issues and factors)
Ambiguity (lack of clarity, the potential of misreads)
Recent events in the world have proven this, e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine and the impact on the global economy and energy prices.
A VUCA world can also have an impact on people: they do not always feel comfortable in their job anymore and can no longer keep up with the speed at which technology evolves and with its complexity.
To cope with VUCA, we need to evolve to an organisation that is adaptable, a combination of resilient and agile. You have to look for ways to help you run your organisation in a VUCA world and at the same time make it a place where you can deliver better work. Or to use the Teal Unicorn tagline: “Make work better: better results, better lives, and better society”.
Adaptability can be improved by looking for better ways of working with the whole of the organisation. This also means that people need to be managed in a different way: managers should not explain how the work should be done, but rather act as servant gardeners: increasing the ability to get the work done.
During this master class, we also learned about some interesting collaboration tools that can be used to facilitate the process to Open Management in an organisation, like Lean Café, World Café, Open Space, Slido (active polling). We learned about Shuhari to help to get away from silo-based organisations and evolve to T-shaped types of people. We learned about the power of stories to explain and hopefully convince as many people as possible to prove that Open Management concepts work and can work in any other organisation.
If you want to learn more about Open Management and what it can mean to your organisation and even to your personal life, I recommend the book written by both Rob and Cherry: "Open Management: Better work for a better world”. This book explains the different arguments for Open Management (the why and the who, including explanations of concepts that can support Open Management) as well as some actual experiences from clients working in various business contexts like logistics, banking, government, clothing, real estate, electronics, import, wholesale, retail and service providers (storytelling, remember).
If you want to learn more about how you and your organisation can be more open, there is a very practical handbook: “The agile Manager (small a) – New Ways of Managing”.
If you want to stay informed about e.g. the latest insights and client stories regarding Open Management, you can find a landing page that is particularly devoted to this topic on their website https://tealunicorn.com.
For more interesting topics regarding service management in general, please check the itSMF calendar for upcoming events on https://www.itsmf.be/#events.