By Filippo Causero and translated into English for Enlivening Edge Magazine
In 2016, I read a book that struck me, on the path to the establishment of my company: Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux. This book talks about companies, coming from different sectors and countries, which in the last 50 years have completely changed their internal organizations. Laloux defines them as the next stage of the evolution of human consciousness.
How do “consciousness and organization” fit together? The organization of a company is the mirror of the entrepreneur’s mental organization. A person who is not able to put himself in other people’s shoes and observe himself from outside, will never succeed in creating a self-organized company. To create it you need to move from the command-and-control paradigm to the paradigm of love and trust for others.
I liked this book so much that I decided to adopt the same principles within Foxwin. I talked to my colleagues and together we created our Teal organization. For those who have not read the book, “teal” is a blue-water colour, and according to the scale of the stages of human consciousness, it reflects the Autonomous or Integral stage.
My vision at the beginning was “to help people realize their ideas at work”, but after a year of teamwork, I thought that the vision should not be just mine but everyone’s.
We spent two days talking about what our evolutionary purpose should be (first principle of the Teal organizations).
We finally decided that it should be “help people to self-fulfill at work, and help organizations to develop a social and environmental ethic”. If you think about it, it is an evolution of purpose compared to mine, not a change of direction. Self-realization does not mean only realizing your ideas, but also doing a job you like in a project that is bigger than yourself.
The positive impact
With the Foxwin software, we help companies collect ideas that increase revenues and reduce costs. However, this project cannot be just about increasing shareholder revenue; it must also have a purpose that has a positive impact on society and the environment. For this reason, we don’t stop there; we nudge companies in gathering ideas that improve sustainability and organizational well-being.
Now after two years we have created an online community to share ideas between different organizations that improve sustainability and well-being, a source of inspiration and positive pollination for all.
A year later, I read the book “U Theory” by Otto Sharmer and slowly I began connecting all the dots. Otto says that the world is experiencing three major problems: the difference between who we are and who we want to be, the distance between us and others, the distance between us and nature.
If you think about it well, our purpose is precisely in this direction; “self-realization” means that we want to unite who we want to be with who we are. “Develop a social ethic” means being close to our neighbour. “Develop an environmental ethic” means considering the environment in all our business decisions. If we dedicate time to get to know each other in-depth, we find ourselves living on the same planet and having the same needs … wow!
In a Teal organization, people are free to show themselves for who they are (according to the principle “wholeness”), so not only the rational side but also other sides of oneself such as one’s emotions, intuitions and spirituality. Creating such an environment is not immediate; we are still working on it. We spent two days talking about our values and deciding which values we should respect.
It was great to find out, after hours of discussions, definitions, and misunderstandings, that we all have the same values. And so, it’s like Carl Jung said, at the bottom of our subconscious we are all the same, regardless of gender or nationality.
One of our most important values is love: love for our work, for our stakeholders, for society, and the environment.
The third principle of these organizations is self-organization. In Foxwin there is no hierarchy and never will be. I am the CEO because by law there must be one, but I am not the head of anyone. Each of our collaborators has chosen their role, a work that excites them and gives them the possibility of self-realization.
We have no working hours; everyone takes their holidays as much as they want, and we can work wherever we want. Most of the time, we all come to the office because we are pleased to be with colleagues and confront each other.
One of our values is transparency; all company information is always accessible. Everyone knows how much money we have in cash, the financial perspectives, how much colleagues earn. Information is a source of power for those who own it. If information is transparent and clear, so that everybody can access it, then the power is distributed, and the overall organization works better.
In short, working in Foxwin is fantastic. People are happy to work, to share and we are all very productive. And all that makes sense because the work is in line with the purpose of our life.
Filippo Causero is the CEO and founder of the startup Foxwin. He is an Italian industrial engineer with an MBA. His passions are technologies and next stage organizations. His scope is to help people self-fulfill in their work.