Teal, Trust-based Organisations & Collaboration: What are the Critical Questions?

By Capucine Ortoli and originally published at theteamakers.org.

Having spent the last one and a half years contributing to the development of teal, trust-based, empowering organisations & teams adoption in a relatively large company, I feel I am getting stuck in an “in-between” world of transitioning.  I wonder if this is only about me being a rebel to any KPI, to any control, me being so dogmatic & idealistic that I cannot be the bridge that “people” expect me to be …between the so-called ‘old ways’ and ‘new ways’ of doing, thinking and being in corporate companies.

I am asked by the company to be a connector because even setting up the “new way” I am still part of a company mainly ruled very differently from any teal, trust-based culture.

I am asked to behave in the new way and to inspire the change, but I am judged according to the old rules. Practically, this means that facts & figures continue to be chased:

“Is it working or not working? Show me with facts & figures, how many people are teal? How many teams have changed? Are we going fast enough? What’s the change plan?”

The question I ask is: “Do these questions even make sense when considering the new paradigm?”

Trying to understand this change with metrics, facts and figures, or by observing it, is not getting us anywhere—or it will get us to the same place as usual because we would think the same way as usual. We would remain on the surface.

Ok so … How to shift? How to start? Let’s try to help you understand and start Somewhere:

  • Would you welcome uncertainty every day?
  • What are your fears to let go, to control less, to listen more, to ask questions to the crowd and work on more iterative way?
  • How do you feel in this world of “learning by doing”?
  • How would you feel to be yourself connected with your emotions?

What I mean by this list of questions: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” as Einstein said. 

This level of consciousness, in this particular context means that ANOTHER level of consciousness needs to be in your mind & body to be the change.  This level of consciousness can only emerge if you let go of the need to understand and control everything,

This different level of consciousness will come if you live it: the conversation, the listening, the silence, the questions, the contemplation, the connection with yourself and others.

Many people are asking: “Ok, so it’s as much a personal transformation as a company one, but how to start really?” There is no single answer to that question; there might be thousands of ways to make it happen because this about who you are with yourself, with others, with the full organization, with the world.

Try one path: ask yourself some of the questions listed below, answer as honestly and as deeply as possible. It’s ok to not find the answer immediately; try again.  Please feel free to add questions to the list. This article is open to your contribution.


I know who I am?

I know why I’m here

I understand why we need to change?

I give trust and people trust me?

I am ready not to give authority over me?

I show my vulnerability?

I have participated in defining collective objectives?

I listen deeply?

I apply the advice process?

I’ve given the power?

I can lead and follow

I practice meditation or contemplation regularly

I’ve left the masks behind

I see the potential in everyone

I give full transparency on any information

I accept that I don’t need to take all the decisions

I’m comfortable with the decisions taken where information is

I understand everybody has talent

I contribute in making the environment more enjoyable

I do what I love and I love what I do and I accept others do the same

I’m prepared to say “I don’t know”

I have stood up against the system

I seek feedbacks based on my needs and I know how to give a constructive feedback

I can express my feelings and needs

I learn by doing instead of planning

I agree that planning is guessing

I’m prepared to make mistakes

I accept people as they are

I know my values and I live by values

I accept that KPIs pervert what we do

I see the opportunity to coach and not tell

I connect with people deeply

I accept that long lists won’t get done

I don’t play politics

I accept uncertainty

I’m prepared to experience new roles as needed

I don’t need to know anything

I accept to disclose my CV of failures

I’m willing to forgive myself and others

I can have an adult-adult relationship with everyone

I accept that everyone can be a leader

I seek to be aware of my habits

I am willing to get zero credits for what I did?

Capucine Ortoli, January 2017. 

This article has been kindly reviewed by my colleague and friend Max Bailey- inspired by daily life. 

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

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Republished with permission of the author.

Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.