The Way We Work
15 July 2020 - Impact Hub Basel
Ever wonder how Impact Hub Basel team members are collaborating? While we would very often write about what we do, this blog post might give you a glimpse into how we do…

Teal Journey

In the early days, while our Co-Founders were defining what Impact Hub Basel would stand for and exploring how they wanted to work, Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations, inspired them and so the journey began. Frederic Laloux describes in his book the different paradigms of the human organizations through the ages and sheds light on a new one: the Teal organization.

Drawing on the Integral Theory and framework of the philosopher Ken Wilber, Frederic Laloux refers to something much larger than a new organizational model. It relates to the subsequent stages in the development of human consciousness, which are mirrored in how we manage our organizations.

As we evolve and grow, Impact Hub Basel uses the three Teal breakthroughs as guiding stars for developing our future of work, a workplace that is different from what we know as a “company”:

Self-Management
Where everyone takes responsibility for his/her actions and very few rules and control mechanisms are needed – not to be confused with lack of structure!

Wholeness
Bringing all of who we are to work.

Evolutionary Purpose
An organization that has its own calling and a powerful drive to move toward that calling.

Our Teal journey might prove long, arduous, and take many years – we might even never “reach” our final destination! But rooted in who we are, these principles are reflected in our Mantra and Co-Manifesto, and we continue uncovering better ways of working together and delivering valuable and sustainable products and services by doing it and helping others do it.

Teal Sessions

Rather than being strictly dedicated by a book or a single person, our structure and practices are discussed, designed, and constructed as we progress through our Teal journey during specific team workshops, aka our Teal sessions.

Whenever a team member senses a need, he or she takes the initiative and leads the next Teal session. From decision-making to onboarding or meeting facilitation, each of our practices is transparently set up, with an emphasis on the why – and how this is serving our purpose.

Friday, 12 June 2020, was kind of a special day for the Impact Hub Basel team. For the first time, after three months of Corona-related work-from-home restrictions were eased, everyone was there – in-person – in our beloved coworking space.

Thanks to our big event venue, the Impact Factory, we could hold our team meetings on that day, face-to-face (with the necessary distancing measures) and no virtual technology between us.

Perfect timing for a Teal session! So leaving our desks for a couple of hours, we looked at our communication and feedback culture, with the support and intervention of IntegralWorks.

The session started with a walk-through of the stages of consciousness development by Silas from IntegralWorks. IntegralWorks developed two maps of evolution, building on the Integral Theory and Ken Wilber’s AQAL framework that helps to explain people’s paradigm.

An inspiring and (self-)challenging exploration of how to better communicate

What are the essentials of communication from a Teal perspective? Together with Silas, we particularly looked into the communication line and how each worldview is associated with a different communication style.

The Orange meme is rational, empirical with little attention given to feelings. The pluralistic Green meme is communicating in a friendly and rather indirect way, showing empathy, and relativizing all differences in perception and consideration. The Teal meme is looking for authentic and more direct communication.

The discussion that followed revealed very different perspectives and we naturally engaged in a reflection on our organizational and individual needs. Fortunately, everyone in the team is looking for meaningful and satisfying communication and feedback – signs of good recruitment I believe! But what means “satisfying” for me and what means “satisfying” for my colleague? Is each of us daring to be fully ourselves on the spot when an emotion arises, or do we require a particular setup? Is our safe space really safe?

When we have been told for so long what is “politically correct” at the workplace, when we have learned to control our emotions, or display a more appropriate emotion or not at all… How to create and maintain a space where we share emotions, stories, and opinions, as well as have hard conversations that can help solve challenges and help each other to grow and be better?

We all agreed that emotions are an essential part of being human and there is no question on recognizing that the whole spectrum of feelings is important. Emotions are important indicators, giving us vital information about what matters to us, hence emotions matter!

Sessions Laloux acknowledges it, “showing up whole feels risky”

But then, how do we become more aware and curious about our feelings and emotions and investigate where they are coming from so that we can fully show up and be present in every setting, every role, every context in which we participate?

As a first practical step, we experimented with “circling”, an authentic relating practice helping to focus inward on our emotions and feelings, get in touch with “here and now” and paying attention to what is happening to our body and mind. We then shared how the exercise made us feel. Next step(s) to be revealed by our next Teal session! For now, the circling practice will be tested in the coming weeks and we will be scheduling reminders for ongoing conversations.

Working with our feelings is an integral part of our Teal journey and the team is dedicated to it. We do have frictions, but they are an invitation to constantly review, evolve, and improve how we work together, which we know is as important as what we work on.

I am proud of our Hub, enjoy working there, and wish that people everywhere could work in such conditions if they choose to.

Céline Bedu

PS: Want to know more about conscious business, the integral model, and stages of development? Join the free webinar offered by IntegralWorks on the maps of evolution on Friday, 17 July 2020.

PPS: Want to know more about Impact Hub Basel and its culture? Just pass by! Or sign up for one of our events.