Release year: 2014

Author: Frederic Laloux

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Link to my handwritten notes


Terrific ideas. This book inspires me to try to show what management can change to tap into the unexplored potential that lives in every human. I think every C-level manager should explore the ideas discussed in this book and see if they resonate with them. This is the future of work.

Félix rating:

⭐ Star quotes

  1. (p. 49) In earlier stages, when we disagree with other people, we often meet them in judgement, believing that we must be right and they must be wrong. Or we can, in the name of tolerance (the Green ideal), gloss over our differences and affirm that all truths are equally valid. In Tail, we can transcend this polarity and integrate with the higher truth of non-judgement – we can examine our belief and find to be superior in truth and yet embrace the other as a human being of fundamentally equal value.
  2. (p. 49) ⭐ We are rich not through the things we own, but through the relationships that nourish our soul.
  3. (p. 67) The basis for decision-making is not consensus. For a solution to be adopted, it is enough that nobody has a principled objection. A person cannot veto a decision because she feels another solution (for example, hers!) would have been preferable.
  4. (p. 77) Traditional pyramidal structures demand too much of too few and not enough of everyone else.
  5. (p. 81) “My colleagues are honorable men and women, and they prove it every day by their actions in a workplace where they’re at liberty to run amok if they’re so inclined. They’re just not so inclined, that’s all. The exceptions are so rare that to clamp heavy restrictions on the whole work force just to try to control the actions of the potential bad apples would be a colossal self-sabotage.”
  6. (p. 91) At FAVE, a simple but powerful relief valve exists, should a team leader find the taste of power too sweet: workers can choose at any moment to join another team. If a team leaders start to behave autocratically, people can simply walk away.
  7. (p. 100) ⭐ The advice process: any person in the organization can make any decision, but before doing so, must seek advice from all affected parties and people with expertise on the matter.
  8. (p. 108) People:
    • Are creative, thoughtful, trustworthy adults, capable of making important decisions
    • Are accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions
    • Are fallible. We make mistakes, sometimes on purpose
    • Are unique
    • Want to use their collective talents and skills to make a positive contribution to the organization and the world.
  9. (p. 110) We reap what we saw: fear breeds fear and trust breeds trust. Traditional hierarchies and their plethora of built-in control systems are, at their core, formidable machines that breed fear and distrust.
  10. (p. 113) Two principles (basic social values) should inspire every management practice:
    • Individuals should never use force against other people
    • Individuals should honor their commitments
  11. (p. 114) Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.
  12. (p. 121) Total responsibility: all colleagues have the obligation to do something about an issue they sense, even when it falls outside the scope of their roles. It’s considered unacceptable to say, “Somebody should do something about this problem,” and leave it at that. With total responsibility, if you see a problem or an opportunity, you have an obligation to do something about it, and most often that “something” is to go and talk about it with the colleague whose role relates to the topic. In other words, “It’s not my problem” is not an acceptable attitude.
  13. (p. 125) In Teal Organizations, performance and outcomes are discussed foremost at the team level: “Are we collectively doing a good job contributing to the organization’s purpose?”
  14. (p. 146) Something special happens within the presence of dogs. Animals tend to ground us. The simple practice of petting a dog tends to soothe us, to reconnect us to our body, and to calm down our spinning minds. When it’s a colleague’s dog we pet, or a colleague that pets ours, we subtly build community.
  15. (p. 165) At Heiligenfield, once a year colleagues in every team rate the quality of their interaction with other teams. The result is a company-wide “heat map” that reveals which teams should have a conversation to improve their collaboration.
  16. (p. 166) Three-step process for difficult conversation:
    1. Here is how I feel
    2. Here is what I need.
    3. What do you need?
  17. (p. 175) A bad hire is someone who is a chronic complainer who is not happy, who blames others, who doesn’t take responsibility, who’s not honest, who doesn’t trust other people. A bad hire would be someone who needs specific direction and waits to be told what to do. A poor hire would be someone who wasn’t flexible and who says, “It’s not my job.”
  18. (p. 197) ⭐ Profit is like the air we breathe. We need air to live, but we don’t live to breathe.
  19. (p. 240) ⭐ ⭐ The level of consciousness of an organization cannot exceed the level of consciousness of its leader.
  20. (p. 288) So much of what we call “management” consists in making it difficult for people to work.