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Listening to Purpose

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Review (Brooks Tanner)

Structure

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Visually appealing, well laid out, logical subheadings
  • Concise and to the point
  • Focused on the topic in question

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments: Visual appeal is ok, although maybe overly dense at times. Maybe an excess of links to other sections. Could be considerably more concise. This article seems to try to cover both the “major organizational process” of “listening to purpose” as well as what the “Teal breakthrough” of evolutionary purpose is. That may make sense but it might be preferable to start by referring the reader to the “background article” called “Evolutionary Purpose”. This section could then be simplified.

Quality of Writing

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Coherent and logical flow throughout article
  • Written in a neutral and non judgmental tone
  • Well written - straightforward English and short sentences

Rating: 2 Stars

Comments: Intro paragraph: Difficult to understand - why do we need a distinction between “evolutionary” and “organizational” purpose and if we need it, the distinction is not clear Historical Perspective: Supported by research? Descriptions for Amber, Orange, Red seem largely made up and do not tie closely with RO book which states simply that decision making at Red, Amber and Orange is driven by ”the self-preservation of the organization”. This stems from “the fear-based nature of the ego which sees the world as a dangerous place with competitors everywhere”. There is also little discussion of the profit motive, which forms the legal foundation for the modern corporation; the “fundamental drive of Orange organizations...winning”; or the distinction between the organization as a “machine” vs. a “living being”. Principles and Practices in Teal: Confusing intro paragraph. Need to emphasize that decision making in Teal is truly driven by purpose, not survival, or winning and that Teal organizations have a fundamentally different view of “competition”. Then discuss “How the org finds its purpose”. This rather lengthy distinction made between organizations created in Teal vs. transitioning to Teal does not seem useful or of any significance in the RO book. “Other aspects of Teal organizations, like self-management and the search for wholeness will also enable collective wisdom to surface, bringing surprise and magic in to the experience” - seems overly editorial and non-specific.

The discussion on the role of the leader seems like conjecture - if it is not covered in the book and we cannot tie it to what some actual Teal organization is doing, maybe we should leave it out. I think it would suffice to say that in Teal organizations, purpose evolves beyond the founder’s vision in an emergent process. Discussion of links with “self-management” and “wholeness” again seems to reflect the author’s point of view and are not necessarily tied to the book or other credible sources. I don’t think this section is helpful or needed - this process is obviously tied primarily to the breakthrough of evolutionary purpose and does not need to be tied to the other two breakthroughs.

Generally, this section seems dense and long - not easy for the reader to come away with a few key concepts.

Summary

2 Stars overall

The article could be shorter, more understandable, better tied to research in the RO book and more focused.


Review (Ken Everett)

Structure

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Visually appealing, well laid out, logical subheadings
  • Concise and to the point
  • Focused on the topic in question'

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments: Focused on the topic in question, with added commentary in places. A section in italics in How the organization finds its purpose calls for help, I believe. In any event it should be cleaned up. Listing many links to other sites diverts reader attention in places. A sharper focus on Listening to purpose (versus other aspects of purpose) would help.

Quality of Writing

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Coherent and logical flow throughout article
  • Written in a neutral and non judgmental tone
  • Well written - straightforward English and short sentences'

Rating: 2 Stars

Comments: There is an opportunity here for shorter sentences. The average of 11 words/sentence is high, c.f., say, 8 in Strategy. This is an easy way to improve readability. Comments: At this stage of the wiki, the idea is to capture content from the book, albeit reorganized onto the wiki (as I understand it). Removing anything that could be seen as ‘commentary’ would be true to this ideal, and help clarity.

Summary

2 Stars overall

Add text here


Review (Charlie Efford)

Structure

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Visually appealing, well laid out, logical subheadings
  • Concise and to the point
  • Focused on the topic in question'

Rating: 4 Stars

Comments:   The structure of the article is reasonably clear with a good range of headings and bullets to break up blocks of text. In places the article took several sentences to make a point that could have been made in a single sentence. In general, the article is focused on purpose with some occasional detours into other subjects such as leadership.

Quality of Writing

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Coherent and logical flow throughout article
  • Written in a neutral and non judgmental tone
  • Well written - straightforward English and short sentences'

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments:   The logic and flow of the article was generally OK. There was very little if any judgmental comments (good on this point) The quality of English was not good and I found it difficult, on several occasions, to understand what point the author was trying to make.

Summary

3 Stars overall

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments:   The article was reasonably well structured and made some good points. It needs a rewrite to simplify the English, clarify some of the points being made and to make it more concise.


Review (Ana Moreno)

Structure

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Visually appealing, well laid out, logical subheadings
  • Concise and to the point
  • Focused on the topic in question

Rating: 4 Stars

Comments: 

Initial definition wider and more focused in what listening purpose is.

Examples of purpose would help as part of the different section, not only at the end , and could be comment as clarifying items in how the organization finds its purpose.

The section “How to ensure that the purpose is served” could be difficult to understand for practitioner, some managers that “have these language” could give some ideas to link with orange mainstreaming concepts.

Link with innovation and CSR as source of valuable purpose inputs could be interesting.

Relation self- management - purpose could be reinforced as one of the emergent relationship that makes possible managing complexity without strategic planning.

New FAQ?:

  • Role of the leader defining purpose (existing comment in  the article)
  • how do you listen purpose when you are creating the organization? Is the purpose of the founders?

Quality of Writing

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Coherent and logical flow throughout article
  • Written in a neutral and non judgmental tone
  • Well written - straightforward English and short sentences

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments: The historical perspective does not reinforce positive characteristics when they emerged (Red, Amber, Orange). It would be interesting to show how these contributions are guaranteed in teal, particularly those coming from orange and green. Probably it would not be easy for all the articles.

[1 1]This comment is general for all the articles, with some specific note

Summary

4 Stars overall

Review (Richard Metcalf)

Structure

Rating: 4 Stars

Comments: 

Standard format
Mostly concise and to the point, but there are some points where it wanders off a bit.

I think it would be good to collapse the Historical Perspective section, and/or each of its subsections. I think it would be useful to have some standard links in a sidebar on every page, e.g. “What is Teal?” “How can I contribute?” Users can already access this type of info by clicking on Home or hovering over Navigation, but that’s not great usability.

Quality of Writing

Rating: 3 Stars

Comments:

I couldn’t resist making some text changes and fixing some of the formatting as I did the review. If you want details, look at the page history in the wiki. I’ve addressed a lot of other details below but that’s just my style.

Some of the language is a bit fancy or unnecessarily complex. I’ve changed this in places where I felt it was potentially getting in the way of the meaning, but I’ve left some less common expressions (e.g. “verge on”) as otherwise the text can get a bit too “dry”.

The first paragraph strikes me as a bit “jargony”. The opening sentence is not exactly an attention-grabber! Didn’t change anything though.

I feel the intro to Historical Perspective assumes a bit too much knowledge of the context. Even if the reader has this context, if this is the first page you come to (which it might be) it’s useful to be reminded of that context. Didn’t change anything though.

I found a couple of faux amis (“adapted” instead of “appropriate”, “direction” instead of “founder or leader”), so we should remember to look out for these in other articles.

Format of references to the “In practice” section is inconsistent (sometimes italicized, sometimes in “quotes”).

I think there is a syntax issue here, but I’m not sure how to resolve it… “Often it is the leader - in many cases the founder(s) hold(s) the vision of the company and has a major responsibility to sense what is special about what the company has to offer.” Maybe like this? “Often it is the leader(s) - in many cases the founder(s) - who hold(s) the vision of the company and has a major responsibility to sense what is special about what the company has to offer.”

There was a reference in the article to a “governance process” in Teal. It’s the only mention of this phrase in the whole wiki (except in a page about governance of the wiki itself) so I removed the word “governance”.

A few final issues I couldn’t resolve...

I can’t get my head round this sentence: “As described above, the current organizational purpose should provide a short and medium-term frame that responds to the organization's current life conditions in how the evolutionary purpose is to be expressed and delivered.”

What does this mean: “Buurtzorg CEO, Jos de Blok, invites his competitors to follow him[... ...]” On Twitter? As he walks down the street? ;-)

What does this mean: “Buurtzorg CEO, Jos de Blok, [... ...] is involved as an advisor to help more people achieve that purpose.” Involved in what, or how? To achieve which purpose?

Summary

4 Stars overall

Review (Mathias Holmgren)

Structure

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Visually appealing, well laid out, logical subheadings
  • Concise and to the point
  • Focused on the topic in question

Rating: 3(+) Stars

Comments: There are some formatting issues such as excessive whitespace.

Why is a large section of text under “How the organization finds its purpose” in italic? This should probably be a sub-section called “the founder’s role in seeding purpose”, or similar.

Buurtzorg in-practice example, should be 9,000 employees (not 7.000). Patagonia example lacks employee count. FAVI example has a missing closing bracket character. Sounds True URL link is a bit malformatted.

Quality of Writing

What we strive for (reminder):

  • Coherent and logical flow throughout article
  • Written in a neutral and non judgmental tone
  • Well written - straightforward English and short sentences

Rating: 3(-) Stars

Comments: The last sentence before the Contents is confusing.

Some parts of Green and Teal stage could be simplified and made more consistent with the writing styles of the other stages. Should we use bullet points in the historical perspective stages?

Lead in paragraph for “principles and practices in teal” is hard to read.

Some parts of “How the organization finds its purpose” feels hard to follow, maybe it is because of disruptions of the logical flow or maybe because I don’t know where the writer will be going next with the contextual thread of communication.

Idea: The founding leader(s) of an organization are responsible for “seeding” the organization’s purpose. The seeding purpose needs to be clear and concise, so that the organization can get started and build up it’s own momentum. After becoming established, the organization will itself take over the responsibility to reshape it’s purpose. At this point, the founding leader needs to let go of control and resist interfering with the organization’s evolving purpose.

“That sensing can be supported by looking to wholeness.” Remove "That".

“It could take practice but it is worth it.” (bias/redundant - remove whole sentence)

“But more generally, any process that achieves the unlikely feat of giving everybody a voice, while at the same time channeling these voices toward a valuable collective outcome is applicable.” Remove "unlikely".

Both the spellings of “organization” and “organisation” are used in the article. In general, all spelling needs to be consistent throughout all wiki articles.

All-in-all, most of the “how to ensure that the purpose is served” section is well written and has only minor issues.

Sections on “three breakthroughs”, self-management is well done but perhaps may be simplified. Wholeness has good points, but may need some clarification in its link to purpose.

In-practice examples: Buurtzorg example needs to be rewritten (poorly formulated). “Follow him”, “he gives every person”, “they create a system that helps support that purpose. In this wiki you will find many examples of it”

The example of Sounds True got me thinking. The example feature Tami’s own thoughts about how the organization’s purpose was seeded. It would be interesting to hear how that purpose has then been taken over to be guided by the organization itself.

Summary

3 Stars overall

Comments:  This article has decent structure and content, but also some clear weakness that needs to be adressed (improved readability/clarity/simplification). Some minor formatting issues should also be fixed.