Evolving Work

by Josh Dzielak—@dzello

This presentation was created for the students of
St. Jean de Passy in Paris, France.

It was first presented on November 23, 2015.

Work has not always been fun.

~12,000 B.C.




...from bears

Not much variety.

Working conditions were not exactly ideal.

Long Hours

Low Pay

Boring Tasks

Evil Bosses

Unsafe Conditions


It's taken centuries, but work has improved significantly.





Way more fun now.

You would think.

Of current employees...

aren't passionate
feel overwhelmed
work too much overtime

79% of companies say they have a significant engagement problem.

...i.e. a significant
FUN problem

How do we improve this?

"We yearn for more, for radically better ways to be in organizations. But is that genuinely possible, or mere wishful thinking? If it turns out that it is possible to create organizations that draw out more of our human potential, then what do such organizations look like?"
—Frederic Laloux

I'm Josh Dzielak.

I like to have fun at work.

That hasn't always been easy.

Age: 15

Fast Food

Would you like fries with that?


Age: 19

Web Developer

Why doesn't this work in Internet Explorer?


Age: 23

Technology Consultant

How do we get out of this mess?


Age: 27

Startup Entrepreneur

There's no way this will work.

Or will it?


Age: 32


Where do I plant the spinach?




"Could we invent a more powerful, more soulful, more meaningful way to work together, if only we change our belief system?"


Reinventing Organizations is a book inspired by the next stage of human consciousness


"With every new stage in human consciousness also came a breakthrough in our ability to collaborate, bringing about a new organizational model."

As we become more aware, so do our organizations

This happens in stages, and has for millennia.


Tribal Militias, Street Gangs, Organized Crime

"The world at this stage is seen as a dangerous place where one’s needs being met depends on being strong and tough. The currency of the world is power. If I’m more powerful than you, I can demand that my needs are met; if you are more powerful than me, I’ll submit in the hope you will take care of me."

"Each member looks after his own people and keeps them in line. Overall, there is no formal hierarchy and there are no job titles."


"...the chief of a Red Organization must demonstrate overwhelming power and bend others to his will to stay in position. The minute his power is in doubt, someone else will attempt to topple him."


Metaphor: Wolfpack   
Emergence: ~10,000BC
Breakthroughs: Divison of labor
Command authority


Military, Government Agencies, Religious Institutions

"The advent of Amber Organizations brought about two major breakthroughs: organizations can now plan for the medium and long term, and they can create organizational structures that are stable and can scale."

"With processes, critical knowledge no longer depends on a particular person; it is embedded in the organization and can be transmitted across generations. Any person can be replaced by another that takes over the same role in the process. Even the chief is replaceable, in an orderly succession, and Amber Organizations can therefore survive for centuries."


Metaphor: Army   
Emergence: ~4,000BC
Breakthroughs: Formal roles
Stable hierachies
Repeatable processes


Global Corporations, Commercial Entities

"Effectiveness replaces morals as a yardstick for decision-making: the better I understand the way the world operates, the more I can achieve; the best decision is the one that begets the highest outcome."

"Orange cognition has opened the floodgates of scientific investigation, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In a timeframe of just two centuries— the blink of an eye in the overall history of our species— it has brought us unprecedented levels of prosperity."


"One of Orange's shadows is 'innovation gone mad' ... much of this economy based on fabricated needs is unsustainable from a financial and ecological perspective. We have reached a stage where we often pursue growth for growth’s sake, a condition that in medical terminology would simply be called cancer."


Metaphor: Machine   
Emergence: Age of Enlightenment
Industrial Revolution
Breakthroughs: Innovation


Culture-Driven Companies, Volunteering, Non-Profits

"In Orange Organizations, strategy and execution are king. In Green Organizations, the company culture is paramount."


"While Orange is predominant today in business and politics, Green is very present in postmodern academic thinking, in nonprofits, and among social workers and community activists."

"Pluralistic-Green is highly sensitive to people’s feelings. It insists that all perspectives deserve equal respect. It seeks fairness, equality, harmony, community, cooperation, and consensus."


"Bringing about consensus among large groups of people is inherently difficult. It almost invariably ends up in grueling talk sessions and eventual stalemate."


Metaphor: Family   
Emergence: Cooperative Movement
Early 20th Century
Breakthroughs: Empowerment
Values-driven culture
Stakeholder model


The Internet, Global Markets, Progressive Startups

"Evolutionary-Teal turns the page from the rational-reductionist worldview of Orange and the post-modern worldview of Green to a holistic approach to knowing."


"In Teal, life is seen as a journey of personal and collective unfolding toward our true nature."

"Recognition, success, wealth, and belonging are viewed as pleasurable experiences, but also as tempting traps for the ego. In contrast with previous stages, the order is reversed: we do not pursue recognition, success, wealth, and belonging to live a good life. We pursue a life well-lived, and the consequence might just be recognition, success, wealth, and love."

"When organizations are built not on implicit mechanisms of fear but on structures and practices that breed trust and responsibility, extraordinary and unexpected things start to happen."


Metaphor: Living System   
Emergence: Now
Breakthroughs: Self-management
Evolutionary purpose

Teal In Practice

"What are the necessary conditions for creating a new organization with Evolutionary-Teal principles, structure, practices, and culture? Or to transform an existing one?"


I'm not a businessman.

I'm a business, man.

"Teal Organizations have found the key to operate effectively, even at a large scale, with a system based on peer relationships, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus."


"Organizations have always been places that encourage people to show up with a narrow 'professional' self and to check other parts of the self at the door ... Teal Organizations have developed a consistent set of practices that invite us to reclaim our inner wholeness and bring all of who we are to work."

Evolutionary Purpose

"Teal Organizations are seen as having a life and a sense of direction of their own. Instead of trying to predict and control the future, members of the organization are invited to listen in and understand what the organization wants to become..."

"Imagine what organizations would be like if we stopped designing them like soulless, clunky machines. What could organizations achieve, and what would work feel like, if we treated them like living beings, if we let them be fueled by the evolutionary power of life itself?"

The End

Thank you!