We have been the first company in the logistics sector to replace a hierarchical management structure with self-organisation. At PKS Gdańsk-Oliwa SA, we make decisions as a team and take responsibility for them.
The concept of the teal organisation, which was popularised by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organizations, is based on the assumption that employees know exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it, and that they do not need supervisors for this, making supervisors obsolete in the teal management model. In a teal company, any person can make a decision – provided that they take responsibility for it and consult it with people who have the relevant expertise as well as those who are directly affected by it. This makes it possible to introduce new ideas and improvements to the company’s business and to make full use of the strengths and talents of its employees. Employees, in turn, gain space for creativity, innovation and self-development as well as a sense of meaning. Teal organisations are based on trust, responsibility and cooperation.
The first impulse came from a conference we attended, focused on teal organisations, and the second one from reading Laloux’s book. That was when we said to ourselves: we will either implement everything or nothing. And this is exactly what happened. On 7 July 2017, in Gdańsk, a letter of intent was read, and then we visited each of our 16 offices to talk with our employees about the new concept of teal management.
At first, some employees misunderstood the concept of teal management, thinking it meant a lack of rules or control, but that is not what a teal organisation is about. That is why we set up a series of meetings and training courses, which we still keep on holding today. Soon afterwards, on the initiative of our employees, we introduced a Co-workers’ Code and a company blog. New teams were established as well, including task teams whose job is to develop solutions in various aspects of the company’s life, such as the payroll system, social fund and many others.
In order to further expand our knowledge, we started to attend and organise events dedicated to teal management. After a year and a half we decided to check the results by means of employee satisfaction surveys.
Their outcome made us realise that we were on the right track but still had a lot to do; after all, not everything works out from the beginning; we make mistakes, but we try to correct them. At the moment, we cannot even imagine going back to the previous system. More on teal at PKS Gdańsk-Oliwa SA can be found in our folder.
In self-organising teams, the roles are as follows:
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