This is a story about anger. A tremendous fury and a desperation that I enter when I come across self-centered organizational environments. Where office politics, mutual back-scratching and egos dominate.

You must be thinking that we at Target Teal don’t deal with these things. After all, we’re different, right? But don’t fool yourself. Behind the coolest, fluffiest, and greatest-place-to-work organizations, may lie a putrid and cancerous system. A set of self-reinforcing beliefs that anything that doesn’t belong to the status quo is treated as a virus.

An all-powerful-CEO spitting out a strategy that doesn’t make any sense, but that he defends fiercely in order to maintain his position. Managers fighting with HR to decide what department John Doe belongs to. People with disconnected jobs, but who are locked-up in teams that have no purpose, except to be under the command of chief-whatever-officer. Rotting and ineffective organizational structures that are based on individual desires, rather than purpose-centered.

It’s curious that none of the agents involved (directors, managers, employees) see their own logical fallacy. Everyone nods, as if everything is correct and perfectly coherent. It’s an established and contagious business disease.

When I face this reality, I feel angry. I may talk about roles, distributed authority, nonviolent communication. But everything seems a distant echo, or a small disturbance in the system, which quickly loses its power…

Fortunately, I soon remember that those are people, also with universal needs, which are not being met. Often “that” is the only strategy they know. My anger then changes from people to the system. And at that time I think.

I really hate this shitty system.

We can’t say that it’s not a choice (mine) to help such an organization. It is. Of course, the discovery of such toxicity only comes later. The shell is green, but the inside is amber-orange.

And while many attempts to change the system fail miserably, I believe the teal seed has been planted. Often individuals who absorb Target Teal’s message leave these organizations and go somewhere else. The seed is carried, and it usually sprouts in a more propitious soil. This is the true expression of our purpose.

This story was about anger, but also about hope.