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My book review this week is on a book by Frederic Laloux – Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness. Laloux, formerly an associate principal with McKinsey & Company, now works with corporate leaders on ways to transform their companies into more inspired organizations with greater productivity and purpose.

He characterizes the organization of the future as an “Evolutionary – Teal” company, and gives several examples of companies that are moving in this direction. These organizations are driven by a higher purpose and practice self-management – some to the extent of eliminating their HR departments. Teams of employees hire, fire, resolve conflict, and spend money according to processes that they develop. CEO’s follow essentially the same processes as others, and really have no power over their companies.

I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the self-managed teams of nurses at Buurtzorg – a nonprofit, founded by Jos de Blok in 2006. Neighborhood nursing has been a part of the Netherlands culture since the nineteenth century. Over time, the government made efforts to organize the nurses into teams to allow backup care. Additionally, regulations were put in place to monitor supplies and time.

Jos de Blok, a nurse, watched the level of care decline and the frustrations of nurses grow. He formed Buurtzorg, which has grown into a large and influential organization, with operations in various countries. Nurses continue to self-manage their teams, in what has become the largest neighborhood nursing organization in the Netherlands, providing home care to the sick and elderly.