Teal diary week #3: Don't do the wrong thing right


Here’s a quote from Russell Ackoff: ‘The righter we do the wrong thing, the wronger we become. Therefore, when we correct a mistake doing the wrong thing we become wronger. It is better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right.’

Makes sense. And it describes what happens to us when we try to create change at work: It’s not always going to feel great, and it could go horribly, but it’s better than doing things wrong.

On that note, this week’s journal entry is about cultivating frustration, because we’re starting to get vocal about things. For example, how do we recruit if we don’t have set job descriptions? How do we tell people what we do? How do we measure success? How do we run our teams around our clients, and keep productivity high? Why do we do things that way if the result isn’t the very best? Why, why, why?

Questions with no set answers produce lots of frustration. However, this means we’re on the path to doing the right thing right, not the wrong thing right.  We’re wholeheartedly becoming a business that believes in and trusts in people. This means a lot of questioning - what is, what has been - and it means channeling our frustrations. What’s even trickier is that we have work and projects to run. I guess the good news is that those frustrations are already turning into progress. There are more questions about whether what we’re doing is on purpose for each client, about how we’ll know not just whether this project is a success, but whether it was worthwhile and meaningful. This has brought a whole new level of collaboration and creativity to the fore, and that, whilst bloody frustrating because it takes more time in the beginning, is something very real, and exciting.

There’s freedom in frustration. Next time you experience that at work, try shifting the perspective; see that it can mean something better’s emerging. See what happens and let us know what you discover.

I’m also curious to know what you think about teal, about what you’d like explained (if anything), and what you honestly think from the outside of Folk. Email me at jo@wearefolk.com.

Yours frustratedly,


PS. For a comprehensive understanding of teal organisations - have a read here.