Posted by & filed under Open Letters.

This open letter is to FASST crew members and to Teal for Startups (T4S) people who wonder what I’m doing bringing FASST into T4S

This is another bit of connecting the dots for you. This time the connections are between Teal organisations and FASST, emphasising the theme of FASST as a vehicle. We see FASST as a vehicle for travelling together from the present to the future. We aren’t too sure what the future looks like, but we have some glimmers of what we expect.

The crew members have clear ideas of things they are heading for in their future lives – there are initiatives of various kinds in which they are currently investing time, energy and imagination. We’ll all be working on our individual initiatives during the journey. There are various features (behaviours and cultural norms) that we’re looking for when we get to the future, and we’ill be working towards them and trying them out on our journey together.

One reason FASST connects with the ideas behind Teal organisations is for Teal’s emphasis on non-heirarchical organisatioives and ns. There’s a lot we don’t know about FASST (or the future) yet, but we do know FASST is definitely a non-heirarchical organisation.

I’m in T4S because I’m learning on behalf of FASST and its crew (and subsequently for the benefit of its passengers). I hope that I’m able to contribute something useful in return, and that some of FASST’s perspectives and questions are helpful to T4S. I know FASST isn’t a “normal Teal startup”, but probably FASST isn’t a “normal” anything – it tends to belong on the edges of all kinds of innovative things that are going on.

FASST is starting small, but with a huge vision for helping people from many different sectors (and from none) to travel together collaboratively towards a “better” future. Give the many different ideas of “better” I shall for now borrow an expression I first heard in the Civil Society Forum – a future where “people and planet can thrive”.

Reinventing organisation(s) published in Critical Thinking

The snippets below are from  Reinventing organisation(s) published in Critical Thinking – with my italics to link it with FASST:

When discussing dissolution of hierarchy, a number of objections arise, one of which is that large complex enterprise or functions cannot exist without hierarchy but Frederic Laloux’s research and book, Reinventing Organizations, demonstrate that it is precisely large, complex tasks which are best suited to non-hierarchical organisation.


It is not a big stretch to imagine applying the principles which emerge from his research to local, regional, national and global organisation of society.

Laloux refers to three principles which the most successful self-organising entities adopt:

  • Self-management
  • Wholeness
  • Evolutionary purpose

What is surprising is the lack of strategic planning and budgets; he relates the analogy to a bicycle journey. When you plan a journey, you don’t plan every tilt and turn of the wheels to adapt to the topography of the terrain or attempt to anticipate every traffic incident you will meet; if you did and applied the plan rigorously, it would end in disaster – you’d fall off or worse. On your journey, you maintain the overall objective that you’re travelling from A to B but adjust your riding dynamically as the journey unfolds.

FASST’s journey

In FASST we’re:

  • Travelling from the present out into the future
  • Doing “our own things” – but not on our own
  • At the very least providing mutual support by listening to each other, by sharing ideas, contacts and information, and by helping each other to ‘keep going”
  • Practicing collaboration and non-heirarchical structures as we go
  • Starting small but with big vision for serving a wide range of people who will be transitioning from past-based ways of doing things over to the emerging future

The ideas in Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations  provide us with useful reference points and ways of thinking about how we organise ourselves, as we travel together towards the future within FASST.