Four Techniques for Launching a Teal Consultancy

In today’s “start over” economy, there will likely be many strategies that could catapult Teal into widespread adoption. Here are four.

Guest post by Edward E. Frauenheim, III

The power of Teal philosophy to empower individuals and their on-the-ground ability to create more “human” and efficient operations is building increasing credibility. But for Teal to be accepted as a legitimate operating system, industry and institutions need to engage. And they’ll need teachers to help them implement this new mode of operation and create successes. Success stories also will advance the movement. But companies and institutions that have embraced Teal processes to positive effect have tended not to widely publicize the Teal benefits to profitability.

Just as other commercial consulting firms have emerged as their professions matured, now is the time for Teal consulting to blossom. The current worldwide pandemic and economic changes have created opportunities to speed Teal adoption and the startup of consulting firms that teach and implement Teal principles. The restructuring of central organizations, the support of online technologies for remote work, and the recognition of the power of agile teams have made many decision makers aware that there are new and better ways of managing their operations.

The wave of Teal developments and successes are awakening some business owners to game-changing opportunities. One of the most impressive case studies is Buurtzorg Nederland–a nursing organization in the Netherlands that changed from a top-down structure to a nurse-directed operation and revamped the industry in only two years. The firm’s revenues expanded fivefold, it generated record profits, and in a service industry that is always short of staff, Buutzorg had nurses fighting to join the company. Teal successes often become win-win situations for both managers and employees.

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed economic, financial, and operational situations around the world. In the USA, many economists are projecting 30% of businesses will be gone in two years and not coming back. Companies that have long managed with centralized staffs are now operating with teleconferencing and decentralized teams and plan to continue them. These changes are often components of Teal operations but have not been promoted as such.

Teal processes offer a new starting point for major change in business and institutional management. There is a critical need today for advocates to become teachers. 

A major issue for Teal teachers and consultants will be to develop strategies that will bring Teal changes to mainstream companies. There have been many ways new concepts have launched into commercial markets. In today’s “start over” economy, there will likely be many strategies that could catapult Teal into widespread adoption. Here are four.

Promote Case Stories

The first Teal launch tactic is to promote “Case History” projects with already enthusiastic potential clients. The approach would be to convince the Teal prospect to undertake a project where both client and consultant will benefit. The idea is to conduct a very successful humanitarian AND hard profit project. The project would often be launched employing below-market consulting fees in order to attract and engage the prospective client. The project would be launched with the client fully understanding the project results would be used to promote the Teal consulting business.

Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns

The next technique is a standard practice among mature professions and industries but less so in emerging businesses. Targeted Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns could follow in the footsteps of businesses that have launched as overnight successes. Many businesses have launched on the internet based on a capability whose time has come. In the past year Zoom teleconferences have become an example of a system that society did not know it needed. As a result of the Pandemic and shut downs across the world, this capability has become the communications platform for many businesses and institutions. In order to achieve a breakthrough for Teal Consulting, the highest probability for success will be to target industries that are poised for big advancement as a result of the pandemic. The key to boosting Teal consulting will be to identify it as a movement that is going “viral”. The messaging might run something like this: “Agile sprints, self-managed remote teams, work cultures focused on wellbeing and equity, great results in turbulent times. The future of work is here today. It has a color and a name: teal.”

Specialized Conference Participation

A standard business development technique for both mature and startup businesses is participation in conferences. The application of this technique in the Teal case is different in that it will focus on benefits for workers and bottom line benefits for businesses. I describe this technique as Specialized Conference Participation. The emergence of Teal concepts in conferences and seminars has been led by professionals emphasizing the benefits for individuals and teams of workers. Over the last several years attendance has been largely free. This past year however a trend has emerged where conferences are charging entrance fees for attendees and for some presenters. The topics at these conferences are beginning to focus on Teal commercial benefits. As more Teal capabilities are employed, the conferences are going to be more commercially oriented.

Venture Capital

The most unusual launch technique I am suggesting is based on transitions and opportunities that are occurring right now.  Venture Capital (VC) often enters the market for financing when attractive new ideas emerge. Given the accelerating rise of Teal, Venture firms may be ripe to invest in Teal consulting firms. To acquire a VC partner, a performance-based business plan will be needed. This document will be short and hard-hitting. The business plan will show how the Teal consulting company could rapidly ramp up revenues and generate substantial profits. The key to finding an effective VC or a consortium of VCs will be to target investing firms that have supported new wave capabilities and are focused on improving their environment-social-governance (ESG) performance. The holistic, humanistic emphasis of Teal consulting firms combined with their ability to generate hard-edged business benefits will make them attractive candidates for progressive venture firms.

Edward E. Frauenheim III is a veteran consultant who has focused on bringing systems thinking and novel processes to industries including energy, construction and financial services. He is the father of Teal Team co-founder Ed Frauenheim.