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Zappos Labs - Our Journey to Teal


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On July 15th, the @ZapposLabs team hosted a Teal Happy Hour at our office in San Francisco. We talked a bit about our journey to Self Organization and becoming a Teal organization (

The context is missing from the slides but we have a recorded video of the session we hope to get up soon.

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Zappos Labs - Our Journey to Teal

  1. 1. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Our Journey to Teal…
  2. 2. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs SPOILER ALERT!! We don’t have it all figured out yet.
  3. 3. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Reinventing Organizations 1. Self Organization 2. Wholeness 3. Evolutionary Purpose
  4. 4. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs ZapposLabs Exploring the future of Zappos through non-traditional retail experiments beyond the online shopping experience
  5. 5. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Maybe corporate structure is what makes innovation so hard?
  6. 6. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  7. 7. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  8. 8. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Some Self Organization History… • 1999 – Zappos founded! (not by Tony) • 2006 – Core values defined - #2: Embrace and Drive Change • 2012 – Oct – I get my first email from Tony with the word “Holacracy” in it • 2013 – Jan – 2 day Holacracy taster day • 2013 – July – Meet with Medium team about their roll out • 2013 – Q4 – Pilot with HR • 2014 – Q3 All Hands – “If it’s not in Glassfrog it’s not valid” • 2015 – May – Pulling the band aid off
  9. 9. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs No bosses = Flat?
  10. 10. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  11. 11. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs No bosses = Everyone Equal?
  12. 12. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  13. 13. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  14. 14. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Self Organization = Work On Whatever You Want?
  15. 15. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Holacracy = Chaotic?
  16. 16. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Holacracy = All your self organization answers? Holacracy = Teal?
  17. 17. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs “Holacracy is not about the people. This is one of the aspects of the practice that people have the hardest time swallowing, but it’s fundamental. Holacracy doesn't try to improve people, or make them more compassionate, or more conscious. And it doesn't ask them to create any specific culture or relate to each other in any particular way. Yet precisely by not trying to change people or culture, it provides the conditions for personal and cultural development to arise more naturally - or not, when it's not meant to be.” – Brian Robertson 17
  18. 18. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  19. 19. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs
  20. 20. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs OK OK OK…remind us why again?
  21. 21. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs “It’s not the fastest or the strongest that survive. It’s the ones most adaptive to change.”
  22. 22. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs “Great leaders of innovation see their role not as take-charge direction setters but as creators of a context in which others make innovation happen.” HBR: Collective Genius No longer casting themselves as solo visionaries, smart leaders are rewriting the rules of innovation. by Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, and Kent Lineba
  23. 23. Zappos IP, Inc. | @ZapposLabs Thanks for visiting and listening!