As many of you may well know, on March 18 2019 SERES will celebrate a significant organizational milestone – a decade of working with frontline youth from rural communities in Guatemala and El Salvador. As we approach this milestone, SERES is also facing a pivotal moment in our development with the founder and Executive Director, Corrina Grace, transitioning out of day-to-day operations and leadership taking the reins. Rather than facing this change with fear and trepidation, we chose to approach this significant moment SERES-style: taking advantage of the opportunity the transition would create and using it as a catalyst for larger organizational transformation.
As part of this transformation – what we are calling SERES 2.0 – we will be transitioning SERES towards an organization based on principles of self-management and self-organization, which are more commonly known as Teal organizations or the Holacracy model. Corrina first became excited about this model in September last year when she was running a leadership program in Europe with one of SERES’ partner organizations, euforia who are themselves proudly “Teal”. She borrowed a copy of Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations – widely recognized as the book that sparked the teal-volution – and was hooked. In Corrina’s words, “Teal gives us the structures, practices and common language to be able to embed SERES’ leadership principles and core beliefs into our very DNA. It closes the circle, making transformative leadership as much about who we are as about what we do.”
“I was very skeptical about Teal’s new methodology, although I heard it was a different, more open and fluid model, my experience as an administrator gave me a very different perspective and at first I was very afraid. But after our week-long deep dive into Teal, I FEEL IN LOVE! I loved the way in which self-management, wholeness and the evolutionary process are the three essential pillars, and how my personal life purpose was connected with that of the organization. Little by little I could identify more with the tools, envisioning how SERES would function once we had a complete transition, and each thought filled me with joy and a lot of hope for the potential we had.” Sara Hurtarte, Director of Operations and Programs.
This purpose-driven, self-managed organizational structure is an innovative and even somewhat radical concept in the Central American context and while we will join ranks with some very large and successful organizations such as Patagonia, Zappos shoes and the Impact Hub, SERES will be a teal pioneer in Latin America. The transition is expected to take place over 2019 during which time SERES will be supported by different groups including euforia, Deloitte and the Ross Michigan Business School. Corrina Grace will also transition her role from Executive Director to Senior Advisor, providing coaching and support to SERES’ team during this process. We are thrilled about the possibilities that SERES 2.0 holds, and excited to continue sharing that with you. In the words of one of the team members, “this is exactly what we need to do in order for SERES to continue to be a regional leader in both our work and organizational practices. The future is teal!”