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Why is a Teylu structured the way it is?

The structure is a wrapper for whatever the participants have gathered to discuss. Using this wrapper means so much more is gained than jumping straight into a business as usual agenda; particularly over time.

It might appear simple but, as is often the way with simplicity, it took a lot of work and research to reach and confirm it.

We wanted a structure packed with philosophical and scientific reasoning. But also something you could remember. Originally, we had a great structure but it was over-engineered. Our litmus test was: "Could you remember how to run a Teylu at the top of a hill with no technology to support you?"

So we pared it back through trial and error until we landed on this, whilst retaining the same reasoning.

The structure is intentionally designed to build connection between participants so it generates:

  1. open, vulnerable and honest conversation

  2. deeper relationships

  3. more creative and productive dialogue on the topic of choice

  4. an experience that models the future of work

What is the purpose of each section?


What can we celebrate today?

What can we be thankful for today?

  • Dialogue (and life!) improves if we use gratitude and hope.

  • Shifts mindsets from focusing on problems to pursuing possibilities.

  • Nurtures storytelling and pulls our whole self into the Teylu.

  • Starting with positivity and hope has a powerful impact on the tone of the conversation.

  • Provides a transitional space between the conversation and whatever the members were doing/thinking about previously.

  • If everyone shares, it sets the expectation that everyone contributes.


  • Fulfils our need to do something - to feel like we are making progress - in the context of a purpose.

  • Makes change an individual and communal exercise.

  • Promotes dialogue over debate.

  • Builds self-worth and assurance.

  • Done well, it teaches the power of authenticity and vulnerability.


Who/what was shared today that you connected with?

  • Connection is what builds trust and community.

  • The health of a system is dependent upon the quality of its relational connections.

  • We are starved of affirmation and encouragement at work: this meets our need.

  • Connection is a gift that feeds the other: it is outwardly focused.

  • Connection language is restorative language.

  • The personal element of connection is the fuel human workplaces need

  • Ending on connection means we are beginning and ending with gratitude: the conversation is bookended with thankfulness. Important for mental health given most people feel they are in some form of a battle at any given time: this is a reprieve from the wolf at the door.

  • People leave feeling connected, affirmed and keen to return.


It might feel a little odd to start with: indicative of how functional our conversations have become. The price we've paid for that reflex is heavy. Trust the process: it works. Particularly if you keep using it.

If it is productivity you're primarily concerned with, be assured you will have a far better, more productive conversation on the topic of your choice by using a wrapper like this. Not least because it will be more creative. What you lose in time in any given gathering, you more than gain back elsewhere.

If you hope to change your wider organisation's working norms, experiencing something like this is key. Only through experience can we begin to replicate something through our organisations: teaching the future of work doesn't compare to experiencing it.

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  1. John Featherby

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