Teal Organizations and Cultures

Marcella Bremer Positive Power 2 Comments

Let’s continue our discussion of the development stages as described by Frederic Laloux.

In Evolutionary-Teal we shift from external yardsticks to internal ones in decision making. It doesn’t matter if I get what I want (Red), I conform to social norms (Amber), I am effective and successful (Orange) or that I belong and have a say (Green). Now, I check: does it feel good? Am I being my true self? What is right for me to do? Am I being in service to the world?
Life is seen as a journey. The ultimate goal is to become the truest expression of ourselves. In Teal, obstacles are seen as life’s way to teach us about ourselves and the world. We embrace the possibility that we were part of creating the problem.

Teal is less attached to outcomes. It accepts reality and can observe facts and gather data. But is also open to other sources of knowing than just rational-analytical. Intuition honors the complex, ambiguous, paradoxical, non-linear nature of reality – and connects or discerns patterns on another level.
The new mindset transcends the either-or thinking and embraces both-and thinking.

The new mindset transcends the either-or thinking and embraces both-and thinking Click To Tweet

Self-Management, Wholeness and Evolutionary Purpose

Teal’s breakthroughs are self-management, wholeness, and evolutionary purpose.
Self-management: working without a boss in large organizations sounds like a recipe for chaos. People need a structure to coordinate, but they don’t need a boss. Hierarchy is fine in environments with low complexity. But in case of high complexity – the pyramid fails because it pushes information and complexity to the top.
Complex systems operate differently. Teal organizations have invented various structures to facilitate self-organization that work remarkably well.

The second breakthrough of new organizations is Wholeness. Conventionally, we show up at work with a professional self that is rational, masculine. Teal appreciates authenticity and values the personal as well, includes the feminine qualities, and intuitive wisdom.
Laloux: “We come to work with this very narrow rational masculine ego side of ourselves. While in Teal organizations people show up with their whole selves. They have reinvented meetings, storytelling, working hours, on-boarding, feedback and evaluations so that is safe for people to be truly human.”

The third breakthrough is Evolutionary Purpose. In conventional organizations, the leaders create the vision and strategy and lead the execution. The organization is an inanimate object that leaders must program. In Teal, organizations are living beings. The organizational system has a sense of purpose that it wants to manifest. Leaders must listen to where the organization wants to go – and to align people and processes.

Teal organizations have a clear intent and respond to what happens while they travel in that direction. They don’t have strategies, budgets, and targets – because milestones are a distraction from reality. Milestones make you look at your plan instead of what happens in front of you. It’s better to navigate on reality and constantly adjust.
Let’s pause to compare these stages with the conventional and the positive mindsets. Do you see how the conventional mental map is based on the Amber and Orange stages of organization? The positive mindset is rooted in the Green and Teal stages that are evolving.

Laloux: “Many of the corporate ills of today can be traced back to fearful egos: politics, bureaucratic processes, information hoarding, gossiping, bullying, endless meetings, ignoring signals, silos, infighting and so on.

The Positive Agents Manifesto

This is the true genius of organizations: they can lift groups of people. This is hopeful in a time when we need the consciousness of Green and Teal organizations to heal the wounds of modernity.

That’s why the world needs you. We need positive agents to be the change…

That’s why I developed the Positive Agents Manifesto. It’s a shortened, actionable version of the positive mindset of possibilities:

I choose positivity, with a focus on possibilities Click To Tweet

I choose positivity, with a focus on possibilities. I look to find the positive potential in a situation or a person and amplify what is already working well.
I develop and apply kindness and compassion – I aim to bring my best self forward.
I am responsible for my actions and interactions. What I do, matters to the world.
I make a difference without needing permission or resources from others.
I empower myself and engage with others to work on positive change.
I aim to be the change I want to see.
Everyone and everything is connected. Every act contributes to a world where all people can thrive.

If this appeals to you, please join us here

Positive Agents

By the way, Laloux’ book is a must-read and contains many examples of how organizations implement Teal approaches – also recognizable as the positive mindset of possibilities.

This is book post #30 – ME

Here‘s the earlier post
Here‘s the next post

If you’re confused – please start with post #1 or check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.

Copyright © Marcella Bremer 2017. All rights reserved.

Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.

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Comments 2

  1. Dear Marcella,
    Thanks for this article, having been Practicing SDI & Integral for many years I found the article interesting & challenging, Yes I have read Laloux’s book and have had conversations with him; I understand the effectiveness of teal & the differentiation from Spiral, that is another debate in its own right. In order for teal to succeed then at the very heart of the matter Teal business requires a Teal owner, it is disingenuous to believe that you can go on a Teal course and become Teal. The reference to hierarchies is that there are two forms of hierarchies: -1 Dominant 2) Growth which are completely different, also, in an Eco system hierarchies catalyses and perform in a different way. Fundamentally redundancy, is part of that which is ignored in business & people.

    So yes let us embrace a new way of being and doing, however we are in it for the long game and it needs to be recognised, and some will stay & others will go its all part of a bigger and bolder narrative.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for sharing your view – you have researched this well, Bill. I agree: We aim for the long game and those who can’t handle Teal will leave – while we may entice others to develop themselves and join…

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