Organizational consultants contend that the way leaders manage people in institutions and corporations could and should be done differently for business in the 21st century. That requires them to adopt more evolved leadership thinking, letting go of rigid structures and controls and giving more autonomy and responsibilities to employees.

In my previous posts, I’ve described the history of organizational development as it’s evolved over thousands of years. The next stage is called Evolutionary Teal and experts believe some leaders are already starting to use more evolved Teal thinking and principles.

What happens when leaders run an organization from the next stage of human consciousness, from what’s called the Evolutionary Teal Paradigm? Frederic Laloux in Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness describes a dozen pioneering companies already using the Teal Paradigm to organize work (Morning Star Company, FAVI Metals, Buurtzorg).

Leaders using Teal principles operate from higher levels of consciousness. The higher one climbs on the developmental consciousness ladder, the more effectively one can lead others, according to several researchers.

William Torbert has established that a CEO’s developmental stage (Organization Development Journal, April 2005) significantly determines the success of large-scale corporate transformation programs. Leaders who operate from Evolutionary-Teal were by far the most successful. Clare Graves came to a similar conclusion in his research.

The more complex our worldview and cognition, the more effectively we can deal with problems. In Teal Organizations, some of today’s common corporate ills disappear. But many questions arise:

  • When trust replaces fear, does a hierarchical pyramid provide the best structure?
  • Are all the rules, policies, detailed budgets, targets and processes that give leaders control still necessary or effective?
  • Are there simpler, more efficient ways to run organizations?

In this next stage of organizational development, Evolutionary Teal, we see businesses organizing people to be self-managed, driven by a culture of shared power, responsibility, wholeness, and higher purpose. This is not especially new; some businesses have been using these principles with success for some time now.

To answer such questions, Laloux researched a dozen pioneer companies that operate on Teal principles and his case studies in the Reinventing Organizations book are revealing. The next series of posts will explore Teal principles at work in organizations, along with their structures, practices and cultures.

Is it possible we can reinvent organizations and change for better ways to successfully work together? How can we do this so that everyone finds work fulfilling and meaningful, and still be efficient?

What do you think about this? As always, I’d love to hear what you think. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.