Introduction to the teal paradigm:
Teal paradigm is the next level in the
evolution of human consciousness. In order the understand the teal paradigm and
why this evolution is happening. An overview of all the previous organizational
paradigms is needed. The foraging bands and authority of Elders will be left
out, since they are not a form of “organization”.
Figure 1: Historical overview of the main paradigms
Around ten thousand years ago, we made the
transition from foraging bands and authority by the Elders to the powerful
chiefdoms era. Societies started to appear counting more than 1000 persons.
This new level of complexity introduced the role of chief to enforce social
order. Research showed enforcement often involved brutal force leading to a
conclusion that these leaders were rather ego-centric and impulsive. With this
worldview, everything is seen through the lens of power.
A metaphor to describe this paradigm is the
“wolf pack” mentality. The words “fear” and “loyalty” are the most important,
since fear is the main work tool for the chief to keep loyalty levels high. If
the leader shows weakness or greediness that results in the neglect of his
underlings, a new challenger will try to topple the current leader. Just as
with young wolves are sad to topple an aging alpha male.
Where can you find red organisations in the
current world environment? Mafia or drug dealing street gangs. Small
enterprises where founder-bosses have the “whatever it takes” mentality, in
order to succeed and get involved in everything. These organisations are
unstable, however they are highly entrepreneurial and thrive in highly chaotic
environments. Red organizations provided two breakthroughs: division of labor
and top-down authority.
Around 6000 years ago, a new worldview
arose in Mesopotamia (Tigris-Euphrates river system). It represented the leap
from proto-empires to the age of agriculture, states and empires, bureaucracies
and organized religions. The introduction of social classes and castes,
mythology plays a role with its God-given established rules of what is right
and what is wrong. The impulsivity of the red paradigm is under control due to
internalized rules and exercised self-discipline in service of common belief.
The most important words are “guilt” and
“shame”. Any person can be replaced, the organization will continue to operate.
The current examples: many armies, religious institutions, government agencies,
public school systems and universities. Another defining characteristic is hard
acceptance of changes and adaptation.
Amber organizations rely on replicable and
stable processes. This results in a spread of vital knowledge, an embedment in
the organization. Amber organizations have invented job descriptions, job
titles and reporting lines. The stable organization chart shows people at all
levels with their identified roles, also a division: thinking at the top and
execution at the bottom.
The scientific and industrial revolutions
worldview, it dominates current management thinking. The applicable metaphor
for this paradigm is the “complex clockwork/machine” whose inner workings can
be researched and understood. This illustrates the energy and motion within the
organization, although it leaves a lifeless or soulless feeling. Smarter,
faster or just out achieving will eventually lead to more success. The ground
breaking part of orange is that you can be anyone you want to be.
Most MBA programs are based on orange assumptions;
even most corporations rely on orang thinking. Global brands: Nike, Coca-Cola,
etc. Wall Street banks or brokers, ruthlessly innovative and efficient machines
in the everlasting pursuit of maxim profit. Humans are “resources” for the
This worldview has immensely changed
humanity in the last two centuries (19-20st century), providing unprecedented
levels of prosperity and a higher life expectancy. The possibility of “What
if?” has reduced the oppression of caste systems and religions, it also
replaced the outdated feudal system with democracy and transparent laws. 3 main
breakthroughs: innovation, accountability and meritocracy.
Green has been created due to “shadow of
Orange”. This mainly contains loss of community, social inequality,
environmental impact and the materialistic obsession. The focus is directed
towards the people, insisting that everyone is equally worth and that we should
foster our relationships more closely.
The 60’s and 70’s created a boom for this
pluralistic worldview, e.g. civil rights movement, women’s liberation, etc.
Although politics and most businesses use the orange paradigm, green is present
in non-profits, community activists and postmodern academic thinking.