"Reinventing Organizations" by Frederic Laloux. Excerpt and summaries PT.1
By Bogdan Grebenyuk, Product Manager at Thermevo
on Jul 31, 2018
Modern companies and organizations have brought much progress for humanity in less than 2 centuries. Considering closely you will find that this period of time is just an eye blink for most of our species. All of our recent achievements and advances are the result of human collaboration and organizations are of vehicles for it.
Today many people feel like current way of running our organizations is stretched to the limits. People who work at the bottom of the pyramids are constantly reporting that their jobs are more dread and drudgery than passion and purpose. More surveys tell us that people on top of the pyramids are not satisfied also. For them organizations become some kind of power games, politics and infighting which end up taking their toll on everybody.

Can we make a more powerful, meaningful and soulful way to cooperate together by changing our beliefs?

Lately Teal Organization Paradigm has been driving a lot of experts' attention in. It's most likely that this way of controlling companies or any other people organizations will replace current popular management paradigms due to its high labour efficiency and coworkers' purpose level.

For sure you can find some features from red, orange, green and even teal companies in your current workplaces, but in this publication we will try to figure out which of them are quite helpful and which are doing harm.

All modern organizations can be simply divided by 5 types:

  • Red
  • Amber
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Teal

1. Red organizations usually lead predatory lifestyle and are often characterized by:

  • labor division
  • authority command
  • fear
  • constant exercise of power by leader

Few examples of such organizations:

  • Mafia
  • Gangs
  • Tribal militias

2. Amber organizations are significantly different. Main characteristics are following:

  • Highly formal roles in hierarchy
  • Top command and control
  • Value stability
  • Future is repetition of the past

While leadership style for amber organizations is paternalistic-authoritative, their main examples are:

  • Church
  • Military
  • Government agency
  • School

3. Orange organizations are little more complicated. Their main features are:

  • Profit
  • Growth
  • Innovations
  • Objective Management

Orange organizations are lead in goal-and-task oriented style. Examples are:

  • Multinational companies
  • Charter Schools

4. Green organizations focus on culture and empowerment within regular pyramid to achieve great employee motivation. Leadership is mostly consensus oriented and participative.

  • Key characteristics here are:
  • Empowerment
  • Stakeholder model
  • Values

As example can be any of culture-driven companies, such as Southwest Airlines.

5. Teal organizations

In this case self-management of all employees completely replaces all hierarchical pyramids. Whole organization looks like a living entity with its own potential and evolution purposes. Teal is characterized by distributed leadership, inner rightness and purpose as a motivator.

Key factors are:

  • Self-management
  • Wholeness
  • Evolutionary Purpose


  • Patagonia
  • FAVI
  • Buurtzorg

What makes organizations to work from different stages?

Consciously or unconsciously leaders usually apply their inner practices, structures and other ways they sense the world into running their companies. That's why teal leader will strive to improve his company I in all possible ways while red one only show off his strength to keep power at hands.

In this publication we have considered 5 most efficient management paradigms for different entity types, and maybe you have already recognized you own company or organization you are involved in. In the next article we will focus mostly on the Teal way of running a company and consider all of it ups and downs.

Stay Tuned!

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