Lately, I have been reading about this topic, even if is not something new the book Reinventing-Organizations gave me a good overview of all the organizational stages humanity has been running on, maybe you don’t know what is the Teal paradigm yet?
Through the history people have been working together in groups, from prehistoric times to nowadays, we can differentiate the stages in different colors(paradigms).
This picture will give us a good summary of the meaning of each stage-color.
Nowadays for me personally has been easy to identify all paradigms except Orange and Teal, I think it’s not that difficult to find a company running on a clear Orange but it is difficult to find a company running in Teal, I always think this is more like Orange 2.0 or Beta Green rather than Teal, this is a lack of experience as I think as more I will read and investigate easier is going to be for me to identify all aspects that determine if a company is Teal or not.
I’m gonna try to explain quickly with my words and based in my experience what’s the Orange and what’s the Teal so I hope this will arise your curiosity and you will start investigating about it!
If you are under 30 you probably have been working all the time in Orange, if you had early jobs in your life you worked probably also in Amber and maybe Green, and this is actually my case, when I was 16 / 17 is when I had my first job, it was in a hotel chain where I was working as a maintenance guy, the hierarchy was clear, even if I had a good relationship with my boss I was the last link in the chain and had no voice or vote, my clothes were different than the clothes of all the other employees, I couldn’t eat with managers or people with a high rank and so on, I think you get what I mean.
This situation changed when I started working as a software developer, since I started I have been working almost all the time in Orange and Orange moving towards to Teal(at least is what I think).
Why I know they were running in Orange but not Amber and of course not Teal?
It’s hard to see only one paradigm in a company, it’s normal that we find behaviours, practices and other things related to other paradigms but at the end is a matter of experience, as more you read, search and ask about it more clear you will see it, I can be obviously wrong this is only my humble opinion about the topic!
In an Orange paradigm you are seen as a machine, you are seen as a piece part of the chain that needs to achieve the common goals, this does not mean that the company can not be a cool company, they obviously will offer cool stuff so at the end this helps to make the employee not to leave company and stay there as much as the company can make you to stay there.
You can feel you are not working for yourself, of course, you work in something you want to, you studied for it! but the truth is that you are working exclusively for the company, helping the company to make money and succeed, is not rare to have to stay longer during the day in order to show commitment, you might need to decrease your minimum of quality because you have to deliver fast fast and fast and you at the end are measured in this way, the amount you deliver the good you are and seems like no other aspect influences the way the company evaluates you.
You feel controlled, you feel scared to go home early, even if you have been working hard during the whole week and staying in your place longer than the time you should you won’t feel comfortable leaving 1 hour before and if I have, to be honest… this I think is what the company is willing for.
Of course there are not only bad things, Orange companies are the most common companies nowadays, they offer you good benefits, stability, good salaries, future plans, sometimes flexible hours, working from home, etc… but what I want to express here is the fact that you will not feel free to express yourself and to grow in the way that you would like to because you will be coupled purely to the goals of the company, which I don’t say that’s wrong because at the end you are working for someone that want’s to make money and is paying you for that.
Imagine a common case, you have a set of shares of a company you must sell but you know that this might not be a good deal for the customer but you have a minimum to sell, do you think you will have the freedom to decide what to do? You need to hit the minimum and sell what the company wants you to sell, as far as you sell what you are supposed to sell you will continue having all the benefits the company has for the employees.
Another case could be that you are hired for a position X but after some time you feel the need of a change for something different that would require a salary increase because is a higher position, do you think it’s gonna be easy to make a change within the company?
this is what I mean! you should also work for your own goals at the same time you work for the company goals, you should be free to grow in the way you think, you should be free to find your own path, you should live and work according to your values and principles at the same time you are willing to succeed together with the company.
This is when Teal comes in, you should think in the Teal paradigm like an ecosystem where you are living organism that can grow and develop with total freedom.
In Teal companies we talk a lot about self-management, doesn’t matter the size of the company, no one is the boss of anyone else, is a system based on peer relationships, rather than a power hierarchy, Teal organizations will work in a natural network, power no longer remains only in top positions, these organizations have structures and practices to make it possible.
That’s why the advice process is very important, if you feel that a decision needs to be taken, why you need to go through the whole tree? one has to get advice from an expert, one has to talk with the people that will be affected by this decision.
The wholeness is also very important, Teal organizations invite people to reclaim their inner wholeness, to find themselves and to grow in the way they want and will make them feel better, we are too used to wear a mask that we actually forget about it.
This is possible because the environment in Teal organizations makes possible to do so, to fully express yourself, show your passion and creativity, Teal organizations integrate different views and opinions because the truth has more facets than just one.
An evolutionary purpose is also critical, as in a ecosystem everything evolves around the living organisms, strategies of Teal organizations are based on what they feel and think the world is asking from them, agile practices take place replacing traditional practices and processes.
I hope this aroused your curiosity and you are now looking forward to investigate more about the topic!
Thanks for reading.