Teal is a new management paradigm derived from the book ‘Reinventing Organizations’ written by Belgian author Frederic Laloux who worked as a consultant with McKinsey. The term teal denotes a new step of evolution in human consciousness which has led to the development of a fresh organizational model.

In addition to this, it is fast becoming a lifestyle and attitude.

Many employees find their jobs dreary and do not have the motivation to give their best to their employers. This kind of de-motivated attitude exists among workers in any type of organization including schools, nonprofits, government institutions, and businesses. A Gallup research study found that employees have low levels of interest and engagement, especially in larger enterprises.

The need of the hour is for workers to have a purpose and higher goal in their jobs. Employees wish to be appreciated for their efforts instead of getting castigated for their human errors. The good news is there is a welcome change happening in corporate circles.

Frederick Laloux found that pioneering companies in a range of industries are employing new management practices and structures that involve a purposeful organizational model. His book ‘Reinventing Organizations’ is the result of deep research on the operations and functioning of twelve effective and successful global organizations.

Laloux found that these 12 companies are led by leaders who have a particular vision. As a result, these companies are functioning at a teal state of consciousness. This state indicates an advanced stage of spiritual and psychological development as shown in the books written by developmental thinkers like Robert Egan and Ken Wilber.

Laloux used the theories of these thinkers to study companies and used colors to denote different types of organizations. For instance, he used the color orange for organizations that excel in their industry using meritocracy and innovation. Green companies use empowerment and culture to motivate their employees and effectively manage stakeholders.

Does Teal Management Use Traditional Business Processes?

Laloux used the color teal to identify pioneering organizations. These companies do not use traditional business concepts such as hierarchical pyramids. Instead, they use self-management where employees are encouraged to concentrate on wholeness and work with an evolutionary aim.

Teal leaders have renounced their egos and they gain insight from the opinions of others. Their decisions are based on integrity and they strive to create an environment of mutual support and trust in their organizations. The teal organizations named by Laloux include Holacracy, Sun Hydraulics, Sounds True, Buurzorg, Resources for Human Development, Patagonia, Morning Star, Heiligenfeld, FAVI, and ESBZ. The author found that these companies used similar enlightened leadership and management policies to empower and motivate their employees.

Teal Characteristics

Let’s look at the main characteristics that define the teal style of functioning:


Self-management is an important factor. Employees have greater autonomy and they coordinate more effectively with their colleagues. Unlike traditional organizational types, power does not depend on the designation. Teal organizations use an approach based on peer relationships and distributed authority and this method does not need consensus or hierarchy.

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Another important teal trait is wholeness. In green and orange organizations, employees display only their professional personas in the workplace. In contrast, teal organizations encourage wholeness and employees can present their full personas. The idea is to encourage more energy, passion, and creativity. Teal companies motivate their employees to be spiritual, intuitive, and emotional, and not just rational as in most businesses. Workers can display their inner wholeness and bring their complete personas to the workplace.

Evolutionary aim

Plus, teal companies work with an evolutionary aim. Unlike most businesses, they do not focus only on financial results, but adopt a more humane approach to functioning taking into account global needs. Teal organizations do not try to predict the future and create appropriate strategies and goals for it. Rather, staff members are advised to understand the higher aims and purposes that the organization wishes to serve.

The Living Organism Metaphor

Teal organizations can be compared to living organisms and systems. Evolutionary life creates eco-systems of great beauty, complexity, consciousness, and wholeness. Change happens constantly in these living organisms and takes autonomously place in every cell without getting orders from a central command.

Teal Leadership

The teal method of functioning needs two requirements: The first is the top leadership needs to have teal ideals in mind and an integrated view of the world. Second, the business owners need to share the teal ideals. In some companies, the board members did not fully understand the teal concept but adopted it initially. However, when the company ran into tough times they sought to go back to the traditional concept of top-down leadership.


Businesses that wish to adopt the teal approach of functioning can be blessed with plentiful rewards. These organizations can grow swiftly and their employees can work in an easy and simple manner. Management does not have to control everything as workers are empowered and function in an autonomous manner to perform their tasks.

Employees exercise self-control as they are accountable for their activities. We hope that more companies start adopting the teal format to enjoy the wholesome benefits outlined in this article.

AUTHOR: Alex Hillsberg Chief editor of review team at FinancesOnline Alex is an expert in the area of B2B and SaaS related products. He has worked for several B2B startups in the past and gathered a lot of first-hand knowledge about the industry during that time.

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