Beyond Teal Organizations -
What might a Turquoise organization be like - Part 1
The context for this exploration is the massive global movement energized by the publishing of Frederic Laloux's book Reinventing Organizations, in which, using Ken Wilber's developmental framework terminology, he traces stages of development of organizational consciousness through Teal/Yellow/Integral, characterizing the positive breakthroughs of each stage compared to the previous one.
Now "going Teal" is all the rage, and it might be time to take an exploratory peek ahead. What is the "next stage" after "the next stage?" What might a Turquoise organization be like? What might be the "Turquoise breakthroughs?" And what limits on Teal would prompt those?
Let's explore these questions. This is a helicopter trip around the tip of an iceberg. So much more could be said. But it's a question which is going to begin to arise as more and more organizations move toward Teal as their "next-stage consciousness." What's the "next stage" after Teal?
Laloux's "breakthroughs" of each stage of organizational consciousness were discerned empirically, by his observing organizations and forming generalizations. There are really few Turquoise organizations, but I know of two, and am part of one, and have observed any number of Turquoise groups, so my descriptions are formed empirically from generalizing also. The descriptions might be sharper, probably are even "missing the point" in some ways. But I offer them as a springboard for those who think they might be moving beyond Teal somehow, and want a bit of a map to the new territory. (This video is Ken Wilber's delightful description of the functions and limitations of (verbal) maps of new territories of consciousness.)
My fervent hope would be for some map-makers to engage with one another to chart THIS territory as well. Some excellent maps already exist in the many articles and books emerging on "Higher We-spaces" from within the Integral community; those can easily be transferred to guiding us within new organizational territories. I'm just making a tiny beginning of doing that.
If the overall metaphor for a Teal organization is "a living system," then the overall metaphor for a Turquoise organization might be "a web/morphic field of consciousness."
Evolutionary Purpose, even though it is "discovered/sensed" and not "decided upon" in Teal, is not experienced as having "agency" as a single consciousness, until Turquoise. At Turquoise, we might call that consciousness a morphic field, which is composed from "parts" which are the "wholeness" of every person involved, but is not a simple aggregate collective intelligence; it is more than the sum of the parts. It is a synergistic new emergent holon, a collective intelligence, which has its own consciousness, its own identity or Beingness, if you will. The flow of consciousness, information, and meaning is bi-directional, to and from the people involved -- actually multi-directional, in the "web," as people are attuned to others through the morphic field of shared higher consciousness. Likewise, the flow of "will" or "choice" or "agency" is multi-directional.
Individual and group/organization have a relationship of identities which is paradoxical, or impossible, when viewed from previous stages. The individual is amplified in their wholeness, yet "not separate" from the larger consciousness of the organizational "soul"/Being.
So "self-management" also morphs, as the relationship of the Self of the organization and the selves of the individuals and units/teams, becomes paradoxically part-whole as well. When perceptions and choices are multi-directional, actions simply flow around the "web." Trust in the flow becomes radical, so that "deep design" processes LINK are the normal ways of functioning and decision-making. Conscious control is relinquished in favor of trusting the flow of the Whole. Plans, even memories, are not important.
There is also a shift in perception of the "environment" of the organization. Other organizations, groups, networks, are also perceived as "Peer Spirits" in an even larger Morphic Field/web of consciousness, and these are related to through sensing and discerning potential synergies. "Follow the energy" becomes the principle for moving ahead, for checking out possibilities, for making choices.
Ultimately, the organization is seen to be a fractal of a web of consciousness ranging from the individual, through families, relationships, groups, organizations, communities, cities, to the entire planet, and Evolutionary Purpose likewise scales up, and down, forming a synergistic Wholeness.
One other hallmark of a Turquoise organization: Not all actions are made in the visible, concrete world. In the web of consciousness, intention is experienced as efficacious, even efficient, action, with results in the visible concrete world. Even relating and conversations, can take place in the realms of subtle energies, and often do take place there, with visible effects which are not dismissed as "coincidence."
So the three Turquoise organizational breakthroughs might be characterized as:
- Subtle-energetic morphic fields,
- communication via consciousness, and
- a Wholeness which is planetary in scope.
What limitations of Teal would prompt folks to be ready for something else? The move to Turquoise, as I see it right now, is not so much a result of bumping up against limitations or experiencing dissatisfactions as it is that the "next step" becomes obvious. It starts to show up AS people's experience, and the joys and advantages of it are "strange attractors" calling people to "more!"
(If you are experiencing the "strange attractor" of any aspects of Turquoise for your organization, I'm available to explore amplifying those: http://organizationalintelligences.blogspot.com)
The move to Turquoise is basically what we might call activating the "spiritual intelligence" of the organization. From the instances I have seen of that move, it happens gradually, as glimmers of Turquoise show up, and there are folks involved who are receptive to them, even folks aware of them enough to foster and fan them, spark by spark.
Oh, did I almost forget to mention one facilitative influence of the shift into Turquoise? (Rolls eyes with mischevous grin.) The little matter that functioning in this organizational/group space is ecstatic? Now that's a not-so-strange attractor!
From a slightly different angle, in a different helicopter, the tip of this iceberg is explored in my previous description of Yellow/Teal higher we-spaces as differentiated from Turquoise higher we-spaces.
Groups which are exploring, experimenting with, and using "higher-consciousness we-space" are prototyping Turquoise organizations. Check the tag/label "we-space" in the right column of this blog for many of my thoughts about that, my current favorite topic!
Have you any relevant experiences? What do you expect a Turquoise organization might be like?
I hereby make all the usual caveats, that not everyone in the organization needs to be at the same stage of consciousness, etc. etc.
I've gone over some of these same ideas on a different day, in Part 2 of this topic. I invite you to read and share there, too!
Please be sure you check the comments to this blog entry. Some further conversation there, great stuff!
by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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