Jussi Markula on Teal organizations

My guest for this episode is Jussi Markula, a teal mentor, a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of the Teal Finland community. In his daily work at Prominda, Jussi facilitates the exploration of new paradigms in organizations.

The idea of a Teal organization was introduced by Fredrick Laloux in 2014 in his book, called Reinventing organizations. The book walks through the evolution of human organizational paradigms and then discusses the most advanced one to date, dubbed Teal.

Jussi helps us delve a little deeper in to the breakthroughs that enabled teal organizations to come to life.

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Brief walkthrough of the evolutionary stages presented in Laloux book:

  • The first stage is called Red. That’s the stage of top-down authority and strict division of labor. Think of a street gang or a wolfpack, where fear is the glue of the organization.
  • Then we have Amber. Amber is characterized by hierarchy, formal roles and stable processes. It’s where we use the stick to keep people in control. An example of an amber organization is the army.
  • Then we get to Orange. Orange is the organization that acts like a machine. Orange organizations value innovation and accountability and are based on a meritocracy. This is probably the most common organizational paradigm currently in use.
  • After Orange comes Green. That’s the family-like organization. These green organizations are driven by their values and people are empowered to produce to the stakeholders. Green organizations have a strong focus on culture.
  • The final stage introduced by Laloux is teal. Teal is an organization that behaves like a living organism. The organization has it’s own evolutionary purpose. It’s self-managed and leadership is distributed. People bring their whole selves to work and don’t create a strong distinction between their work and private personas.