So how does Orange get to Teal?

So how does Orange get to Teal? Or Orange-Green. Or Green?


Take any organisation that isn’t already self-organising and wouldn’t have made it into Frederic’s book (Frederic Laloux: Reinventing oganizations).  Let’s suppose that it grasps and aspires to the vision that he presents.  What will its journey look like?

We don’t have a map or a template.  Each one will start from a different place.  Each one will have its own emergence propelled by what it is and who is there.  Each one will have its unique vision.

Formulating an Evolutionary Purpose gives a sense of direction.  


Without purpose we don’t know where we are going.  

Purpose is central to most views of conscious, sustainable and enlightened business.  It’s a start.

Then, what does wholeness look like.  Are Teal organisations filled with individuals who have developed Teal capacities?  On current estimates that means 95% redundancies!  In reality we know that organisations are filled with people at many different centres of gravity and many mixes of developmental stage in their rertoire.  How do we establish wholeness?  What does that imply for the vertical integration of the first tier stage expressions?  What does it call for in the health of each horizontal stage in an organisation’s functionality?

As for the third breakthrough – self-management – is that the same thing for all those people?  What does self-management mean for a person in Blue/Amber?  What does it call for in core Green?  Does it first mean knowing what everyone else wants?

Teal organisation is not a mechanical process.  It is complex and human.  It is organic in its response to its external environment and its internal DNA.  We don’t have a process, a cookie-cutter methodology that enables us to say “follow this list of instructions” and you will become Teal.  What do facilitators and change agents need to know if they are to help an organisation?

What we need is not so much a map as map-generating tools.  As Korzybski told us, the map is not the territory.  I have in my mind a picture of the animation characters Wallace and Gromit, with Gromit sitting top of the model train laying down the track in front of it, just in time.  In our context this means understanding in a very dynamic way where the train is and what needs to change for it to go where it needs to go next.  The mapping and the territory are changing hand in hand.  The people driving the train are changing too.   Graves theory is a map-making algorithm.  Spiral Dynamics integral and its tools for natural design offer the practical support for this, and my intention is to show how these can help the organisational journey (and by implication the individual one) and those of us who facilitate it.  

About the workshop


Title: Going Teal – An Integral, Systemic and Gravesian perspective
Date: Friday, 6th May

We will discuss what is involved for organizations “going teal” in relation to the following questions:
• What does the breakthrough of Wholeness require?
• What does Self-management mean in relation to Value systems stages and how do we support it?
• What do we need to know about change and facilitating the Teal journey?
• What is special about the Green-Teal boundary and what does this demand of facilitating practitioners?

John will take a four-quadrant approach that engages significantly with the systemic (exterior) aspects and that reflects the adaptive journey of stage development in response to the changes of life conditions. This presentation will look more closely at the particular demands of “exiting Green” and will also deal with the special character of the transition to 2nd tier. What is different about change at the tier, and not just the stage boundary, and what do aspiring practitioners need to know, both about themselves and about the demands of this major shift?


Jon Freeman is the visionary futurist author of “Science of Possibility” and “Reinventing Capitalism”. He is Spiral Dynamics thought leader and trainer who applies this knowledge in organizational development. His passion is to change the understanding of reality through new perspectives on how to make money work for humanity, how science and spiritual experience connect and how our organizational and societal systems can function more sustainably, humanly and effectively.

Register now

Check the program

Get more content

Your Cart