Turquoise management, the highest level of the color-based approach to management styles, is considered the most independent and intelligent way of running a company. The concept was introduced in 2014 by Belgian entrepreneur, coach, speaker, and theorist Frederic Laloux, in his book “Reinventing Organizations: An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations.” Laloux assigned specific colors to five models of modern companies, including red, amber, orange, green, and turquoise. These colors were arranged in order from the most primal and authoritarian (the first two colors), through increasingly democratic (orange, green), to independent and intelligent (turquoise). In this blog post, we will explore the last two colors, green and turquoise, in more detail. Read on.
Management models – table of contents:
- What is green management?
- What is turquoise management?
- Between green and turquoise management styles
What is green management?
Although the green management model is often assigned to cooperative movements, nowadays, more and more organizations strive to incorporate it into their culture. Such companies typically have a pyramid structure that preserves hierarchy where every employee performs their tasks answering to their superiors.
At the same time, however, it is believed that the employee is an important resource of the organization that helps to achieve the set goals, so it’s important for employers to support their development and give them the opportunity to express their opinion and take initiative. The main objective of companies following this management model is to meet and satisfy their customers’ needs.
What is turquoise management?
The turquoise management style is undoubtedly the latest and the most innovative concept in management science. Companies that implement this management model are also often referred to as teal organizations whose main characteristics are:
- Self-management – in such an organization every employee is their own boss, knows how it should operate and takes full responsibility for their decisions.
- Wholeness and integrity – the organization bridges the divide between private and professional life, provides freedom and allows employees to behave at work exactly like at home with loved ones (striving for fulfillment), focuses on the development of each person, and is based on the principles of partnership, cooperation and mutual trust.
- Evolutionary purpose – teal organizations are open to change and responsive to employees’ needs. They encourage their members to collectively set the direction for the organization to grow.
Between green and turquoise management styles
As you’ve probably noticed, green and turquoise management styles are similar in many ways. What do they have in common? They both put emphasis on the role that the employee plays in the organization and that their commitment to work helps achieve the expected results. For both styles, it is also important to create a culture based on trust and shared values, as well as boost employee development, although these processes are undoubtedly more complex in the case of turquoise organizations.
Only after you replace the traditional hierarchical structure with self-management (ignore the leader’s role), determine the higher-purpose of your company and closely observe its environment to set the direction of growth, will you be able to say that it turns into a turquoise organization.
Laloux suggests that organizations can achieve greater success by adopting a “teal” or “turquoise” management style. However, it goes without saying that in many ways it is an idealistic approach which is difficult to put into practice – due to a lack of hierarchy ( and also commissions, bonuses, employee performance reviews etc.), self-management, and working for a higher purpose beyond just making a profit. It is true that implementing a teal management style may require a shift in mindset, as it challenges many established norms and practices in the business world.
As a leader of a team or organization, it’s important to reflect on the management style you currently employ. Would you classify yourself as authoritarian (red, amber) or democratic (orange, green, or even turquoise)? It’s probable that your personal beliefs and the approach to running a company that you have adopted will have an impact on your primary management style. However, it’s important to recognize that employees tend to prefer companies that prioritize trust, fairness, and opportunities for growth. To attract the best talent and leverage their skills to develop your organization, you may need to make changes to your management style.