Become a spirited leader by embracing wholeness


Growing your leadership into the next stage of consciousness - part 2

A new organisational paradigm is slowly but steadily developing as leaders today are tired of power games, infighting and experiencing an overall sense of emptiness. In this article of a 3-part-series we’ll explore the second principle of the Teal organisation: wholeness.

The new Teal organisation identified by Frédéric Laloux, an independent advisor and author of Reinventing Organisations: a guide to creating organisations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness, is built on three pillars:

  • Self-management
  • Wholeness
  • Evolutionary purpose


In the previous three distinct organisational paradigms, which Frederic Laloux calls Amber, Orange and Green, people typically wear a mask at work. They function with an air of resolution and determination while they favour their masculine, rational selves.

Teal organisations however start from the premise, resonant with many wisdom traditions, that a person’s deepest calling is to achieve wholeness. Teal employees are encouraged to reveal the caring, inquiring, intuitive and spiritual aspects of their personalities. Workers feel at ease because they can truly be themselves. Teal organisations create vibrant workspaces while simple management practices foster a sense of personal connection, so that trust can grow and flourish.

Wholeness practices

In Teal organisations employees are invited to bring their children and animals to their workplace. The presence of children and pets reconnects people with deeper parts of themselves, enabling employees to see one another not only as colleagues, but as part of a common humanity.

At Heiligenfeld, a mental health hospital chain with 600 employees in Germany, every week the teams come together for an intensive, reflective dialogue about a theme such as dealing with risks or learning from mistakes. The chain of 5 hospitals also devotes four days per year to silence, during which the staff only quietly speaks when necessary and patients engage in forms of therapy that require no words, like taking long walks and painting.

FAVI, a French automotive supplier, train all their administrative workers to operate at least one assembly-line machine. When orders must be rushed out, white-collar workers come in to help their colleagues to run the machines: a truly community-built practice. After an in-depth onboarding process new machine operators are asked to write an open letter to their colleagues, which often describe how, maybe for the first time in their career, their voice counts at work and they are considered worthy of trust and appreciation.

How can you practise this in your workplace?

As a middle or senior leader you could start moving towards a Teal-inspired organisation today by creating a safe environment where people feel they can show more of their true selves. Ask them to bring personal items to the workplace and encourage them to feel free to be present, involved and personal rather than detached, distant and ‘professional’.

Be extraordinary,
Anouk and Nicola