If you’ve ever wondered how to manage in 21st century organizations, this article is for you.
Work plays an important role in our lives. We devote a great part of time to work during the day. Work should therefore give us a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Despite the effort and effort, it should be more pleasure than anguish.
For many of us, however, work is more often associated with unpleasant duty and grind than with joy, passion and mission. Are we able to change this situation?
Can we create much more exciting and friendly workplaces? Those that are free from rigid hierarchy, politics, bureaucracy, internal quarrels and quarrels. A workplace that is not associated with constant stress and does not lead to professional burnout. An environment where our talents and potential can fully develop and what we do is respected and needed. Is it possible to create an organization that will make our work not only productive, but also more meaningful and fulfilling?
For many people, the vision of such an “ideal” workplace can sound like a utopia. However, in order to succeed in today’s world, where digital transformation is accelerating and young generations are entering the labour market, we increasingly need new, radically better ways of functioning in organisations.
Work is no longer just a place to provide us with a livelihood. In work, we look for meaning and fulfilment. Old methods of management “with a stick and a carrot” do not work, because they are based on forcing obedience and do not support the employees’ sense of self-fulfillment.
The answer to the challenges faced by today’s organizations can be the so-called “turquoise management”. It is a way of working that allows for better cooperation, faster creation of value, more effective communication and creation of more effective and happier workplaces. However, this requires a new way of thinking about the organisation and openness to change.
The biggest blockade before the change and development process for the team and the organization is ignorance. Often bosses, company owners, managers, leaders thins that their team or organization is already working perfectly and there is nothing else they could do better.
How To Manage In 21st Century Organizations:
To better understand the need for change in the management of current organizations it is worth to “go back in time” and follow how human awareness, ways of cooperation and organizational models have evolved over the centuries.
It is the earliest stage of human development, covering a period of approximately 100,000 to 50,000 BC. In the infrared world, survival is a key value.
The infrared world is a world of food collectors and people struggling to survive. There is no such thing as an organizational model yet. There is no elders or leaders to lead the group, there is no hierarchy.
In today’s world only a few human communities live and function in this way.
The purple world
About 15,000 years ago, mankind began to move to the next stage of consciousness. It corresponds to the transition from small family groups to tribes of no more than a few hundred people. In the purple world, safety, security, tradition and rituals are key values.
The purple world is the world of shamans, ghosts and demons. At this stage of consciousness, organizations do not exist yet. Differentiation of tasks remains significantly limited. Alternatively, the elders have a “special” status, and therefore they already have a certain degree of power.
The red world
About 10,000 years ago, the first forms of organisational life emerged. In the red world, power, courage and strength are key values. In this world you have to be strong and courageous to win.
The red world is the world of farmers, warriors and leaders. The emergence of leaders who govern not only hundreds, but thousands or tens of thousands of people.
Management in the red world is a chaotic system of governance based on the power of the leader, violence and fear. Only those who accept every decision made by the leader have a place in the group.
The amber world
In the next stage of development there was a transition from the primacy of leadership to the concept of the state and civilization. In the amber world, which in its fullness came around 4000 BC and lasts in many places to this day, huge states, civilizations, institutions and bureaucracy were created. One of the inventions of the humanity of the amber world was democracy. In this world, order, authority, hierarchy, structure and a concrete division into good and evil are the key values.
The amber world is the world of kings, philosophers, generals, priests and popes. Today, amber management can still be found in many places in the world. They can be seen in offices, parties, state administration or churches.
Organisations based on such management can plan well in the medium and long term. However, they are less able to compete and implement changes quickly. They often have ossified organizational structures, centralized, in the form of a hierarchical pyramid. Formal reporting runs from subordinates to bosses. There is a specific system of rewards and penalties. Management is about giving orders and controlling to achieve the right results.
The world view at this stage is strongly materialistic. Only what can be seen and touched is real. The world in orange began to emerge about 200 years ago and this period continues to this day. The key values of this world are independence, rivalry, purpose and success.
The invention of the steam engine, mechanisation and electrification contributed to the development of the orange world. The Orange World is a time of scientists, engineers, marketers, salespeople, entrepreneurs and presidents. The time of corporation, research, development, but also materialism, colonization and globalization.
Organisations dominated by orange management can compete effectively and eliminate competition in various ways. An organization acts like a machine in which people are “resources” and their value is measured by their usefulness to the organization. In today’s world, many global corporations still rely on orange management in their organizational culture. In this model, leadership is more result-oriented than people.
Obsession with materialism, social inequality, loss of community spirit caused the green world to emerge. It is much more sensitive to human emotions and feelings. In the green world, the most important values are equality, idea, community, sharing and cooperation. For people and organizations working from this perspective, human relationships are more important than results.
Green organisations use modern tools for team building, training, coaching, integration and doing many things together. All this in order to achieve an inspiring common goal. The hierarchy is flattened, marginalized and replaced by cooperation, co-creation and self-organization. Green organisations consider their social responsibility (CSR) to be an integral part of their activities and business.
The turquoise (teal) world
Turquoise world is a new philosophy of life and work. Turquoise management and turquoise organisations have become famous thanks to the creator of this concept, Frederic Laloux (1), and his book “Reinventing Organizations”.
The key values in the turquoise world are development, evolution, knowledge, motivation, inspiration and holism. In the turquoise world, from the perspective of Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs, most of the needs of the lower order (physiological, safety, belonging and recognition) have been satisfied and now the need for self-fulfillment is largely met.
Management and turquoise organizations. What is this all about?
Turquoise organisations resemble multi-cellular organisms in which there is no central control, but where the different functions of the cells delegate tasks to each other.
The three pillars of turquoise companies are:
Self-organisation – moving away from hierarchical management to self-organisation, self-management and flexible cooperation systems based on close relations between employees.
Pursuit of fulfilment – working conditions in which people can feel at ease and make full use of their strengths and potential. An environment in which one can be oneself and one does not need to pretend to be one. A workspace that supports employees in their development and fulfilment.
Evolutionary sense of existence – turquoise organisations are perceived as being having their own life and sense of direction. Instead of trying to anticipate and control the future, members are invited to listen carefully to what is happening and to understand, what the organisation wants to become and what purpose it wants to serve.
The leaders of turquoise organizations (2) can be servant leaders. They are able to create favourable conditions for co-workers to develop and care for the company’s growth. They have the ability to abandon their ego and ambition to share their knowledge and experience.
Turquoise management is based on autonomy in decision making, supporting employees in discovering their passions, coaching, facilitation, but also on new, alternative methods of work and cooperation.
In order to avoid chaos, clutter and anarchy, turquoise organizations develop specific practices and methods that allow them to communicate and make the best decisions.
As we can see, our approach to cooperation and models of operation has changed throughout human history. To a large extent, this was due to the prevailing world view among people of that period.
Today, more and more modern organizations are moving towards “turquoise management”, seeing tangible benefits in this way.
However, the path to turquoise is not straightforward, it takes patience and time. It is necessary to build trust and partnership between all members of the organization. Competition, which destroys cooperation and partnership, must be rejected. Give up the hierarchical management structure that often suppresses innovation and creativity. Abandon ‘carrot and stick’ methods. Replace evaluation with appreciation. Control for support. And this requires a change of approach, open-mindedness and effort.
Thank you for reading this article about how to manage in 21st century organizations and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.