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Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,240 ratings  ·  409 reviews

The way we manage organizations seems increasingly out of date. Deep inside, we sense that more is possible. We long for soulful workplaces, for authenticity, community, passion, and purpose.

In this groundbreaking book, the author shows that every time, in the past, when humanity has shifted to a new stage of consciousness, it has achieved extraordinary b
Kindle Edition, 382 pages
Published February 9th 2014 by Nelson Parker
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Chris Sarda I work at Zappos and day by day it's getting closer and closer to this.…moreI work at Zappos and day by day it's getting closer and closer to this.(less)
Iwein Fuld No. Groups of people often behave in dangerous ways, if there is no shared view on how the group should behave. Examples are mobs, group think, the US…moreNo. Groups of people often behave in dangerous ways, if there is no shared view on how the group should behave. Examples are mobs, group think, the USA, and China. Designing and nurturing a shared mission and vision _as a group_ is much more complicated than designing a spaceship, especially if the group is large, and has already started to behave in dangerous ways.(less)

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Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so annoyed by a book that taught me so much. Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations is, in some ways, exactly what it claims to be––a guide for creating organizations with internal dynamics that radically diverge from prevailing models. But it’s also a highly repetitive text with a lot of fuzzy language. It was truly perplexing to read a book that exhibited a firm, clear vision in some sections, and that merely oozed schmaltz in others. But we have to mine value ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very thought provoking.

Let me highlight few ideas from the book:

If we start treating people as adults and allow them to express their whole selves, they will be able to realise much more of their potential. Their contribution to the company through their work will be far bigger than it would be otherwise. Also, maybe we should stop looking at companies as machines that we can build part by part and tweak to every smallest detail. Maybe we should look at companies as living beings and let them gr
Jurgen Appelo
Wonderful book, full of inspirational stories. Pity it is full of "soulfull", "wholesome" and "spiritual" language. ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: social-studies
Informative, repetitive, thorough, overly long, and at times, weird.

FRederic Laloux's Reinventing Organizations is an in depth survey into the evolution of organisational theory. He describes how organisations have evolved,over time, from the street gang, mafia type, impulsive, organisations, which he refers to as Red organisations, through conformist organisations, with strong rules, structure and a rigid hierarchy, which he calls Amber; then on to Orange, green and finally teal. He describes O
May 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
TL;DR: Interesting framework, crappy ideas.

This is the most intellectually lazy book I've ever read.

It starts with a metaphor, tying historical changes in human society with organizational structures. Laloux argues that organizational history recapitulates human history. While obviously simplistics and invalid it does provide a useful framework for sorting and classifying different organizational operating models.

Parts of this book does resonate. Sure, who want to work in an organisation wher
Casper Wilstrup
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a brilliant collection of patterns and practices in self-managing organizations - both for-profit and non-profits.

I consider it a must-read for anyone interested in high performance, motivation based organizations.

Laloux ties his observations together with Ken Wilbers 'Integral Theory', and the idea that human consciousness evolves in stages. Self-managing organizations being a manifestation of a new level of consciousness just now emerging which the author labels 'Teal'

While this
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
IN SHORT: This is an amazing book for anyone interested in newer styles of organizations. Be warned that the author makes you work harder than necessary because of his heavy bent toward mysticism. But the great parts are TOTALLY worth the effort.

MORE DETAIL: This is an amazing book, and has many aspects based on research. Yet there is clearly a huge amount of subjectivity. For those who want to learn, have provoking ideas and solid concepts to customize and apply to an organization, the drawback
Alis Anagnostakis
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Such an amazing source of inspiration for every leader seeking a different, more conscious way to lead businesses and, ultimately, for every person who wants to live a full and wholesome life. This is a book that will literally shift your mind!
Mario Sailer
Jun 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Reinventing Organizations could have been a great book if it was not full of spirituality and and if the author would have been less superficial.

When I read this book, I went through a whole bunch of different feelings. First excitement because I like the idea of self-managed teams. Then disappointment when I realized, that it is sometimes a bit flat and superficial. Then interested again when I read about all the companies having employed self-management, from most of which I have not heard be
Kazu Haga
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Really bad title though, makes it sound like a really dry, organizational development book. This is the latest book that I read that was a complete paradigm shifter. Absolutely recommend. Great, great book.
Cuka Lurcic
Aug 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'd recommend this to any manager in the world, no matter the company or industry - and especially to c-level management.

Frederic did a thorough case study of the human consciousness, and how it's evolution fit into different paradigms and organizational structures that have co-evolved with it. From red organizations who are oriented towards power, family and trickery, to orange success and goal driven companies of the modern age and green ones - where family is everything; every type of organi
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biz
This book is a gift for anyone who can attest to how self-management can enable businesses to serve from the inside out.

When I first became a manager, I started to introduce styles of self-management into my work. First, out of respect for the team of engineers with whom I used to work alongside. Then, out of practicality. Given the number of projects I oversaw, the amount of stakeholders I needed to keep updated, I knew that I could no longer go deep into a problem to make informed decisions o
Bjoern Rochel
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, eng-mgmt
Wonderful content with unfortunate packaging.
5 stars for the content. 2,5 stars for the writing style and choice of terms. Workplace happiness would have clicked more with me than wholeness, soulfulness, et all.

Couldn't help to think sometimes "That sounds exactly like Star Trek utopia" or "wow that sounds pretty hippie". Might be because of my more achievement oriented up-bringing and the work environments I've witnessed in the last 15 years, though.

That being said, having worked the last 10
Antonela Mestrovic
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was so amazed by this book. It really brings a new perspective. I admire the author for being so courageous to write it fully authentically and not leaving out the spiritual dimension only because it is not popular in the business world. Both the content and how he brought himself forward gave me so much inspiration! The book is very well structured, great combination of practical examples and bird's eye perspective on the evolution of human development. I cannot recommend it more for everyone ...more
Sergey Shishkin
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Everything in this book just makes so much sense to me and yet most of the evolutionary teal practices described in this book are so uncommon in the workplace today. It's shocking what cruelty can a human being do to another human being in a modern workplace. Command and control management, performance reviews, bureaucratic processes, hierarchies – all look barbarian from the evolutionary teal perspective.

This book was very hard for me to read. Every page contrasting teal ways of work with those
Sebastian Gebski
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Widely discussed, frequently recommended, said to be thought-provoking & new standard-setting.
But is it for real?

I liked a lot of things about this book:
* its "color" classification is much deeper than some trivial black-or-white splits. I've especially appreciated clear borderline between green and teal kinds of organizations
* examples (real-life cases) are very interesting & truly inspiring; personally, I'd like to see more from tech or strictly commercial organizations
* references to holacrac
Steven Deobald
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book should be five stars. But it has problems. If you run an organization today, you should definitely read it... you are no doubt reading much worse business literature with much less insightful content. The research is great. The examples are clear and practical. It's just a slog.

Here are my caveats:

Caveat One: Sounds True Publishing

The author has inexplicably included Sounds True Publishing (, a company which bears nothing in common with any of the other organizat
John Stepper
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book. Insightful and inspired. Full of excellent examples from a variety of organizations and yet it is a fundamentally human, almost spiritual book.

The book has inspired me to think more broadly and deeply about my work, about how it might be applied, about the difference it can make, and about doing and being more.

One of the best, most inspiring management books I've ever read.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book will help to foster evolution and transformation in my organization and many others. It validates changes already made and points to very clear changes yet to make. Go to the website and get the e-book and then gift back to Laloux what you want to pay for it. ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wish I could rate this higher. There are some good ideas here, but the book could be edited down significantly and be stronger as a result. Further, the author's appeal to things like evolution and "consciousness" as well as various mystical ideas related to consciousness is frustrating since the pseudoscientific justifications were offputting and had no basis in fact or reality. ...more
Kief Morris
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: being-human
Skip the forward! I nearly put the book aside because the writing style of the forward is exceedingly dry and academic. I know several other people who bought the book but didn't make it past the forward. Take my advice: skip over the forward and go straight to the main text, which is far more engaging, and well worth reading.
Sophie Forestell
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was so much more than I thought it was going to be. It addressed many frustrations I have felt - mostly at organizations I have worked for but also in our society, touching on everything from climate change to the justice system - and offered a refreshing and radical perspective. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to discuss it with everyone I convince to read it.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Took me about a month with rigorous reading to finish this book.
It proposes a totally different perspective of organization that we are used to.
That's also the reason it might take us a long time to read/reflect/contemplate the book.
Ádám Bankó
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A defining experience.
Daði Ingólfsson
Wow, the best book on organizations I've read...ever, I think! ...more
Aina Dosmakhambet
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Idea of the book is good. But it could be written in 150 pages, not 400
Brandy Cross
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it

This is a largely very practical work marred here and there by the introduction of pseudoscience, what might be construed as spiritual waffle, and the standard liberal rhetoric that only the free market works. I find it interesting that so many of the French hold this idea of centrism in which centrism isn't about finding a middle ground between the right and left but rather picking and choosing ideas from each (e.g., look at Macron). Mostly, however, this isn't terribly influential on the book
Eduardo Ferro
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an incredible book that has had a deep impact on my thinking… It gives a great historical view of the different organizational model used by the humans and the correspondence of each model with each new stage of human consciousness.
It also explains how we are changing to a new stage and that a new kind of organizational model is appearing.
After giving this context and the explanation for each model, the book describes, this new "Teal" organizational model. The examples are very well doc
Alper Çuğun
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I have seldom had a harder time reading a book. Progress in this book was excruciatingly slow, hard fought and often not very rewarding.

It doesn't help that I know a lot of what Laloux is writing about up to even the examples. One of the issues is that this method is not that popular so everybody has to fall back to use the same companies as examples.

It also doesn't help that the book starts off with integral theory, something that can only be described as a load of mumbo jumbo. This stuff comes
Kristinn Hróbjartsson
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspiring book with great insights into several companies Laloux describes as "teal" - organizations that focus on self management, wholeness at work and evolutionary purpose.

Self-righteous and unfair in judging the other "more normal" organisation types and practices at times.

A good bunch of practical ideas and processes and success factors when operating in the teal area, or moving there.

I missed a critical discussion of the pitfalls, low-lights or challenges posed by transforming to teal. Al
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