Not many people in the world have yet had the opportunity to develop towards the Integral Perspective. In the Netherlands, at this moment, as a rich country which has developed Orange-Green and is expressing a relatively healthy Green, several Yellow individuals and organisations can be found. In this section I will describe various characteristics of Yellow/Teal/ Integral persons. What has been changed in the transition from Green to Yellow?
1. How can we see this transition happening in individuals?
When moving through the Green perspective people get to know themselves better and learn to communicate with each other in an open and inclusive way. They struggle with their ego. They are involved with themselves and with what is happening in the group. Green emphasizes the importance of its own perspective (personal growth, solidarity, harmony, sustainability, open communication, love, etc.). And also the importance of the Left (internal) side of the 4 quadrants of Wilber: Green loves the personal inner quest (UL) and connecting with other people (LL), but doesn’t like the systematic view and rules (LR) and is not always practical in implementing actions (UR). Green has a marked preference for its own values, criticizes other perspectives like the Orange one and especially rejects the Blue and egoistic/intolerant behaviour (Red-Blue).
During the transition from Green to Yellow the appreciation for all previous perspectives grows, especially for the Blue value system. Yellow looks at the bigger picture, can see the added value of each of the previous perspectives, and how the integration of the healthy aspects of all value systems leads to advancing insights and new forms of products and cooperation. Yellow has an external focus and wants to achieve concrete results.
Functioning from the Yellow (Second Tier) perspective one is an instrument in service of something that is greater. The goal is not more power, wealth or fame. The contribution is intended to serve the future and the survival of humanity as a whole. As an instrument one is able to formulate what is needed based in not-knowing: “Thy will, not my will, be done” Following a path of one’s own, these people have the courage to endure rejection and can deal with the unavoidable fear. They know themselves, they know where they err and are able to correct that. They start living their soul’s destiny.
To be able to develop till this level and to show up at this level, it is important to do our work in Growing Up as well in Waking Up. During our path of awakening we will learn and experience that life is not about (Material) Happiness as the Orange and Green perspectives are trying to promote.
2. How can we see this transition happening in groups/organisations?
Only a few groups and organisations function at the Integral/Yellow/Teal level. Frederique Laloux did good work inquiring into and spreading the idea of Teal organisations. For the new generation of innovative entrepreneurs, Teal works like a magnet. However, to be able to function from Teal/Yellow it is needed that the previous levels in First Tier are fully developed and healthily integrated in the organisation. We can see that in many cases of enthusiastic new organisations and businesses which desire to be Teal, the Traditional (Purple, Red and Blue) and sometimes the Orange perspectives are not yet balanced enough.
The transition starts from the Green level. The Green postmodern organisation mainly looks from one perspective, and solutions for problems are found within this framework. It is focused on relations, harmony, personal growth, dealing with emotions, the group process and mutual relations. Understanding and explaining negative behaviour and events gets a lot of attention. It is felt important to listen to everyone and to take time for exchange of experiences, feelings and opinions. The ideal is to take decisions by consensus. Green likes equality and dislikes power. Often the result is an unclear and hidden power structure and the consensus decision making process is time-consuming. The vision for the future of the organisation depends on this process. What can we observe, what has been changed in the transition from Green to Yellow?
During the transition to Second Tier a tangible energy switch occurs towards a broader perspective and deeper connection. The focus becomes more external and oriented on tasks and results. Choices are made. As a consequence, more conflicts will arise and harmony will be disrupted. Working for the whole might require unpopular measures. There is a growing insight that not all information and opinions are correct and that a clear view is needed to progress.
Characteristic for the Yellow perspective is emergence: observing and sensing how the system moves, then taking the next step, observing and sensing what the effects are, then taking the next step, and so on. Starting interventions in social systems anywhere and following it everywhere. The general future direction is clear and connected to the survival of humanity. Personal development (growing up), spiritual development (waking up) and staying alert for ego stuff (cleaning up) is part of the organisation and the individuals who are working in this context. This development of consciousness is needed to become a good instrument in service of the whole.
The Yellow perspective is consciously operating from the deeper connection that already exists. It looks from various perspectives and sees the potential. Attention to results and relations is balanced. Differences between people are recognized. Dominant hierarchies (based on external characteristics) are seen as wrong, but the hierarchy of developed wisdom and personal growth is seen as necessary for progress. To achieve results various kinds of power are used (CAPI – Coalesced Authority Power & Influence) and elites are embraced instead of broken down (as Green does). Transparent forms to lead the organisation like Holacracy are adopted to transcend First Tier organisational structure and culture. Decision making is based on substantial objections and looking for a workable next step.