Hi-Power, Red Organizations (Frederic Laloux)

Hierarchical Organization Structures
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Prof. Arup Barman
Professor, India

Hi-Power, Red Organizations (Frederic Laloux)

Organizational typologies are emerging due to quests for and behind the human history, for the human consciousness, and for the changing of perspectives of thinker(s).

The concept of Red Organisations (ROs) has stemmed from the quest based on a stage of human consciousness, wherein the red stage of consciousness symbolizes Power. In a Red Organisation, people perceive or see the world through a crude lens of power which is exercised constantly by the leader or by a group of leaders along with fear and unpredictability factors. ROs are strongly focused on the short term and are reactive in nature. Wolf Packs are a suitable metaphor for it.

The first red organisations evolved 10,000 years ago, at the time of the first power based chiefdoms and proto-empires.
The following symptoms are endured by the members of ROs:
  • Members bear a strong sense of self.
  • Members see themselves entirely separate from others and from the world.
  • Members feel “I’m just a small being and if I am isolated from the whole, I might suffer or die”.
  • Members feel “If I’m more powerful than others then only I can demand that my needs are met”.
  • Members feel “If you are more powerful than me, I’ll submit my hope to you and you will take care of me”.
  • The leader’s orientation is: “I want it, and I want it now”.
Though it is an age-old organizational form, the red organization is still common today.
Typical examples are Mafias, Street Gangs, Tribal Militias. A RO is highly apt for hostile environments: combat zones, civil wars, failed states, prisons, or violent inner-city neighborhoods.
It is also prevalent in a more soft and silent way in civil organisations that vulcanize multifaceted fears, nepotism, syndicate-ism. Attributes are also found in the university system where members and peers sometimes exercise educated mafiaism leading to a knowledge bankruptcy.
Source: Frederic Laloux, "Reinventing Organizations"

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Red Organizations

See also the more in-depth Article: Introduction t (...)

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