The 5 stages of organizational development (2023)

And where your company might be

Do you know two organizations that have completely different practices, management models, and cultures? One can be cold, bureaucratic and procedural. The other may have a younger, more inspirational, purpose-centered atmosphere. Why do those differences exist? This post aims to answer this question by looking at the different existent organizational development stages.

In his book Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux describes five different stages of organizational development, each characterized by an adjective, a color, and a metaphor. Knowing these stages in detail will allow you to analyze more clearly where your organization is, as well as what are the next steps in its evolution.

The more advanced models are not necessarily “better” than the previous ones, in the same way a teenager is no better than a child. They are only able to handle higher levels of complexity. In addition, each model has its “shadows”, that is, its limitations and challenges. Finally, one stage does not nullify the other, but incorporates and transcends the former.

Organizations shaped in the impulsive paradigm emerged in the form of small conquering troops, led by an “alpha wolf”. This leader, exerts power through fear and strength, keeping the people around him under control. To maintain stability in this type of organization, the leader is surrounded by family members, who tend to be more loyal. If at any time his power is in doubt, someone will try to take it. Demonstrations of cruelty and public punishment are often used to create more fear, as this is the only way for the organization to keep intact. Scary? They still exist.

The 5 stages of organizational development (1)
(Video) Five Phases of Organizational Development Strategy

In this organizational development stage, there are still no formal hierarchies or titles. Therefore, these organizations don’t scale very well and can not guarantee prosperity in the long run. In short, they adapt better to chaotic environments and are lousy to deal with complex problems.

Mafias and street gangs are examples of red organizations in today’s world.

The 5 stages of organizational development (2)

The move to Amber has opened up new possibilities for mankind. It was a leap from a tribal and horticultural world to the era of agriculture, states, civilizations, bureaucracies and organized religions. This paradigm brought a self-controlled and disciplined self, not as egocentric as in the red model. Amber societies have established morals that must be followed. Laws are immutable and made to create a fair world, where things are right or wrong. The authority to define morality now resides in a role, like a priest or the Pharaoh, rather than in a personality.

Amber organizations have brought two major innovations: long-term planning and stable organizational structures. These two technologies allowed this model to achieve results never before seen: irrigation systems, the pyramids and the great wall of China. Medium- and long-term planning has been possible thanks to the invention of the processes, which allow the replication of past experiences in the future. Unlike red organizations, power structures are no longer constantly changing, but are fixed in titles, hierarchies, and organizational charts. Under the Pope are the archbishops, under the archbishops are the bishops, and under them are the priests. Planning and execution are separate: whoever is at the top of the hierarchical pyramid thinks, who is at the base performs what was commanded.

The Catholic Church is the classic example of an Amber organization in the West.


The 5 stages of organizational development (3)

The world is now no longer seen as a set of immutable rules — right and wrong — but as a complex machine governed by natural laws that can be investigated and understood. The paradigm of achievement was consolidated during the industrial revolution, with most major corporations now practicing it with intensity. Choose one: Coca-Cola, Nike or IBM.

The orange organizational development stage brought three major organizational technologies: innovation, responsibility and meritocracy. Although they still use the hierarchical pyramid, Orange organizations favor multidisciplinary teams, interdepartmental task force groups and external consultants: all with the aim of increasing communication and innovation. Management is undergoing a severe change as the organization begins to use the intelligence of several people to increase its competitiveness. Planning and strategy are no longer a privilege at the top, and control is exercised through management by objectives. Top tier leaders require a certain outcome and “no matter how, just get to that number.” Financial incentives and commissions are added to encourage competition among employees and the organization’s profitability. Meritocracy dictates that, in principle, everyone can scale the corporate hierarchy and reach a certain position.

Orange organizations look bright, but they also create an immense shadow. Because success is measured solely in terms of money and recognition, when they reach the top, people feel empty. One day they get tired of the race for success and collapse.

The 5 stages of organizational development (4)
(Video) Exploring the 4 Stages of Organizational Growth

The pluralistic organizational development stage comes in strong opposition to the amber and orange model. If hierarchy and abuse of power are harmful, the green paradigm attempts to abolish them altogether. The feelings of the members of the organization are valued, as well as cooperation, harmony and consensus. Equality is seen as the ultimate goal: everyone deserves respect and should be treated in the same way.

The three major innovations of the green model were empowerment, value-oriented culture, and the perspective of multiple stakeholders. Empowerment retains meritocracy, but leaders are encouraged to push decisions to the bottom. Servant and egalitarian leadership is valued and strongly present in culture, which is the mechanism that prevents green organizations from returning to the previous paradigm. Shareholders are no longer seen as the only party to be satisfied. Managers, employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, society and the environment must also be included in decisions. Leaders seek to make choices that everyone can thrive.

In these organizations, decisions by consensus are favored. However, some people abuse this tolerance to put intolerant ideas into practice.

The 5 stages of organizational development (5)

Laloux identified a new emerging organizational development stage, called integral, authentic, responsive, or evolutionary. Practiced by a small set of organizations, the model has three main breakthroughs that are presented below.

The teal organizations are seen by their members as an organism with a direction and life of their own. Instead of trying to predict and control the future through detailed plans, budgets and strategies, these organizations engage everyone in the process of listening attentively to the present, what the organization wants to become, and what purpose it wants to serve.


Making the will of green organizations practical, this paradigm finds a way to operate and scale effectively without the use of a hierarchy or decisions by consensus. This is possible through a system based on peer relationships and a set of structures and practices that support information sharing, decision-making (usually by consent) and conflict resolution.

From the amber model, individuals began to incorporate their organizational positions so intensely that there was a separation between the “personal self” and the “professional self.” In the evolutionary model, everyone is invited to participate fully in the organization, without hiding their emotional, intuitive or spiritual part. Social masks are discouraged and become irrelevant as the environment strengthens relationships and builds a community.

Putting these three elements together, teal organizations are a completely different from the vision we have of work and the corporate world.

The five organizational development stages provide a great summary of how organizations operate and their underlying assumptions. This helps us understand where we are stepping and what could come next.

Today’s world is undoubtedly predominantly amber and orange. Still, many organizations are adopting green and teal practices. Have you noticed this in your organization? In what paradigm does it operate?

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Target Teal helps other organizations and individuals to adopt new evolutionary practices and reinvent themselves. Check our website to learn more.

(Video) How would you describe different stages of organizational development? By Ann Lim-Brand


What are the 5 stages of organizational development please explain briefly? ›

Entry, Diagnosis, Feedback, Solution and Evaluation.

What are the 5 stages in group development in project teams in the correct order? ›

The 5 stages of team development
  • Forming.
  • Storming.
  • Norming.
  • Performing.
  • Adjourning.
28 Apr 2021

What is the 5 stage? ›

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.

What is organizational development and why is it important? ›

Organizational development, often abbreviated as OD, improves existing processes and creates new ones. The idea is to understand how to maximize the effectiveness, potential, and capacity of both people and organizations. The science of OD combines industrial/organizational and adult developmental psychology.

Why is it important for an organization to undergo the stages of development? ›

Organizational development influences the bottom line in many different ways. As a result of increased productivity and innovation, profits and efficiency increase. Costs come down because the organization can better manage employee turnover and absenteeism.

What are the five stages in the five stage model quizlet? ›

  • Forming.
  • Storming.
  • Norming.
  • Performing.
  • Adjourning.

What are the stages of group formation explain with example? ›

The five stages of group development include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. During the forming stage, group members engage in socially polite exchanges to help reduce uncertainty and gain familiarity with new members.

What are the five stages of group development PDF? ›

  • Stage 1: Forming. In the Forming stage, personal relations are characterized by dependence. ...
  • Stage 2: Storming. ...
  • Stage 3: Norming. ...
  • Stage 4: Performing. ...
  • Stage 5: Adjourning.

What is organizational development with example? ›

Organizational Development Examples

The ultimate goal is improved performance within the organization as a whole. Start-up companies are an example of how organizational development works. As the company establishes its goals and objectives, it can also identify what employees can do better for future success.

How many steps is OD process? ›

The 5-Step Organisational Development (O.D.) Process.

What is the main goal of organizational development? ›

The goals of organizational development help define a company's purpose, assist its business growth and achieve its financial objectives. Setting specific structural goals can also facilitate an organization to attain progress and complete the tasks to meet those business goals.

What is the most important stage in the 5 stages model provide your explanation *? ›

The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through. It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge.

How does knowing the five stages of group development help you as the manager? ›

Understanding the five stages of team development enables you to get teams started, resolve conflicts more smoothly, share information effectively, achieve top results, and then review outcomes to keep finding ways to improve.

What is Salmon's 5 Stage model? ›

The stages of online or blended learning made by Prof. Gilly Salmon consists of access and motivation, online socialization, information exchange, knowledge construction, and review.

How can organizational development be improved? ›

Aligning long term vision and plans. Upgrading workplace structure. Good people management. Analytics and metrics for change.

What do you understand by organizational development? ›

Organisation Development is an objectives based approach to systems change within an organisation. Organisation Development enables organisations to build and sustain a new desired state for the entire organisation.

What is the importance of organizational development essay? ›

It plays a vital role in bringing desired changes in an organization. It helps in making the management aware of the changing environment affecting the business. It is a planned effort that effects the organization on a wide level. The process of organization development is managed by the top level management.

Why is organizational success important? ›

Why is Organizational Effectiveness Important? Creating a successful organization means achieving organizational effectiveness. Improving your company's ability to reach its goals is critical to delivering shareholder value. It means your business will thrive long term.

Is organizational development important in every organization? ›

The fact that OD focuses on the health of both the individual and the entire organization is important for HR managers. One cannot exist without the other. Effective OD works to ensure every individual's goals and vision are aligned with that of the organization.

What are the five stages of group development in order from first to last according to Tuckman's model? ›

These stages are commonly known as: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

What are the five stages of team development according to the Tuckman model quizlet? ›

  • Forming.
  • Storming.
  • Norming.
  • Performing.
  • Adjourning.

Which of the following are key elements to punctuated equilibrium? ›

The key components of the punctuated equilibrium model are: A species that undergoes little to no change for millions of years. Pressure on the species to evolve. A sudden rapid evolution brought on by the pressures (stress) exerted on the species.

What are the 5 characteristics of a group? ›

Characteristics of a Group
  • Size- A group is formed with at least two members. ...
  • Goals- The reason behind the existence of a group is having certain goals to achieve among the group members. ...
  • Norms- ...
  • Structure- ...
  • Roles- ...
  • Interaction- ...
  • Collective Identity-

What is the importance of group in an organization? ›

Teamwork is important because it enables your team to share ideas and responsibilities, which helps reduce stress on everyone, allowing them to be meticulous and thorough when completing tasks. This will enable them to meet sales goals quickly.

What are the 5 characteristics of out group? ›

Out group people do not share an awareness of kind. One do not identify himself with his out group. We feel a sense of indifference towards the members of out group. Individual develops a feeling of antagonism towards his out group.

Why is it important of a social worker to know about the phases in group development? ›

Understanding the method Working with a group or social group will be significantly more effective when one understand the group and its process of development. Over the years, the importance of social group works as an effective method of social work and its intervention has been increasingly realized.

What is the most important aspect of effective group leadership? ›

Group Facilitation Concepts - Test 1 - Ch.'s 1-4, Fri 4/8
According to the Corey's, what is the most important aspect of an effective group leader?The attitude the group leader holds toward the members.
What is NOT a part of active listening?Formulating your next response.
46 more rows

During which stage of the five stage development process does research show that conflict among group members is actually beneficial? ›

Norming. In the norming stage of group development, the team has effectively resolved most, if not all, conflicts and can productively work on the project or towards the end goal. The team members know each other well at this stage and feel comfortable working together or seeking input from one another.

What is the first stage of organizational development? ›

Stage 1 – Entering and contracting.

What are the five stems of OD practice? ›

There are five different stems of organisational development: laboratory training, action research/survey feedback, participative management, quality of work life (QWL) and strategic change.

How many steps are there in organisation? ›

In general, the organizational process consists of five steps (a flowchart of these steps is shown in Figure 1): 1. Review plans and objectives. Objectives are the specific activities that must be completed to achieve goals.

What are the characteristics of Organisational development? ›

This article throws light on the thirteen major characteristics of organisational development, i.e, (1) Planned Change, (2) Encompasses the Whole Organisation, (3) Long Range Change, (4) Systems Orientation, (5) Change Agent, and Others.

What are the five 5 stages of group development explain each stage briefly? ›

No team is able to hit the ground running with a project upon their first meeting. Instead, they go through a complex process that involves the 5 stages of group development: The Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning stage.

Why is team development important to a leader? ›

Through correct team development, your team members will have plenty of opportunities to build rapport with a foundation of acceptance. When people trust one another, they're more likely to share ideas, collaborate effectively and make the right decisions for everyone and the project.

How can we overcome the storming stage? ›

Here are 5 tips leaders can use to successfully navigate their teams through the Storming phase of group development.
  1. Develop Communication Skills. ...
  2. Let Them Storm. ...
  3. Do One-On-One Check-Ins. ...
  4. Review Established Norms. ...
  5. Ask To Alter Behaviors Not Personalities.
16 Mar 2015

How do you build a successful team? ›

How to build an effective team
  1. Set SMART goals.
  2. Perform well-defined roles.
  3. Experiment regularly.
  4. Embrace diversity.
  5. Share a common culture.
  6. Be accountable to the team.
  7. Communicate effectively.
  8. Welcome strong leadership.

What is Woolner's 5 Stage model? ›

Woolner proposes five distinct stages through which organisations pass on their jour- ney towards becoming learning organisations: “The Forming Organisation”, “The Developing Organisation”, “The Mature Organisation”, “The Adapting Organis- ation”, and “The Learning Organisation”[31].

What is the first level in Salmon's 5 Stage model on e learning? ›

Stage 1 – Access and Motivation

It is important to encourage students to access and engage with the content as well as with their peers. Students should be made aware that there is technical support available for them if they need it.

What is the stage model? ›

The Stage Model is a model of behavioral intervention development composed of six stages: basic science (Stage 0), intervention generation, refinement, modification, and adaptation and pilot testing (Stage I); traditional efficacy testing (Stage II); efficacy testing with real-world providers (Stage III); effectiveness ...

What is the fourth of five stages in the development of organizations? ›

Stage 4 – Evaluating and feedback.

What is the first stage of organizational development? ›

The formation stage is precisely what the moniker suggests. This is the stage in which the concept for an organization is developed and the entity itself is launched. Typically, these efforts are led by an individual, or multiple individuals, who have a vision for the organization.

What are 7 organizational development processes? ›

A. The process of Organisational Development involves 7 interesting approaches:- (1) Initial Consultation (2) Data Collection (3) Data Feedback and Confrontation (4) Action Planning and Problem Solving (5) Team Building or Team Formation (6) Inter-Group Development (7) Appraisal and Follow-Up.

How can organizational development be improved? ›

Aligning long term vision and plans. Upgrading workplace structure. Good people management. Analytics and metrics for change.

How many steps are there in OD process? ›

The 5-Step Organisational Development (O.D.) Process.

What is organizational development strategy? ›

Organizational development is a critical and science-based process that helps organizations build their capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes.

What is the concept of organizational development? ›

Organizational Development (OD) is a field of research, theory, and practice dedicated to expanding the knowledge and effectiveness of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance.

What is growth in organizational development? ›

Organizational growth is a stage a company reaches when it can consider expansion and may look for additional options to generate more revenue. Organizational growth is often a function of industry growth trends, business lifecycle and the owners' desire for equity value creation.

What are the five stems of OD practice? ›

There are five different stems of organisational development: laboratory training, action research/survey feedback, participative management, quality of work life (QWL) and strategic change.

What are the tools used in OD? ›

This procedure is followed at all levels of management involving all the employees of the organisation.
  • Team Building:
  • Sensitivity Training:
  • Managerial Grid:
  • Management by Objectives (MBO):
  • Brain Storming:
  • Process Consultation:
  • Quality Circles:
  • Transactional Analysis:

What are OD tools? ›

OD tools is a patented set of assessments that provides HR with quantitative and qualitative data to drive change, organizational development and self awareness. Provides for analytic functions that will help HR and senior managers to check the pulse of their organizations and their teams.

What are the principles of organizational development? ›

5 Must-Know Organizational Development Principles
  • Align Cultures and Values. Your organization's mission and values should align closely with your company culture. ...
  • Focus on Ongoing Change. ...
  • Design Around the Human Experience. ...
  • Build Systems for Ongoing Training. ...
  • Go Digital.
23 Oct 2019

What are the characteristics of Organisational development? ›

This article throws light on the thirteen major characteristics of organisational development, i.e, (1) Planned Change, (2) Encompasses the Whole Organisation, (3) Long Range Change, (4) Systems Orientation, (5) Change Agent, and Others.


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