The Teal paradigm refers to the next stage in the evolution of human consciousness. It emphasizes the identity and purpose of an organization as a separate entity - rather than merely a vehicle for achieving management objectives. While Achievement-driven Orange-level awareness regards organizations as machines and Culture-driven Green-level perception uses the metaphor of families, Teal organizations relate to themselves as living organisms or living systems.
Teal organizations focus on their members' abilities to self-organize and self-manage to achieve the purpose of the organization. The hierarchical ’plan and control’ structure typical of Orange-level organizations is replaced with a self-organizing structure consisting of smaller teams that also perform all traditional management functions. Positions and job descriptions are replaced with roles, where one worker can fill multiple roles. Unlike the fixed structures of Amber, Orange and Green-level organizations, the structure of a Teal organization is fluid: changing and adapting in response to circumstances to achieve the organization's purpose.