Max. Chaos for Growth/Change LO11463
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 19:29:20 -0500

Replying to LO11425 --

Meg Wheatley's new book *A Simplier Way* takes this issue head on with the
intent to suggest how we can create potent, vibrant organizations by
viewing them as living systems. While not revolutionary, Meg proposes
that, as a living system, the org does not need us to organize it. When
we realize this, we begin to stop our futile efforts at control and
instead let the natural, inner wisdom of the organization take over.

The book revolves around five key concepts: Play, Organization, Self,
Emergence, and Motions of Coherence. The authors open up these essential
qualities of living systems and relate them to org behavior.

I especially enjoyed the discourse on Motions of Coherence. Meg states
that life moves toward wholeness and coherence in an unstoppable search
for new forms of itself. (WOW). Sadly, we tend to focus on the problems
that this motion creates for us, thus leading to bewildering
unpredictibility and unmanageability. She call this "energy change" and
sees it as imposed on us by outside forces. This energy is the best hop
that we have for organizations that "feel alive."

The bottom line is that if want to influence the direction of our
organizations, we must work at the deep level of organizational identity.
Wheatly states that to change what has come into form, we need to explore
what led to the organization we see before us. A self, whether an
individual organization or society, changes only by changing its
understanding of itself. AS the system awareness changes, new behavior
arises. By taking time to reflect together on who we are and choose to
be, we lead ourselves into territory where change has its origins. Thus,
we lead ourselves to explore our agreements of belonging, the principles
and values we display in our behaviors, and the common purposes that have
brought us together. Powerful reading material in this new book by Wheatly
and Kellner-Rogers.

Apologies for the long-winded reply.
Frank Voehl (


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