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By design or emergence?









In every human organization there is a tension between its designed structures, which embody relationships of power, and its emergent structures, which represent the organization’s aliveness and creativity.

Fritjof  Capra The Hidden Connections


Having worked with a multitude of different organizational systems and leadership styles the designed/emergent tension resonates with me.

Another way I have described it is  "linear vs. organic" or "Mind Map vs. Ganntt Chart" styles. Capra states we need both.  

Iain McGilchrist in The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World poses that over time the linear brain function has become the master over the holistic function, the natural master.

Our systems and organizations, in turn, reflect a shift away from the wisdom and balance the holistic function provides to a system, whether small business or nation state. 

Oh, I know this may sound a bit esoteric and impractical. But in light of all the shifts and changes in today's world is it?

Over the years I have often asked CEOs and entrepreneurs: "do you make your decisions intuitively or analytically"?  

The answer almost always has been intuitively, followed by an explanation of how they need to justify their intuition through analysis to investors, boards and finance committees.

Whole leaders and organizations integrate designed and emergent structures, intuition and analysis.

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