Thoughts On Thrivability

Signs of (Organizational) Life

I talk a lot about organizations as living systems and about aiming for thrivability.  But what exactly does this mean?  How does it work?  And how do you know when your organization is “thrivable"? To explain what I’m talking about, let me share a beautiful story of...

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Finding Home

When you've lived in in nineteen cities (in seven countries), you don't really get the concept of “home.” People ask me where I'm from, and I don't know how to answer. “But where do you think of as home?” they ask. And I choose whichever city pops into my head first....

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The patterns of living systems: a lens into the middle east?

For the past ten years, my research and consulting work has focused on the basic pattern of all living systems.  I see that same pattern at play in the Middle East now, and I think it offers an interesting lens for understanding what's going on there. The pattern is...

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Living Systems: Self-organizing or Self-integrating?

This discussion originated in a conference call around the Humanity 4.0 slideshow. The call was hosted by FourYears.Go.  It continued in a series of incredibly rich emails among participants, and I thought I'd move it here in the hope of sharing what we're learning...

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So your organization is a living system…now what?

Earlier this week, a new collaborator asked me for a few guiding principles that go along with thinking of an organization as a living system.  "Just give me a few sentences that I can share with my colleagues,"  he said.  As I anticipated, it was a valuable exercise....

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What if Good Business Sense Doesn’t Make Sense?

I was the last of five speakers at a local business school's Sustainable Business conference a few days ago.  The experience should have left me feeling encouraged at all the good things happening across industries.  But instead, it left me heartbroken.  Soon, I...

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Blue-Green: The True Color of Money?

Here in Quebec, we are fortunate to have thousands of lakes, and the tradition is to spend summer vacation splashing in the water at a lakeside cottage. Tragically, this tradition has been threatened in the past several years. Household use of phosphate-based lawn...

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Is Sustainability Serving the Wrong Master?

I just finished reading an article about sustainable communities, in which the priorities were equity, the environment and economics. This seemed to be a rephrasing of the triple-bottom line factors of people, planet and profits. Seeing it this time raised a question:...

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Do you believe in life before death?

Forget life after death – the bigger question is: do you believe in life before death?  As absurd as the question seems, the evidence would suggest that most of us don't, at least not fully.  And that may be the root cause of the most pressing challenges humanity...

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