Leading a living organization
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Leading a Living Organization. All living systems share three common properties (Capra) Interdependence with other networked systems Self-organizing capacity Co-evolution with their environments. Organize (Dictionary Definition).

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Leading a living organization
Leading a Living Organization

  • All living systems share three common properties (Capra)

    • Interdependence with other networked systems

    • Self-organizing capacity

    • Co-evolution with their environments

Organize dictionary definition
Organize (Dictionary Definition)

  • Give organic structure to: provide with the structure and interdependence of parts which subserves vital processes; form into a living being (italics added)

  • Become a systemic whole; become coordinated

Four trends in the evolution of organizations
Four Trends in the Evolution of Organizations

  • Strong culture organizations: collective beliefs, spirit

  • High-involvement organizations: participation, decentralization

  • Team-based organizations: groups, networks

  • Learning organizations: continuous improvement, transformation

Key features of new ideal type organizational form
Key Features of New “Ideal Type” Organizational Form

  • Purpose

  • Design

  • Governance

  • Membership

  • Leadership

  • Rewards

  • Learning

    Harder, Robertson, and Woodward


  • Contribute to individual and collective well-being

  • Principle of harm minimization

  • Responsible for negative externalities

  • Responsive to interests of all stakeholders


  • Social network, “cellular” form of organization

  • Minimize hierarchy with primary focus on horizontal relationships

  • Self-organizing cells that are autonomous yet interdependent

  • Normative control through strong culture based on shared mission and values


  • “Inside-out” model of governance

  • Self-managing system reflecting principles of democracy and subsidiarity

  • Full inclusion and open participation in relevant decisions

  • Integrative, consensus-based decision processes


  • Citizenship based on covenantal relationships

  • Egalitarian with context-specific authority

  • Individuality and creativity grounded in respect for diversity

  • Continuance dependent on mutual agreement


  • Distributed throughout the organization

  • Stewardship and servant leadership

  • Facilitative rather than controlling

  • Productive power and reciprocal influence


  • Explicit contracts regarding terms of exchange

  • Based on 360-degree performance evaluations

  • Collective determination of equitable distribution

  • Considerable use of intrinsic rewards


  • Adaptability through continuous improvement and innovation

  • Critical role of individual and organizational feedback

  • Importance of regular reflection on “process”

  • Information systems that enable open access to relevant information