The Living Organisation :

Theory Base


The confidence to move into an unpredictable future together. In my experience, teams that invest in examining their own functioning are better able to respond effectively to changes in their environment and thus deliver for the business.

Strengths as well as Challenges

It is important to focus on noticing and acknowledging what the team does well as well as looking at the challenging stuff. Awareness of current strengths supports and enables team members to approach current difficulties (often the flip-side of stengths) from a place of curiosity and optimism.

Start from Where You Are

The design structure for the work is important as it is based upon the data collected with the team members. It’s equally important to pay good attention to themes and patterns that emerge during the work. These will inevitably have relevence for the team’s work and delivery in the wider system.


Resistance is seen as “the energy not the enemy.” If we bulldoze through, around or over people’s resistance, change is unlikely to stick. If people feel acknowledged for their different perspective they are more able in turn to acknowledge the different perspective of others. A creative solution that sticks can then emerge.

Lasting Change

Lasting change involves awareness, acknowledgement and integration of current patterns of functioning. This focus is enough for change to inevitably happen.

I don’t come with an answer for you. Rather, I  trust and know from experience that a good way forward can emerge if we focus on raising awareness of the team’s current functioning.

Sufficient Support in the System to Balance Challenge

Deisn of intervention needs to include consideration of how much support there is in the system. For example, if team members just absolutely cannot currently address a particularly thorny issue together, there may not be sufficient support in the system to open this material up in a useful way,  in a group setting. Another approach may yield better results.

Team members need to feel able to engage with each other from a place of curiosity.

Blending Thinking and Dialogue with Experiment and Action

Activity can be a way of avoiding talking about what really needs to be talked about. At other times, continuing dialogue can be a stuck pattern that equally serves as a defence against exploring what lies at the heart of the matter.

Blending the two appropriately, enables new experience to be combined with sufficient “processing” of new experience such that new thinking and action can emerge.