Key Elements of Living Systems

I believe there are four key elements based on living systems that can be used to address team and organisational work. They are:

  • Reference Points – these provide the “north star”. Things like the purpose (what are you serving), mission and values. They are driven by beliefs, expectations, language, narratives and so on.
  • Relationships – with and within the team or organisation. This also includes structure, roles (such as leadership and those at “the coalface” for example). This assumes that people and their relationships are fundamental.
  • Resilience – this includes processes, resources, capacity, etc. It means that the team or organisation is materially and energetically open and there are areas such as redundancy, sustainable flows, effectiveness that play a role.
  • Renewal – is about learning and responding appropriately. This involves the need for accurate and timely feedback, the need to be agile and adaptive, and the need to maintain/utilise information, knowledge and know-how.