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2018-02-13 - #068

Designing for Thriving:  Bringing Living Systems Thinking into Organizational Design 

This month our speaker is our long-time member Michelle Holliday from Cambium ConsultingHer work centres around “thrivability” — a set of perspectives, intentions and practices based on a view of organizations as living systems - which is entirely aligned with other terms used in this group - strongly sustainable, thriving, resilient, regenerative, future-fit, flourishing etc!  Her work could be described as "thriving organizational development" - focusing on developing thriving connections between people to enable their organizations to discover ways they can feel more alive and serve life more powerfully through their work.  Michelle's work brings into practice ideas from our member David Cooperider's recent article on Flourishing Organizational Development.

Michelle writes regularly, including a recently published book, The Age of Thrivability: Perspectives and Practices for a Thriving World.  This book is a wonderfully warm, inviting and broad introduction to these ideas, compared to other our members have "gone deep" - for example, Daniel Christian WahlSimon Robinson and Giles Hutchins.   Michelle's research is summarized in a slideshow called Humanity 4.0, as well as in a TEDx presentation

This month, Michelle will inspire us: how these ideas can be applied in practice by you in your projects and organizations - how can you design and lead your endeavours with the principles of thrivability or flourishing in mind.

As usual, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Date: Tues Feb 13 
  • Time: 90 minutes starting  13h30 PST / 16h30 EST / 21h30 GMT / 22h30 CET / 06h30 JST (+1 day)

To join the meeting please see the F2F co-ordinates or virtual logistics posted to our LinkedIn Group in this post.

Anyone who joins the LinkedIn forum is considered a member of this group and is welcome to join at the meeting

Michelle Holliday, Thrivability, Cambium Consulting

To introduce herself and her talk, Michelle wrote:

About Michelle Holliday

Michelle is a facilitator, organizational consultant, researcher and writer. Her work centers around “thrivability” — a set of perspectives, intentions and practices based on a view of organizations as living systems. To this end, she brings people together and helps them discover ways they can feel more alive, connect more meaningfully with each other, and serve life more powerfully through their work. This generally takes the form of accompanying organizations through change, designing and hosting transformative events, as well as delivering talks and workshops. Michelle also writes regularly, including a recently published book, The Age of ThrivabilityPerspectives and Practices for a Thriving World.  Her research is summarized in a slideshow called Humanity 4.0, as well as in a TEDx presentation. 

Introduction to the Designing for Thriving: 
Bringing Living Systems Thinking into Organizational and Project Design 

More and more people are embracing the need for concepts like resilience, emergence, collective intelligence and self-organization – living systems concepts, all of them. Indeed, there is increasing recognition that only with living systems approaches - with their holistic lens and the sense of stewardship they invite - can we meet society’s most urgent challenges. And only with ecological thinking - with its inherent inclusivity and its focus on learning and feedback - can we cultivate a healthy society in harmony with nature. 

But what does all that mean for YOU? What are the implications for your project or organization? What changes when you see your organization as a living system? How does your role shift? Does this perspective influence the very purpose of your project?  
In this session, we’ll touch on the core characteristics common to all living systems, including organizations. Then we’ll dig a little deeper to see how they show up specifically in an organizational context – and to see what it means for you as you design and lead your organization or project. To get there, Michelle Holliday will describe the framework she uses to accompany clients, sharing stories of how it has guided their actions and what outcomes resulted.  
You will leave with:  
  • A clearer understanding of the living nature of your project or organization; 
  • Examples of organizational design that is explicitly aligned with life; 
  • A straightforward guiding framework that you can use to shape your project or organization, now and into the future; 
  • A heavy dose of inspiration! 
The slides presented plus a link to the unedited recording of this meeting will be available via our DropBox and GoogleDrive in the folder for this months meeting.  Please contact Prof. Nabil Harfoush for access to the dropbox via the Linkedin Group.

The link to the recording will be posted as a comment to this Linkedin Post about this meeting, along with on-going discussion about the meeting by our members.  A copy of the recording is also stored in the DropBox and GoogleDrive folder for this months meeting.

Attendance list will be updated at the event (if a location is not provided participant was F2F in Toronto)
  • Michelle Holliday Cambium Consulting, Montréal
  • Antony Upward, SSBMG Co-founder, Convener Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit ProjectAdjunct Prof. OCAD University Faculty of Design
  • Syeh Desteheib-Beheshti, OCAD University, MDES Strategic Foresight & Innovation Student
  • Katie Elder, Amedgo EU/CISL Alumni
  • Bob Willard, Sustainability Advantage
  • Andrew Simpson, Ecotone
  • Lindsay McDonald, Roots Collaborative
  • Nicole Norris, Georgian College,  Barrie Ontario
  • Cathy Clarke, OCAD University, MDES Strategic Foresight & Innovation Student, Toronto (Remote)
  • Peter Jones, SSBMG Co-founder, Professor OCADU MDES Strategic Foresight and Innovation and MDES Design for Health, Toronto (Remote)
  • Fyodor Ovchinnikov, Institute for Evolutionary Leadership, Oakland, California
  • Kerri Brock, Splash Concepts, Toronto (Remote)
  • Stephen Davies, SSBMGroup contributing volunteer, Member Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit project,
    Assistant Professor, Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program, OCAD University
  • Ben Clayton, Plus Four, Montréal
  • Vinciane Servantie, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia