The previous two principles focused on what must die; on the other hand, there are also situations that are potentially life-giving, but where the life that wants to emerge risks being thwarted by various forms of attacks. These attacks can take the form of resistance to change, cynicism, power games, desires for control, turf wars, rigid mental models, etc.

How can we reduce these attacks on life, to protect it until it becomes strong enough to emerge? A first step is to be aware of and honest with ourselves, identifying when these attacks come (often unconsciously) from us, even when we ourselves are initiators and promoters of transformation.

Once we have developped this awareness, rather than blaming ourselves, we can choose to welcome these parts of us that are struggling with trusting the life that wants to emerge, and reassure them that other parts of us will be there to help the process.


Some examples of reduction of attacks on life:


  • Increasing listening to ourselves and others, to nip those attacks in the bud;
  • Sharpening your attention in order to spot attacks on life coming from others around you, including those who might be waving their power and authority in the process – and build and reinforce boundaries in those relationships in order to protect the life that is emerging
  • Keeping personal, team and organisational focus on purpose and intention and make sure actions are aligned with them;
  • Promoting (re)generative listening and (re)generative speaking as the default mode of interaction in your team;
  • Encouraging creative thinking and challenging prejudices, stereotypes, mental models at work in the team and organisation, often embedded in the culture
  • Rewarding collaboration and coopetition in the team, whilst discouraging or even sanctioning competition for its own sake and narcissistic competition;
  • Promoting collective and participatory decision-making processes;
  • Evolving towards delegation and subsidiarity as fundamental operating principles for your organisation, and replacing control with transparency and accountability.


These articles are a bit like our “Advent Calendar”. They will appear twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays on our blog, with the next one on 16 December.