Decision-making process : Nexus’ iterative model

Decision-making is not an instantaneous event, something that occurs only at the actual moment that the decision is being made. Rather, it sits within a process that includes the build-up to the decision, the decision itself, and then the impact of the decision itself. That process can be extremely quick (minutes, or even seconds), or take a few days, or weeks.

 

Time is not a central criteria for evaluating whether a decision is good or not. Or rather: the time it takes to decide is not a sign of whether one’s decision is good or not. What matters more is whether the decision is taken at the right time (i.e. neither too early nor too late), and whether the use of your time has been efficient. And, more importantly, what makes a good decision is the result, the impact it has on the reality that you’ve had to decide about.

 

At Nexus, we use an 8-step iterative model for excellence in decision-making, which proves particularly useful when helping groups reach complex decisions:

Step 0: Setting the field

Before even starting the decision-making process itself, it is important to take time setting the field for this decision: the scope and the purpose, the timeline, which role-holders need to be involved, and at what stage(s), etc. In our own approach, we like the use the 3T model: Time, Task, and Territory. In other words, when should a decision be taken; what is the purpose, the primary task of that decision; and through which governance body. These 3 boundaries become very useful later down the process, to monitor whether the decision process is on or off track.

 

Step 1: Access to relevant data

Any decision crucially relies on pertinent and relevant data. This requires an open-mind, to seek sources that may not be our usual ones, but which the situation may require you to access; it also requires inclusion, so that the people closest to the situation/challenge/opportunity can be brought on board and share their data. And inclusion requires trust: these people will not share data with you twice if you lose their trust after the first time

 

Step 2: Gathering and selecting the data

Cognitive neurosciences have highlighted the impact of unconscious biases on our cognition, and therefore on our decision-making process. Concretely, this means that the autonomous processes we use to gather and select our data tend to be biased by our own mental frameworks. Furthermore, through our own cultural and professional trajectory, we also develop blind-spots, which prevent us from selecting important data. Engaging in step 2 as a diverse group enables you to mitigate the risk of blind spots and unconscious biases

 

Step 3: Processing the data

Making sense of our selected data includes inferring meaning – the process of inference is another critical one, well exemplified in Peter Senge’s Ladder of inference (MIT, Boston). Suspending judgement rather than making assumptions, resisting the temptation to draw conclusions too soon, and checking our own belief-system will prove helpful at this stage.

Whilst decision-making needs to be based on data, intuition and gut-feeling can have a place here, as they can be thought of as a non-conscious way of processing data – providing that they are explored and worked with, sifting through what really comes from the situation from what we project into it.

Team culture will also play an important role: enabling curiosity, inquiry, and speaking out, rather than towing the line in the name of loyalty, will prevent you from falling into the trap of groupthink, and making potentially unsound decisions

 

Step 4: Making the decision

Complex decisions require an ability to think through that complexity; to access a complex picture of the reality, without leaving out important dimensions of the situation. It also requires a particular inner disposition: calm, clear-mindedness, commitment. Fear and anger are two dispositions worth moving away from when it comes to making the actual decision.

Some decisions can only be taken by one person; but quite frequently, they can be taken by a group. The advantage of a collective decision is that it binds those who have taken it, and enhances their sense of responsibility for implementing it – thus increasing chances of positive impacts.

One interesting area to explore when looking at decision-making is time: was the decision made when we said we would? Was it when the situation required us to make it? If we ended-up making sooner than planned, or later – why? And did it turn out to be best, or not?

Another interesting area to explore is around who ended up making the decision? And why that person or that group? And how does this relate to issues of role, responsibility, and accountability in the organisation?

 

Step 5: Impact: Outputs and outcomes

The primary purpose of making a decision is of course to generate an impact on the situation/problem/opportunity at the heart of the decision-making process. We decide to take actions (outputs), to generate a more positive situation (outcome).

There are, however, two other elements worth bearing in mind in terms of impact, which are not necessarily part of the initial purpose, but which are by-products of the decision-making. The first one is the impact on the team: it may be coming out stronger after steps 1-4, but it may have been impacted more negatively by the experience, and/or the outcome of the decision – it is worth avoiding taking anything for granted at this stage.

The second one is our stakeholders: any decision we take impact on them too.

 

Step 6: evaluating the impact of the decision

How much has the problem been solved, the opportunity seized?

How is the team feeling after the decision, and its impact? Is it coming out stronger, or has the process created resentment, divisions, lack of confidence? The same goes for our stakeholders in the situation: what’s been the impact on them, how are they coming out of all this?

 

Step 7: evaluating the process of making the decision

If we want to improve our performance, and strive for excellence, it is important to learn from our experience. Step 7 enables us to review how we went through each step, what worked well and what could be improved. Bringing in a multi-stakeholder perspective here, in a culture of openness, will ensure that you get the best out of step 7.

 

Step 8: Learning and improving

This is the time to harvest all the elements from steps 6&7, and to design actions aimed at improving the next iteration in your decision-making process. This means welcoming both successes and errors – the latter ones are often the best sources of learning and improvement!

The spirit here should be one of striving for excellence, rather than one of reward and punishment. And the more you involve people in the whole process, the more of a learning culture you will create, leading to better trust, and therefore better access to relevant data, better gathering and selection, and better processing: a real virtuous cycle.

It is worth noting that this learning cycle in step 8 will not only boost your organisational decision-making – it will also help you work on leadership, mindsets, values, conflict-resolution, diversity & inclusion. So that by entering through one prism (decision-making), you may, with this learning loop, develop your organisational capacities on a whole range of other issues crucial to organisational maturity.

 


Idealization, death of idols, and rebirth: accompanying the regeneration of leaders and their organisations

The years I have spent coaching business leaders have often led me to the terrain of the shadows: that of our inconsistencies, our contradictions, our shortcomings; those aspects of ourselves that we prefer not to talk about, even to ourselves...

 

Working with the shadows has allowed me to discover that there are generally 3 people inside the leader sitting in front of me:

 

  1. The idealised leader: i.e. the idealised image that the person has of what a leader should be, of the behaviours and style that a leader should demonstrate. This idealised image is generally the receptacle of personal and systemic projections that the person has introjected: parental injunctions, then those of teachers and other authority figures, cultural injunctions, both national and organisational, so-called definitions of leadership which emphasise qualities that are generally heroic, and often superhuman. While the coachee often begins coaching with the desire that it will enable him/her to become this 'idealised leader', one of the purposes of coaching is to allow this unattainable representation to die, for as long as it is active, it will only stifle the unique being, unlike any other being, who seeks to embody his/her own style.

 

  1. Coaching must therefore strive to start from the real me in a leadership role: as a human being, promoted into this role, what am I really experiencing? What are the strengths I bring to my role, the energies and talents that are unique to me? But what are also my internal tensions, my ambivalences, my paradoxes? What are, therefore, my shadowy areas, and what scenarios from the past still govern them, what wounds, what unfulfilled needs of the child I was continue to live in the adult I have become...?

 

  1. Once the idealised leader is dead, and once the terrain of the real self has been worked on, coaching can then accompany the birth of the self that wants to be born in this role of leader... or not! Who am I, what is my deepest intention, what talents do I bring to the world - and how can I free myself from the idealised leader in order to imagine a new way of being fully myself, in a leadership role that I would take on in this new way, and not according to the old personal and systemic mental patterns that I had introjected. How to remain free enough, too, to realise that maybe being a leader (at least in this organisation) is not for me, that maybe it was more someone else's desire that I was trying to fulfil, and that it is in fact another role that I am called to?

 

As I have worked with many different organisations, I have found that this three-dimensional pattern generally applies very well to their situation.

One type of organisation among others is religious congregations which - as I have learned from coaching them - are often faced with issues very similar to those of other organisations with which we are perhaps more familiar: multinationals, SMEs, NGOs, etc. Issues of leadership, innovation, change management, conflict management, resistance, etc. One of the things that sets them apart is the enormous projections they are subjected to, both by the outside world and by their own members. And this is perhaps why this model applies particularly well to them, even though I have also tested it successfully in large companies, which are seeking, for example, to reinvent themselves.

 

 

  1. Indeed, one of the main obstacles to overcome for these religious congregations is the idealised Congregation: the receptacle of external projections of their so-called wisdom conveyed by numerous books, or by a collective unconscious that has perhaps never really freed itself from the clergy as bearers of supra-human, almost divine qualities. But also internal projections coming from the members of the Congregation themselves on their Charism, their Mission, on all the good that their congregation has done, and continues to do, in the world. When I meet a congregation for the first time, it is often this idealised congregation that they present to me: the greatness of their founding history, the fervour of their members in spreading - and therefore living - the Gospel, the Word of God, etc. At that moment, I feel them trapped in this straitjacket of projections, in which none of the problems they experience, and for which they ask me for help, can exist, can be explained, or even thought about - and therefore be resolved. Paradoxically, this virtuous, all-powerful image of themselves renders them powerless to act to transform the problematic situation in which they find themselves.

 

  1. My job is therefore to enable them to connect to their real congregation, i.e. to the lived experience of all the members of this congregation today; and to name its strengths, its energies, its talents, its achievements, but also its dysfunctions, its paradoxes and its shadow areas, born or maintained by problems of structures, of processes, but also and often first of all by an inadequate grasp of the role of member, and of the role of leader. Today, I realise how essential this passage through the shadow zones is, because it is what allows us to reduce the gap between the espoused theory and the theory-in-use (as described so well by Professors Argyris and Schön of MIT). And it is this passage through the shadows that also allows the death of the Idealized Congregation, and opens the space for something new to emerge.

 

  1. And in this “Paschal mystery” that follows the death of the idealised Congregation, we can then facilitate the emergence of the Congregation that seeks to be (re)born ... or to become something else. For some, it will be by revisiting their Purpose, their fundamental Mission, and adapting it to the realities of the 21st century that they will find new ways of living and working together, and of impacting the world - ways that are much more congruent with the needs of the world, their Charism, and their real capacities (no longer fantasised through their glory years) to act in this world. For others, they will realise that they are living in the dusk of their congregation, the challenge being to pass on their charism to lay people and to focus their energies on the challenge of making ageing their new missionary territory.

 

 

In my experience, this model can be applied to all kinds of organisations, except for start-ups, which, as the name suggests, are just born. But for any mature company, for any NGO with some success behind it, for any public service that has been able to fulfil its mission in the past, the obstacle is the same, which this model can help to overcome: what idealisation has been built up around our organisation, and its past glories, which today stifles our ability to reinvent and regenerate ourselves? By putting words to it together, and letting these idols die, you will find the path to your regeneration.


Practical use of the model

The model, or Operating System is quite simple to use. In our experience we have found it is best implemented through a process modelled on the 3 phases of Otto Scharmer's U-theory:

 

 

  1. First phase - Sensing

This phase involves exploring past and present activities through the prism of this model, identifying

  1. what you already do that resonates with the dynamics of regeneration - and therefore needs to be continued or even amplified;
  2. what you do that goes against these principles of regeneration - and therefore needs to be transformed.

Concretely, in this first phase, you could for instance go on learning journeys to explore what others are doing that can be a source of inspiration for you (Principle 5 in action!).

 

  1. Phase two: Presencing

This phase is about collectively feeling the impact you want to make and starting to bring the future into the present.

  1. Step back and collectively agree on what can no longer continue into the future, what must be let go of (Principle 1 in action);
  2. create a secure container in which to start producing innovative solutions for the future, to address the problems identified in step 1, in a way that is aligned with all 6 principles.

 

  1. Third phase Realizing

Start implementing through several iterations, building learning loops at every step to help you monitor and adjust, and ensure that those regenerative principles are both being embodied, and producing their desired effects

 

Nature and open source: Learning together

 

The model is a work-in-progress, which we have tested and adapted through enough iterations to warrant sharing it as a beta model. We are sharing it publicly in the hope that it can be tested more widely and that together we can learn to regenerate organisations (and thus their ecosystems, and thus the planet). When using it, please give us feedback, or come back to us with your questions and comments, and, once you’ve tested it, let us know what impact it had on you, and what you’ve learnt!

 


Principle #6: Develop collaborations

Principle #6: Develop collaborations, partnerships and symbiotic relationships.

This principle, again, flows on from the previous principle, enabling you to scale up your regeneration by turning some of your life-giving encounters into more stable patterns of collaboration. In Nature, Life creates the conditions for more Life primarily through weaving complex patterns of symbiotic relationships, where interactions between two entities help both of them grow. Similarly, in the journey of growth as individuals, groups and organisations, it is through the creation of win-win relationships that it becomes possible to create a climate of trust that forms the basis for resilience. To achieve that, remember that intrinsic motivation is much more potent than extrinsic motivation, so move away from thinking primarily in terms of What each of you could gain, so that you can explore together Why it might make sense for you both to collaborate. To paraphrase Simon Sinek, this means exploring what will want to make you both work in this collaboration with blood, sweat and tears, rather than just for the money.

 

In practice, how can you do that?

 

  • Challenging one's own and one's partners' mindsets about the possible form that collaboration might take by allowing oneself to think "outside the box" with respect to classical business models;
  • Giving equal (if not more) importance to agreeing on the underlying principles and exploring the deep intentions of the partners, rather than agreeing on figures;
  • Make sure you regularly take time to review how things are going. For conversations on this topic to be truly life-giving, you can, for example, use such tools as Generative Dialogue to make explicit obstacles to the relationship.
  • Over time, ensure that relationships with the stakeholder ecosystem are built on mutualistic principles - this will help strengthen the regeneration and resilience of your organisation.

 


Principle #5: Increase your interactions with people

Principle #5: Increase your interactions with people, organisations, experiences that are life-giving in your environment.

Life, following principle #4, has begun to blossom, and from an individual and/or collective point of view you have moved from the prevalence of control, to trust in the process. Now is the time to connect with those people, organisations, or more generally experiences around you that can boost and nurture vitality.

It is the beginning of a virtuous cycle, energy attracts more energy, creativity attracts more creativity, motivation attracts more motivation. Interaction with vital people and organisations leads to accepting and welcoming more life, generating a sense of trust that pushes you out of your individual and organisational comfort zone.

 

Concrete examples of the application of this principle can be:

 

  • Be particularly careful to encourage breaks from routine and habits built up over time by seeking out and meeting new people, whether in similar businesses/roles or completely different ones.
  • Having divergent learning experiences in teams (e.g. visiting exhibitions, visiting unusual places, setting up a reading circle...).
  • Spend time in Nature, for example in a forest, with a guide, to get examples of how life blossoms there without a ‘gardener’;
  • Open your offices (not just the reception) to artists, becoming a temporary art gallery for them;
  • Collaborate with and sponsor start-ups;
  • Revisiting the whole supply chain to bring in diverse and life-giving suppliers - indeed, involving them in the creation of a ‘life-giving supply chain' capable of building symbiotic relationships between its members and with surrounding ecosystems.

 


Cycle 2 Structuring the emerging-life process

Principle #4: Encourage life where it is pushing to emerge. If the previous principles were organised around the dying process, the following set of principles is instead organised around the idea of vitality, fertility and blossoming.

After the first cycle, in which one has freed oneself from mental models, prejudices, stereotypes, cynicism and resistance to change, a phase of openness and readiness to see where life is trying to emerge opens up, where our role is to encourage it to flourish.

 

Here are some concrete examples of such actions:

 

  • Organise your workload so that you engage with where you feel the energy is for you at the moment, in alignment with both personal and organisational purpose
  • Develop ideas/projects that you feel passionate about, for which you feel energy flowing, towards which you feel a strong call and a clear alignment between what makes you feel alive and what makes life flow in the collective (groups, organisations, societies);
  • Facilitating/enabling collaboration and risk-taking within teams;
  • In groupwork, whether you are a team leader or team member, concentrate on clarifying meaning and intention (the Purpose, why these objectives, these impacts, why this project, what contribution to the corporate Purpose...) while letting the What/How evolve according to changing circumstances. In particular this means not getting stuck on procedures, rules, regulations, but rather clarifying the basic principles, and then letting people move with their own energy and creativity in order to embody that Purpose;
  • Prioritise, in your team or as an organisation, those products, services or actions that positively impact the company's bottom line and are also life-giving for the ecosystems and social systems around it - evolving the organisational strategy so that, within X number of years, the products and services created are life-giving for the ecosystems and social systems. The organisational transition to a regenerative economy is in fact not only regenerative for external ecosystems but can also bring enormous benefits in terms of employee satisfaction, well-being and happiness, staff retention, and other climate variables.

 

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 21 December.


Principle #3: Reduce attacks on life

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.


The 6 principles of regeneration: Principle #2

Principle #2: Help what needs to die... to die and to "compost", with the aim of fertilising and nourishing the Life that is to emerge. What kind of material are we talking about? For example, it could be past successes or failures, hopes or fears, a project you helped to realise and lead, a role in your organisation, a client, the city you live in... It is about letting die all that comes from the past, but that no longer serves to nourish the new that needs to be born. The process of composting is a good metaphor here: it reminds us that it's not just about saying "it's over" (principle 1), or cutting ourselves off from the past and letting it go rationally - it's about engaging in a process of mourning that will eventually transform what is now dead, into resources for future life.

 

Examples for this second principle:

 

  • As a team, have debriefing sessions about the mistakes you have made - not to judge each other, but to learn collectively from them and not to let grudges or unspoken facts pollute team life;
  • Celebrating and honouring those products and services that brought great joy, pride and revenue in the past, but can no longer be part of the future;
  • If you have decided to go down a path of strong strategic reorientation, think of moments, rituals, symbols that honour and celebrate the past but also allow it to be left behind, rather than expecting people to understand and follow new ideas just because they make obvious business sense;
  • As a leader in your organisation, connect and share your emotions, (especially sadness and fear) about letting go of what you hold dear from this shared and collective past, even if you find the proposed future very attractive.

 

Principle #2 is at the service of Principle #1: it helps to process the letting go, the endings, that the latter will inevitably suggest.

 

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 14 December.


The model of the 6 principles of regeneration: Principle #1

The model we present to you should be understood as a kind of "Operating System": it consists of a set of principles that should guide every action, every initiative you want to undertake to bring regeneration into your organisation and your life; it provides a coherent framework, a map, that can help you navigate the road ahead and make choices that will boost your organisational vitality.

 

This model replicates the fundamental truth in all living system: life flows through inseparable cycles of death and birth, one feeding the other. Regenerating oneself, one's team, one's organisation and moving towards a regenerative economy is not only about birthing innovations and generating life, but also about letting go of what can no longer continue, what must die, in the world we have regenerated.

 

Thus, it is built around two different cycles. Both feed and regulate the flow of life: one works on structuring the 'dying' process of letting go; the other works on structuring the process of the new life asking to emerge.

 

So below are those 6 principles, the first three relating to the process of "letting go", or death, and the other three to the structuring of the emerging life.

 

Cycle 1

Structuring the dying process: naming and letting go of what must end

 

Principle #1: Divest from life-draining processes. What is really life-draining is not so much death itself, rather it is investing energy in keeping alive something that needs to die, to end, to be abandoned.

Here are some examples of processes that suck life and energy out of individual, group and organisations, and some ideas on what to do differently.

 

At individual level

  • Feeding one's "false self" instead of the authentic self: divesting from this type of process means letting go of dysfunctional relationships, unattainable and ungrounded goals that we chase, responding to expectations that have been instilled in us from outside but which do not (or no longer) correspond to what we really want and which do not help the construction of meaning for the organisation to which we belong;
  • A stereotyped management style, e.g. inspired by the "carrot and stick", through which we delude ourselves that we are "motivating" our employees, in a world where it is now known that motivation in the medium and long term is found in what people do, in the alignment between external and internal, and that it is not the manager who can inculcate it in any way, but at most can help people to find it;
  • Continuing to invest in projects and attend meetings that we know are life-draining (without making an effort to revive them); instead, try to look at reality and identify projects or activities that continue only because no one has the courage to say they should end, and be the one audacious enough to suggest they end

 

At team and organisational level

 

  • Within your own team and organisation, instead of living in opacity and role ambiguity, bring a culture of transparency, accountability and learning, so that you can spend your energy on tackling real problems, rather than covering up shortcomings;
  • Freeing oneself from the dynamics of compensation that lead one to take on someone else's role in order to compensate for their inability to take on that role; instead, learn to give open and respectful feedback, to help colleagues, co-workers and managers to take responsibility, to courageously explore the perimeter of one's own role, and to assume the consequences of one's own actions;
  • Stop supporting projects/products/services beyond the initial launch phase, despite evidence that they are not able to sustain themselves and despite clear signals from the target market that they are not aligned with needs;
  • In the transition to a regenerative economy, it is important to assess the impact of the various value chains at the heart of your business and to commit to a planned divestment from all activities that degrade ecosystems rather than regenerate them.

 

In our model, divestment from all those life-draining processes is the first principle: stopping, realising what no longer needs to continue, is the first step towards true transformation. Letting go allows you to free up time and energy that suddenly becomes available and can then be reinvested in life-enhancing processes. Divesting from degrading activities opens up possible spaces for creativity that can lead to inventing new components in your value chain, or even whole new value chains.

 

WARNING! If you turn up to work one morning and tell your boss, colleagues, suppliers, or clients: “Sorry guys, this is life-draining, I’m going to stop doing it”, chances are that your input will bring much toxicity to the system! So whilst it is important to be clear on the intention, on the direction, you need to adjust your approach so that it becomes, in itself, life-giving. Refrain at all cost from attributing faults to others for the situation you’re in – you will only irritate them and activate their resisting selves. Instead, acknowledge your part in the shared reality, your insights about what feels, to you, life-giving and life-draining, and invite them to share their own perspective in a non-judgemental atmosphere. Using Generative Listening, Generative Speaking, and other Non-Violent Communication tools will be key for the success of your endeavour.

 

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 9 December.


The Six Principles of Regeneration

"If we keep doing what we've always done, we'll keep getting what we've always got".

 

This phrase has never been truer than at this moment, when most of us, in Europe and worldwide, are trying to get out of isolation and face the challenge of restarting our economies post-COVID. Restarting the old industrial machine at full speed in an attempt to recover all the business that has disappeared in recent months is a tempting idea, but one that risks giving us a (false) sense of security, deluding us into thinking that we will soon recover and that everything will be as it was before.

The opening sentence contains a wise warning: continuing to do what we were doing will only produce more of what was already there, setting the stage for an even bigger crisis: environmental, social and economic.

 

From recovery to regeneration

 

Indeed, 'recovery' may not be the most useful term to help us think our way forward. 'Recovery' implies a return to a previous state, which was, in many ways, unhealthy and unsustainable. 'Recovery', again, creates the illusion that this last year and a half have been a parenthesis, and that the world may return, when we finally emerge from it, exactly where we left off.

The times call for us to make a bolder choice: a choice that will mobilise us to act with meaning, to regain confidence in ourselves and others, to harness our energy and creativity to build thriving economies that not only protect ecosystems but also help them to flourish. A choice that stimulates our imagination to reinvent the way we do business, a choice that can contemplate the fact that human beings are a part of Nature and not apart from Nature: a choice, therefore, that allows our thriving economies to enrich the ecosystems around us, rather than impoverish them.

This bold choice has a name: it is called Regeneration: of ourselves, our teams and organisations; it means being able to build a new world taking into account Nature, to bring about the regeneration of the ecosystems in which we live.

 

Nature is the most complex system; Nature is the most thriving system.

 

Regeneration is the fundamental thrust that drives life processes on Earth. For billions of years now, it has helped life create the conditions for more life, enabling the richness and diversification of the ecosystems that we inhabit. When embracing this historic opportunity of reinventing the way we work together to create and share value, the way we trade, the way we collaborate and compete, in a way that enriches everyone and our ecosystems rather than degrade them, we need to turn to Nature for inspiration, learn from observing Her what systemic patterns enable ecosystems to behave, spontaneously, in such a life-conducive way – and transfer those insights to the organisations we inhabit.

 

A couple of years ago, in another article, we described the 5 principles that we identified as being at the heart of life processes on Earth and some ideas on how, concretely, to apply them for the regeneration of our personal and organisational ecosystems, thus contributing to the transition to a regenerative economy.

 

Since then, we have tested these five principles with the organisations we work for. Our work as consultants and facilitators, accompanying numerous organisations, has helped us to discover a sixth principle and enabled us to complete the model for individual, group and organisational regeneration.

 

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 7 December.