When we work with organising-as-process rather than organisation-as-object, it changes what we do. Processes do their own work.
Margaret Wheatley

Our current forms of organisation are almost universally based on compelled behaviour... The organisation of the future will be the embodiment of community, based on shared purpose calling to the higher aspirations of people.
Dee Hock

It is the very essence of our being as living creatures to be self-organising, and this in turn implies a reasonable degree of personal freedom and control over our lives.
Dr Ivor Browne

Natural systems are living laboratories of more intelligent ways of organising and working together, because the principles of service, reciprocity and responsibility are ‘designed-in’ at every level.
dya | the culture challenge

The things people say!

"At last we have a structure that we agree upon. We can now form and un-form groups at will, that can serve our needs and keep the participative and egalitarian ethos intact. This will ensure continuity and change at the same time."


a life-centred values-
based approach to
work and workplace

Changing the
social architecture


Social systems are conversations in motion. We co-create our world and our organisations through our constant interaction. In every way, we make each other. None of us is as clever as all of us - whatever the organisational chart might suggest!

With processes inspired by the principles of self-organising living systems, we can help you to design and host different kinds of meetings to access intelligence and experience, and maximise the participation and contribution of those who matter. read more


As a living system, an organisation is healthiest and most resilient when its internal and external relationships are strong and generative. Communication is the currency of those relationships so it is literally the lifeblood of organisation and community.

We’ll help you to frame a communication agenda that will cultivate a coherent and resilient culture with appropriate ways of planning, practising and evaluating communication so that it continually supports your key objectives, and strengthens the internal and external relationships that make work work. read more


Imagine what would happen to the human body if the blood was unable to circulate freely? What if the body ignored its nervous system, or failed to read warning signals from its limbs and organs? Could it function if the liver, heart and kidneys didn’t interact reflexively? Could it survive without a way of responding quickly to changes in its environment?

Our bodies wouldn’t be viable in such conditions but every day people go to work in organisations that operate just like this - top-down, command-and-control, mechanistic bureaucracies displaying symptoms of stuckness that are all too familiar.

The hierarchical model of organising may have been fit-for-purpose in an orderly world that changed slowly but now it’s standing in the way, making things unnecessarily complicated and unworkable in so many aspects of life. Hierarchy limits participation and distorts perceptions of responsibility and accountability. It stifles communication and weakens the web of relationship. It obstructs the creativity that flows from connecting up experiences and ideas.

Most importantly, the hierarchical structure warps the relationship between those on top of the pyramid, those on the frontline who deliver the product or service, and those on the receiving end, because the vital corrective feedback every living thing needs to stay healthy and resilient is diluted or blocked making the organisation sluggish and slow to respond to warning signals both internal and external.

Natural systems are living laboratories of more intelligent ways of organising and working together, because the principles of service, reciprocity and responsibility are ‘designed-in’ at every level.

What a living system becomes and creates depends on a combination of its purpose, and principles of design that are elegantly simple. Nature’s lens can trigger important insights about the value and consequences of the way work currently works, and identify what’s superfluous and what new processes or components would improve things. If you’d like to work better together, let Nature be your guide.

Want to talk?

Bringing the principles of living systems into the workplace can really improve participation and bring about an organisation that is more responsive and resilient. If you would like to talk with us about how your particular workplace could benefit from these ideas click here

back to top