Perspectives from Complexity Science

Leadership, Emergent Culture, & Collective Intelligence
October 21 – 22, 2017
A 2-day workshop on how the new science of complexity is transforming organizational life – with Bonnitta Roy from APP Associates, CT, USA

“Complexity science challenges the way we think about change.”

This second course in the certification track takes a retrospective look at the origins of the modern organization and the core assumptions around the dominant discourse in management theory. We learn how to adopt a critical reflexive attitude around the dominant discourse, and techniques to break out of old ways of thinking and breakthrough into new perspectives. Key topics include:

  • what complexity science is not
  • the promise and perils of complexity thinking
  • creating conditions for distributed decision making
  • how to design for emergent cultures
  • teaming up to collaborative leadership
  • how to close the knowledge-power gap
  • why individual leadership is unsustainable in complex environments
  • how to build strategic performance inside network teams
  • a sneak preview of sense-making technologies
  • resilience thinking and anti-fragile ecosystems
  • cultivating reflexive thinking

In more detail, we will look at the following domains:

Strategic Management in Perspective
We take a look at the origins of the modern organization and the effect it has had on our ways of thinking. We excavate unexamined assumptions in the dominant discourse on organizational development and management. We look at 

  • systemic ways of thinking about strategy and organizational dynamics
  • the challenge of complexity to systemic thinking
  • the shift from adaptive to responsive landscapes

Next Generation Leadership
The key challenge for leadership is to seed change by cultivating conditions, not to steer change by plotting out a course:

  • Designing for emergence
  • From critical path to collective intelligence
  • Coming to our senses

We will be working with some of the key structures leaders need to focus on to seed change in their organizations.

The Challenge of Uncertainty

Our ways of thinking must change from inquiring about what we can know to what we can sense. 

Uncertainty is a basic feature of complex environments. Here the possibility of control is seriously compromised. Small changes can amplify fluctuations and push the operational landscape from a relatively stable to a highly volatile transitional state. Leaders need to be able to shift orientations from adaptive strategies to reflexive inquiry around complex processes of human relating.

Resilience Thinking

We must be able to move from navigating adaptive pressures to designing affordances for multiple futures

In a complex world how we move toward a future landscape is more important than how we move in an existing adaptive landscape. We cannot adapt to processes that are unknown, or to emerging fields of possibility. In this session we look at different types of exploratory “movements” used by nature to optimize search in possibility space and to continuously revise and renew a starting position.


Leaders, managers, consultants, agile team members, executive coaches, and students of organizational theory; early adopters of agile operations and responsive organizations; change- makers focusing on next generation workforce; facilitators interested in cutting edge group practice; business owners and corporate executives responsible for organizational learning; business, organizational, and management scholars researching emergent themes in organizational life. Download the flyer.

This workshop is also the second in a 4-Part Series Certification Workshop. Learn about the first course here.

Course Details


Dates: October 21 – 22, 2017 

Please arrive on Friday, October 20 and count for a full workshop day on Sunday. Either leave Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Costs: 995, – Euro plus VAT (19%) all inclusive:  2 days workshop, accomodation and full board. Ask for group discounts. Write to for more details and for registration.

Place: House Schmagerow, Ramin, Germany. Nearest airport Berlin (D) or Szczecin (PL). Transport from airports with airport busses from Berlin to Szczecin, or with the train to Paswalk. We pick you up at the train station. Taxi transport or pooling can be arranged.