Self-organizing systems

Michelle Cooper coopgrp at
Fri Aug 20 08:10:09 PDT 1999

I noticed that my previous message got cut off.  Spirit at work maybe?  Anyway I have attached the rest of the message.

>>I need to think more on the notion of self-organizing systems and how I would define them before I can contribute significantly.  What my experience tells me is that people at this point in evolution do need a framework around which to organize.  It starts with purpose, leadership and vision and is bounded by the  givens or rules within which people organize.  Open space gives people the appropriate structure and minimal rules that enable them to achieve amazing things with minimal intervention by others.  Leadership is present in everyone in the meeting, but leadership gets the ball rolling too.  Is this a self-organizing system?  Would people self-organize without the givens, purpose etc. I have seen miserable failures where people have been expected to "self-organize"  but have either not enough information to move ahead or there is too much control exerted.  Are there degrees of self-organizing systems? How is this different from self-directed?  The synonyms for self as a modifier are: of one's self, by one's self, by one's own effort, alone or individual.  Perhaps self is not the right word, because it is inherently the whole that works together. Is the self the system? I will read other responses with interest.

Kind regards;

Michelle Cooper, RN, MScN
The Cooper Group Consultants
200 Crestview  Avenue
Ancaster, Ontario
Canada L9G1E2  
Telephone -     (905) 648- 4633
Fax -           (905) 648-1763
E-mail          coopgrp at

More information about the OSList mailing list