Organisations are living systems

Why We Do It

For the last hundred years, we have designed organisations as machines. We have designed for predictability and engineered for control — creating formal hierarchies, standardising activities and leading top-down change. During the Industrial Age, an approach rooted solely in prediction and control worked well enough. We have entered an age of disruption, however, and the rules have changed for business success.

To continue to thrive in an environment of increasing volatility, complexity and uncertainty, we need to embrace a paradox. Organisations are not just mechanistic structures, they are also complex, living systems of people and relationships — with the potential, when properly connected, for self-organisation, creativity and resilience.

Our Purpose

At Living Systems, we exist to help our clients adapt and thrive in an age of disruption.

We do this by developing the capacity for Connected Intelligence in organisations, groups and individuals.


Living systems maintain open connections across boundaries.  We develop connected organisations, connected groups and connected leaders.


Living systems are interconnected and whole.  Whether we’re working with an organisation, a group or an individual, we take a whole system approach to transformation.


Living systems enable self-organisation.  We develop organisational, group and leadership agility by leveraging the potential of self-organisation.


Living systems are adaptive and continuously evolving.  We establish social systems, processes and practices that enable whole system experimentation, learning and adaptation, over time.


Living systems foster emergence.  By developing the capacity for Connected Intelligence in organisations, groups & individuals, we create the conditions for breakthroughs to emerge.

To continue to thrive in the 21st century, organisations and leaders need to adapt to an environment where disruption is the new norm.