What is Regeneration? Part 2 — Living Structured Wholes

Discerning a Living Structured Whole

What Is a Living Structured Whole?

  • It includes structures of support and containment — e.g. skin and skeleton.
  • It contains organs, which are the basis of working systems, ordering and organizing the activities inside the whole — e.g. digestion, elimination, respiration, circulation.
  • It engages in processes that make use of self-managing, open exchanges, rather than closed ones — e.g. eating, which is an exchange with many other systems, constantly repeating, always with fresh material.

Regenerative Work Starts with a Living Structured Whole

Some Ways to Practice

  • What living structures does it contain? (Not all structures are living, but all living structures contain both living and nonliving structures.)
  • What are the systemic systems that keep its life in order?
  • What does it exchange with other systems? Are its processes only internal ones or do they include exchanges with other wholes? Living processes promote exchange.

3. Avoid thinking in static terms.

  • Don’t make lists! A list is a quick clue that you do not yet perceive a whole.
  • Don’t identify functions! Thinking at the function level is a way of fragmenting the whole. For example, if you’re attempting to know a business as a living structured whole, don’t think in terms of departments, such as marketing or manufacturing. Work with the analogy of the human body to see the business as interknit living systems contributing beneficially to a larger whole.

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Sr Fellow Social Innovation, Babson |# 1 AmazonBest Selling/Multi-Award Winning Author | Regenerative Paradigm Educator

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Carol Sanford

Carol Sanford

Sr Fellow Social Innovation, Babson |# 1 AmazonBest Selling/Multi-Award Winning Author | Regenerative Paradigm Educator