Our most-read blogs of the past year have centered around five main themes: Purpose, Hope, Energy, Connection, and of course, Change. This is not surprising, as these elements of living systems are vital to designing strategies that will accelerate the changes we need to see in the world.

In case you missed any of these posts, here is a roll-up of the top blogs of 2021, with links to the original content:

  • One of our most popular pieces examined how both unplugging and networking can help drive a living systems approach to leadership.  New Metaphors for Leadership includes questions designed to reframe principle leadership questions, strategies, and challenges based on emergent, more modern concepts.
  • Most living systems experts believe it’s time to redefine profit, modeling our ideas of “success” on the laws of nature. In Nature, profit is measured by the evolution and growth of a system. Maybe it’s time to understand profit in a much more natural way. 
  • On that same note, it’s important to remember that traditional ROI can’t measure the value of important activities like learning and adaptation, which move us forward faster but take time and experimentation. When we think about the ROI of learning, for example, we move beyond just financial metrics to measurements that help us understand a more important concept – Impact Accountability. 
  • There are other ways that changing our leadership mindset and practices can help us shift toward a living systems approach. Asking a new set of leadership questions when framing an issue or solving a problem can be an important way to build a more connected, sustainable organization.
  • As co-host of the Sustainability & Beyond Virtual Summit, Dr. Allen witnessed first-hand common patterns regenerative leaders often demonstrate. Read how these regenerative leaders are reimagining leadership in her insightful summary of the conference here. 
  • Nature doesn’t need a CEO –  what if our organizations didn’t either? Nature runs on a system designed to support self-organization, and it’s interesting to think about as we attempt to lead with less control as part of our new living system mindset.
  • As we move away from micro-management and the idea of control, we also need to let go of the delusion that the old normal was predictable and stable. It never was. The New Emergent reminds us that a living system is constantly changing and creates new cycles that continue to shape our world, our work, and our personal lives.
  • As unlikely as it may sound, it is possible to lead through that change entirely without resistance. Adopting the mindset that human beings evolve and change naturally, rather than expecting resistance, is the first step.
  • The myth of resistance and the myth of control are just two of the top five myths that needed to be released in 2021.  
  • We can move through all of this disruption and change more peacefully by embracing the idea of Active Hope. Remind yourself with this reflective exercise to strengthen your active hope as we move forward in this new year.