EE Magazine Editorial October 2017 – I Would Not Give a Fig for the Simplicity This Side of Complexity

 Editorial by George Pór for Enlivening Edge Magazine, October, 2017

You can read the entire October 2017 EE Magazine Highlights here.

Sitting silently, giving a break to the ever-active mental processes, and enjoying fully this never-returning moment of just being alive… Have you experienced something like that?

More and more groups in more and more organizations start their meeting with a ritual of silent “attention training” or “getting centred” as they call it in some places. In fact, as Frederic Laloux says, “ An increasing number of people pick up contemplative practices—meditation, prayer, yoga, walking in nature—and integrate these into their daily lives.” ∼ Reinventing Organizations, p. 154.

Why not precede your “meeting” with this editorial by stepping back from reading it for a couple of minutes (even moving your chair away from the screen if you’re sitting at a computer), and stepping into your favourite practice of mindfulness.

From there, shift into sensing the answer to this: What is the most important question to me, today, about next-stage organizations and practices? Once you have found it, use it as your lens to what catches your attention, as you read not only this editorial, but also, the rest of the EE Magazine content pointed to in the Magazine Highlights.

Welcome back!

If you haven’t heard yet, let me start with some news of the movement. Make note of two upcoming rendezvous of ‘Teal tribe,’ next Spring. In due time you will certainly hear more about them on our Magazine pages because Enlivening Edge is playing an active role in both. But you can already learn about the 3rd Next-Stage World gathering of organization reinventors on Rhodes (23 – 27 April 2018), and the 3rd Integral European Conference that will take place in Hungary (22-27 May, 2018). On the shore of the beautiful Lake Balaton, along with friends from Next-Stage World, a team from Enlivening Edge will again organize and curate the acclaimed “Teal Organizations” track of IEC2018. If you want to help with that, let me know.

Lake Balaton, Hungary

In other news of the movement, the last few months, the Teal Organizations Mapping (TOM) project grew from a concept into a self-managing circle of “evolutionary cartographers,” supported by professionals of network mapping. This project is aimed at helping:

  • Pioneering organizations to connect in ways that help them learn from each other’s practices and achievements, as well as trials and tribulations
  • Change leaders and facilitators to find peers to learn from and with, to co-create alongside, and to draw inspiration from in their own journey
  • People to find the closest “next-stage” organization worth working with, where the old command-and-control structures and processes are replaced by self-management. The TOM circle is open to interested volunteers, who want to bring their energy to this effort.

Participatory Action Research “is an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively, and following reflection.”

Why am I telling you this? Because last year Enlivening Edge became a member of AR+, a global network of action researchers. The first result of our collaboration with them is a chapter in the just-released anthology and resource collection, Cooking with Action Research: Stories and Resources for Self and Community Transformation. You will find our chapter in the first volume of the book, under the title “Future Organizing: Connecting Self and Systems Transformation.”

EE also participated by invitation in the global We-Space Summit, with some EE Partners as a panel on collective intelligence we-space at work; you can actually see the entire panel video on the linked page now. I was in the Summit via an interview about “we-space” consciousness.

There are some interesting new developments in the journey of the Enlivening Edge team itself. Our group is at a crossroad, and the story and pictures of our second annual retreat will tell you more about it. Another sign pointing to the maturing of our team is the skilful handling of a perturbation caused by me. For a variety of reasons that I mentioned in my “Help Me Firing Myself” column, I have stepped down from the General Circle Lead Link role and 10 other roles that I’ve been energizing in EE. In any other small organization, such a move could have risked swinging the boat off course.  Not in EE, which is finding creative ways to teal with the situation.

Let me give you a quick overview of just a few of our articles related to complexity, the theme of the current Magazine cycle:


If the most intelligent life form on the planet is the human purpose-driven organization, and humans co-evolved with complexity, what does “managing” really consist of?


Managing complexity is, in effect, an oxymoron. You can’t know enough. Only the system knows.


What complexity capabilities matter most, now? And what are our blocks to transformative learning of them?

For a more complete list of our complexity-related content, look up

The theme of the November-December Magazine cycle is “Communities of Practice.” If you feel inspired to share, by all means send us your thoughts or experiences by November 15 at the latest.

Enjoy the reading. Give back by sharing and commenting on the gems you discover, and remember Oliver Wendell Holmes’ saying, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”