Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We are pleased to announce...

The publication of our new book,
Life Sustaining Organization–A Design Guide

What is a Life Sustaining Organization?

* An organization that understands itself as a living system embedded in nature
* An organization that looks at the members of its system-whether they are formally employed or informally connected-as agents of the whole
* An organization that cares about its overall well-being, the health of its human representatives, and the vitality of nature in general

Why are they important?

* Complex human systems are shaping the destiny of the planet
* Talented, creative people want to work in organizations that will care about them and the natural environment
* The competition for curious, conceptually agile, life-positive human resources may become incredibly intense in the decade ahead

The purpose of this guide

* To show you how to use Structural Dynamics to analyze the unique conditions of your organization and your industry to design your organization to be extremely attractive to the kinds of people it needs to face the future-whatever it might look like-with confidence
* To support your efforts to be a workplace that fulfills your highest aspirations
* To increase the odds for the survival of human species in an era of discontinuity

Structural Dynamics is an approach to considering the future that doesn't claim to know what's coming but can help us identify what we need to be thinking about. It does this by identifying critical uncertainties that could go in any direction, and, by doing so, set the future on a course.

A critical uncertainty is something that is very important, but whose direction is not clear. As Esher's print of Night and Day© demonstrates, where things are headed is dynamic: the same set of factors and forces can interact toward starkly different, even if related and symmetrical, outcomes. In our work, we look for forces that everyone sees as fundamental to the well-being of their organization or to the situation of interest but around which there is a lot of disagreement or confusion.

Understand the nature of your critical uncertainties to set an path for organizational adventure and achievement. Miss them and court failure and worse.

Unique features

* A richly illustrated, step-by-step description of the structural dynamics process with an extensive case study showing how to apply each element of the approach to a specific organizational setting

* Self-assessment instruments to help you understand where your organization stands at present as a life-sustaining organization
* A discussion of how Anticipatory Leaders develop and practice powerful skills as Integrators, Futurists and Strategists

* An exploration of the Scenario Game Board© at the heart of Structural Dynamics that demonstrates how to use combine systems thinking with archetypal scenarios to strengthen your organization's strategic capabilities Game Board

Who is the Audience?

* Leaders, executives, strategists, ecologists, advisers, radical thinkers, policy makers, idealists, academics and anyone who wants to make a positive difference to their organization's prospects

The Authors

Michael Sales and Anika Savage founded Art of the Future five years ago to support organizational vitality. Anika is an architect, corporate strategist and consultant with wide ranging experience in technology and finance. Michael is a leadership trainer and strategy consultant who has worked across a wide variety of economic sectors. Life Sustaining Organizations represents the culmination of their individual and collective study of organizations over an extensive range of experiences.