Glossary & Concepts

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Healthy systems are characterised by their adaptive stability, where order transitions are easily possible. Agile organisations accept that any complex system (such as our brains or social systems) are self-organised by nature and therefore foster participation.

Agile Mindset
The Agile Mindset requires a paradigm shift from traditional top-down management to a logic that fosters self-organisation and trust.

Ambiguity tolerance
Ambiguity (or ambivalence) tolerance is the capacity to acknowledge seemingly contradicting perspectives or emotions.

Being versus Doing
Being means “living from the soul and is a state of allowing. It means letting ourselves be who and what we are without judgment.”

Chaos [Synergetics]
Also known as the “butterfly effect”; In contrast to our daily life understanding of the word, in physics chaos actually implies some order! Self-organisation is chaotic order.

Complex System [Synergetics]
A complex system consists of a plurality of different interacting parts, whose dynamics generally lead to unpredictable behaviour. Examples of complex systems are our brains and our organisations.

Emergence [Synergetics]
Emergence implies the development of novel properties of a system, which cannot simply be explained solely on the basis of the properties of the individual parts that make up the system. 

The ego is the phantom self – a mental image about who we are, based on our personal and cultural conditioning.

True Equality means to embrace our equal value as human beings, while at the same time appreciating and fostering our differences.

Intuition, Evidence-based
Continuously testing our gut feeling against reality results in asymptotically improving its accuracy and (in)forms our evidence-based intuition.

Motivation: Autonomous versus Controlled
Autonomous motivation refers to internal agreement with the action (e.g. enjoyment, “the right thing to do”) versus controlled motivation stems from the anticipation of external rewards or the avoidance of pain.

Contrary to how we use this term in our daily language (high investment of cognitive resources), it turns out that rational decision making refers to the efficient use of one’s mental energy.

Reflexivity describes the feedback effects of (self-) reflection and of social structures & processes on our behaviour.

Say what is!
If we speak “speak bluntly, directly, and truthfully, even if it is undesirable to hear” from a reflected and vulnerable position, we may open the door to building strong connections with each other.

Self-Organisation [Synergetics]
Every complex system (such as our brains and organisations) are inherently self-organised. This refers to the spontaneous (i.e. not centrally controlled) formation of order and patterns.

Synergetics is the meta-theory of self-organisation and transformation processes. It is based on a few principles from physics and can be applied to any complex system.

The Now
The only moment we ever have is the Now – Being present in that moment is the key to leading a fulfilled and liberated life.

Transformation versus Change
Transformation is associated with a paradigm change; a fundamental transformation of the potential landscape itself. By contrast, change is characterised by the flexible exploitation of alternative, currently perhaps more appropriate wells within the potential landscape.

Utilitarianism, (Meta-)
Meta-utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good (value/utility) for the greatest impact on people and the environment. Meta-utilitarianism transcends the tension between Consequentialism and the Categorical Imperative.

Written by Julia Heuritsch | Last edited: 28th April 2023