- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (September 6, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605095214
- ISBN-13: 978-1605095219
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity
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“In Engaging Emergence Peggy Holman does the best job yet of showing us how managers and change agents can use the insights of complexity theory for planned, transformational change. Highly readable and practical, Holman provides useful, concrete illustrations that make it easy to understand a difficult topic.”
—Gervase Bushe, Professor of Leadership and Organization Development, Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada and author of Clear Leadership
Our times requite new levels of understanding. Courageous, creative, collaborative -- read emergent -- processes are key to getting there. Peggy Holman's new book helps us appreciate why such process are needed, how they work, and what it takes to get them to happen. It makes important contribution.
—Charles Johnston, MD, author of The Creative Imperative and Hope and the Future
“Emergence and its associated chaos are happening at an accelerating pace. Ms. Holman offers practical perspectives for working with Emergence creatively as a source of opportunity.”
—James B. Shaffer, Chief Operating Officer and Dean, School of Business, University of Southern Maine
For those who feel battered by change and chaos, Peggy Holman's book is a tonic. The intelligent, optimistic and caring voice with which she facilitates complex, even contentious groups in transition permeates the pages. Engaging Emergence is at once pragmatic and palliative -- good for the mind and heart.
—Jill Geisler, Group Leader, Leadership and Management Programs, The Poynter Institute
Russell Ackoff wrote: „The only thing harder than starting something new, is stopping something old. Peggy Holman's "Engaging Emergence" gives us hope that we can step beyond the irrelevant entrainment of the past, bring forward what is useful and effectively operate into the uncertain and unknown future. Recognizing that not all of us thrive on uncertainty and ambiguity, Peggy helps ground is in useful ideas to embrace and thrive into our futures. By giving language to the practice of engaging emergence, she also lifts us beyond a theoretical idea to a place of useful practice.
—Nancy White, author of Digital Habitats
“Engaging Emergence is a crucial guide for navigating transitional moments in social systems — from group upsets and business challenges to global financial meltdowns. Holman brilliantly applies a 14-billion-year historical perspective in ways that give us the eyes to see opportunity amid chaos, the heart to trust the process, and the mental toolkit to effectively nurture evolutionary breakthroughs.”
—Connie Barlow, author of Evolution Extended
“This book is most relevant and will be of great service to change agents attempting to bring about complex transformative change – the type of change needed to successfully reinvent our world and the major task of humanity at this moment in time. Thank you for stepping up to the challenge of grounding this elusive concept into an actual change strategy.”
—David Gershon, president, Empowerment Institute and author of Social Change 2.0
About the Author
Peggy Holman is founder of the Open Circle Company, a management consultancy for business, nonprofit, and governmental organizations; cofounder of Journalism That Matters, an initiative that supports pioneers in the emerging news and information ecosystem; and coauthor of The Change Handbook.
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1. How do we disrupt coherence compassionately?
2. How do we engage disruptions creatively?
3. How do we renew coherence wisely?
Her summaries of several processes for extracting collective wisdom -- Appreciative Inquiry; Art of Hosting; Circle Process; Dynamic Facilitation; Open Space Technology; Scenario Thinking; and The World Café -- clarified my understanding of those processes. All of them have a simple foundation -- respecting one another. Without that, we won't suspend judgment, and we won't truly listen to those with whom we disagree. Suspending judgment and truly listening are vital to co-creatively discovering the win-win solutions that are so glaringly missing in our currently dysfunctional and divisive "democracy".
Engaging Emergence joins my growing shelf of collective wisdom classics, and I expect to return to it many times.
At some point within the past 40 years or so, the Christian world embarked on an immense and historic reconfiguration that called into question the doctrinal and institutional assumptions that had held sway for hundreds of years. And by now, we are right smack in the middle of epochal changes. The struggles of a century ago between liberals and conservatives that led to the creation of modern fundamentalism after World War I are no longer relevant to the conversations that now resonate most powerfully for Christians. Dry arguments about dogma no longer compel desperate arguments or inspire movements. The United States is no longer a "Christian nation," and fortunately for Christianity, it never was. A new generation of Christians is asserting that the core teachings of Jesus are inherently universal and transnational, and can never--and should never--be owned or identified as the characteristic of any nation-state.
At the same time, all of the principal institutions and denominations of the church--Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Other, evangelical, mainline, charismatic, and neo-Anabaptist--are undergoing wrenching change. The population centers of Christianity have rapidly shifted from the North--Europe and North America--to the South--Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Within the United States, Christians are becoming a minority alongside other religions and spiritual movements, and Christians themselves are becoming less white and more racially diverse. Finally, Christians generally are beginning to seek a more genuine and Spirit-filled expression of their faith, focused on service to others and finding the essence of their faith in compassionate love rather than in dogmatic pronouncements. Significantly, the 2010 American Congressional elections were the first in 30 years in which the Religious Right did not play a significant public role--in its guise as the Religious Right.
Peggy Holman's insightful book has much to offer Christians who are pondering what to make of the chaos and how to live a faithful Christian witness. As Christians move from disruption to coherence, what will we learn to notice? What will we explore, what will we be bold enough to try, and what new possibilities will we be open to? How will we reinvent ourselves in the 21st century?
The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family
There is an old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. These are interesting times, uncertain times, chaotic times. If you base your expectations of the future solely upon the past, you're like to despair for humanity and the earth itself. Holman's point in this book is that higher orders of organization can emerge from complex systems. There is reason to hope and reason to act, to recognize and embrace what is emerging from the noise and confusion, from the dust of our collapsing expectations. There is no guarantee, no certainty of success, but we need hope in order to act or be paralyzed by fear.
We need new ways to understand ourselves and to act collaboratively. A lot of this book is about the methodologies being developed to do just that. The rest of the books is about why it's important. Some of her advice may sound paradoxical but our current wisdom is what has brought us to the edge of the abyss. A new wisdom is necessary to lead us back. That new wisdom may in fact be the oldest of all.
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