Unpredictable ways to release the natural intelligence of your organization

Jay W. Vogt (Founded Peoplesworth (www.peoplesworth.com), a Consulting and Coaching Practice, in 1982 to help organizations develop shared leadership, continuous learning, and successful collaboration. He can be reached at jay@peoplesworth.com)

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730

Publication date: 1 December 2005


The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the immediate and practical value of a new way of thinking about organizations – not as machines, but as living things. The article contrasts an old view of organizations as machines with a new view of them as living things. It suggests that an “emergent” approach to setting strategy is one consequence of the new view. It then explores the power of fostering “emergent strategy” in two real‐life cases, one each from the corporate and community sectors. Finally, it details process steps and results. The author shows how two organizational development processes foster “emergent strategy:” “Open space technology” and “Grounded visioning”. “Open space technology” helps develop breakthrough strategies in business challenges that are complex, urgent, require diverse thinking, and spark conflict. “Grounded visioning” helps create a shared vision among large, diverse, and conflicted sets of stakeholders in record time. Senior leaders now have tools for finding strategic direction with large, diverse groups in complex, fluid, and conflicted situations. This article demonstrates the value of “emergent strategy” as an alternative to traditional, directive strategy setting processes used by senior leaders. It presents real‐life case examples from the corporate and community sectors in which this idea is put to use with spectacular results. It introduces senior leaders to two innovative organizational development processes – “Open space technology” and “Grounded visioning” – which they can use in their organizations to tap the natural intelligence of their people.



Vogt, J. (2005), "Unpredictable ways to release the natural intelligence of your organization", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 309-314. https://doi.org/10.1108/08944310510558098

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.