Elegant Simplicity

Modern knowledge-based organizations need an entirely new way of thinking and leading their networks and organization. One dimension is Elegant Simplicity. The principles originated from complexity science and systems thinking, two key domains of the Colabria Action Research network. Further details are found below.  

“As managers, we need to shift our thinking from command and control to coordinate and cultivate – the best way to gain power is sometimes to give it away.”

Thomas W. Malone
Professor of Management,
MIT Sloan School of Management

Author, “The Future of Work

simplistic thinking


Elegant Simplicity


  • Mechanistic view
  • Technology-centered
  • Organizational orientation
  • Rear-view mirror
  • Ignores complexity
  • Advocates ‘one best way’
  • Singular efforts
  • Quick fixes
  • Independent
  • Hold positions
  • Discussion
  • Governance boards
  • Transactions 



  • Holistic view, systems thinking, networks
  • People-centered, emergent
  • Social orientation, self-organizing
  • Future-focused, Create The Future
  • Embraces, serves complexity
  • Framework-based, Next Practices©
  • Multiple solutions, prosperous outcomes
  • Long-term, continuous transformation
  • Interdependent, structural solutions
  • Makes sense, creates meaning
  • Authentic conversation, narrative
  • Networks, communities, crowdsourcing
  • Interactions, collaboration, engagement  

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