Engaging Emergence (Paperback)

Turning Upheaval into Opportunity

By Peggy Holman

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781605095219, 264pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2010

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Change is everywhere these days—at times it seems like barely controlled chaos. Yet within this turmoil are the seeds of a higher order. When a new system arises from the ashes of the old, science calls the process “emergence.” By engaging it, you can help yourself and your organization or community to successfully face disruption and emerge stronger than ever.

In this profound book, Peggy Holman offers principles, practices, and real-world stories to help you work with compassion, creativity, and wisdom through the entire arc of change—from disruption to coherence. You’ll learn what to notice, what to explore, what to try, and what mindset opens new possibilities.

This work can be challenging but also tremendously rewarding. It enables new and unlikely partnerships and develops breakthrough projects. You become part of a process that transforms the culture itself.


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.


Praise For Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity

“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