There was a time when a mechanical metaphor was used to describe and understand business. Today, this metaphor has been replaced by a more powerful and inclusive one - the metaphor of biology and the design of living organisms. When you look at organisations closely you discover that they behave much more like living organisms than they do machines.

Living organisms are unique in the way in which they respond to environmental stimuli, and in the ways in which they learn, grow and change. Over time, and over generations, living organisms are able to add increasing levels of complexity to their organisation and to their behavior. They evolve.

The same is true of organisations.

At Chris Lonsdale and Associates, we think of organisations as living organisms. This approach allows us to generate unique and powerful insights about the dynamics operating within an organisation, and the different approaches that will be most fruitful in generating change and growth.

The concept of evolution as applied to business and social change has been outlined in some detail in the book Breakpoint. The evolutionary metaphor provides useful tools for understanding organizational, and individual, change and working with such change in a productive manner.

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