The power to self-organize is the fourth of Donella Meadows's twelve levers, ranking just above rules, since self-organizing has the power to adapt and change rules.

organizes self-claims

The most important test of a self-organizing system is whether it organizes its own self-claims into a coherent self-image.

A self-organized system necessarily treats self-claims quite differently from other claims, paying them much more attention. For instance, claims about Living Platform itself are treated differently from mere mention of Living Platform.

sets goals

The overall goal - against which one's efforts to organize are always measured, the mindset and the ability to transcend mindsets are more powerful levers than the power to self-organize, as they constrain that self-organization.


Systems that self-organize exhibit certain characteristics in common. Among them the reflexive characteristics of treating control verbs the same as the domain verbs, and absolutely consistent treatment of linguistic conventions and naming conventions, e.g. to conserve capitals and disambiguate plural forms. A reflexive intranet, for instance, cannot emerge until these wiki best practices take root - accordingly this is a valid goal for Living Platform.


When reflexivity is consistently carried into governance of an organization it is sometimes called chaordic - a term coined by Dee Hock, the founder of Visa International.

The Chaordic Principles of Practice outline this mindset.

The Living Agenda is an attempt to self-organize the GPC Governance functions along some quite similar lines.