Basic Principles Of The Emergent Organizational Development and Emergent Change (EODC)® Institute

Emergent Organizational Development and Emergent Change® (EODC®) , Emergent Organizational Development® (EOD®) and Emergent Change® are under registered trademark, 2017. All writings are considered under copyright as per The Institute For Emergent Organizational Development and Emergent Change®, Patrick Trottier and Associates. Written permission is required.(The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. As of January 2019, the Convention has 177 contracting member countries).

The following thoughts and principles, having been formed from the last 30+ years of my study, reflections, thoughts and practice, create a synergistic component of an nautulis 2222overall foundation for an Emergent Organizational Development and Change (EODC)® framework and platform.

Of fundamental and prime importance to the understanding of ’emergent change’ itself is the following:

  • The manifestation of form is naturally inherent in the processes of ‘emergent change’ .
    This is the primeval nature of emergent change itself.
  • Emergence through form creates purpose.
  • Without form, the nature of emergent change is to continually manifest in order to emerge form and purpose.

“These attributes are universal in the inherent nature of emergent change.”
      (Patrick A. Trottier – sometime in the 1980s)



…this is the essence of emergence…


Note: When using the word ‘form’, such can be applied to people, organizations, communication, plants, leadership, boats, water, clouds, mountains, currents, teams, thoughts, feelings, relationships, rocks, time, gravity, planets, stars… well, any substance that exists takes a certain form… and, everything and everyone are continuously re-forming …


The following principles, hopefully, will themselves further emerge and evolve.
New principles will emerge and evolve.

These principles form the fabric of the EODC® Platform. ( )

These ‘principles’ are in no order of importance.

1 Existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are independently acting and responsible, conscious beings (“existence”) rather than what labels, roles, submissions, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individual may be fitted into (artificial / pseudo-essence). (Contoured from the thoughts of Karl E. Weick)

2 A person creates ‘meaning’ and becomes who she / he is through one’s interpretation of their experiences within their interactions and their reflections with the ‘self’ and their relationships and experiences with their environments.

3. Culture is the ‘influencing patterns’ that people consistently and congruently experience over time which emerge as the norms, beliefs, values and practices that guide people in their perspectives, attitudes, decisions and behaviors’.

4. An ‘influencing pattern’ is a contingency of interdependent patterns that begin to emerge and form into something which has an inherent capacity to influence persons and events.

5. If one wants to change the culture, then change the ‘experiences’ people have with that organization in a consistent and congruent manner with the desired, stated values, beliefs and practices. (Trottier, 1997)

6. ‘Experience’ has the need for contextual specificity.

7. Diversity is needed for emergence, innovation and creativity to occur.

8. Emergence is “The unfolding of that which has been influenced to unfold.” (Trottier, 1995) Emergence is an open, natural, evolving paradigm of influencers, patterns and the continuous emergence of forms. Emergence simply means: “Coming into BEing.”

9. Beliefs are a closed system, unless one believes such are open, evolving systems.

10. An organization is a living system, thus desires to emerge as a blend of vitality and viability.

11. Chaos /disorder becomes an ally and a critical aspect to provoke a system to self-organize into new patterns / forms of being. Chaos is a natural aspect of transformational change.

12. We learn from what we are curious about – curiosity and exploration are natural elements of motivation, innovation and creation.

13. How we ‘see’ things is what we create, and the process we use to create such.

14. An organization is a living, dynamic entity based on the nature of the business, the work, people, systems and business processes as well as its relationships with its internal/external environments.

15. What is natural to an organization facilitates emergence and thus cannot be artificial, or an imitation of other entities.

16. Culture; What people ‘experience’ from their interactions with an organization ‘defines’ the culture of the organization.

Thus, ‘culture’ is the ‘influencing patterns’ which people (internal / external) ‘experience’ by interacting with that organization over time (not the intended, nor the ‘stated’ values of that organization).
Thus, organizational cultures are ‘patterns’ described by people’s ‘experiences’ in their interactions with that organization over time. (related; # 2., 30)

17. “Creativity comes from the ‘unknown’, while ‘innovation’ alters the ‘known’.” (P. Trottier, 2011)

18. When the formal organization stifles performance, people will achieve performance through the ‘informal organization’. There is much to learn from the informal organization.

19. ‘Experiences’ and related emotional and cognitive patterns form our beliefs. Beliefs form our perceptions, our assessment of our world(s), the value we place on things, our ideals, our meaning, our behavior, our realities, and what we create, or not create.

20. There are many different ‘worlds’ in organizations.

21. When IT/IS are ‘integrated, open systems’ and real time, continuous feedback systems are in control of the user (integrated user-designed dashboards), such can become proactive and adaptive agents to emergent change in complex systems.

22. Humans are naturally ‘open, self-organizing agents’ unless ‘inhibiting experiences’ are actualized and a person becomes self-inhibiting through what they have learned / experienced in their life through such processes as parenting, education, community, religion and / or work institutionalization.)

23. Humans have a natural curiosity for exploration, discovery and the unknown. Humans are naturally collaborative with others and their environments while naturally expanding their experiences into the ‘unknown’ unless a person develops such as ‘unnatural and artificial’ self-closing agents. Such natural human essences and inalienable attributes are depleted by our current institutional and social norms, traditional parenting, schools and work environments.

24. Change is constant within variable rates.

25. Organizations perform exactly as they are designed to perform… which may not ‘fit’ the desired performance – thus, a gap between design and desire.

26. Collaboration gains better performance than non-collaboration.

27. A good conversation is a very good conversation.

28. Humans and organizations are not linear entities such are an evolving networks of things.

29. Most work gets done across and through the organization as a whole network system. Organizations are ‘networks’ vs, hierarchical systems that generally inhibit performance.

30.The customer drives everything, as well as the customer’s customer within a whole systems network.

31. Innovation and creativity can emerge from anyone and anywhere facilitated by open, whole, systemic, integrated network structures and systems vs. static, hierarchical structures and systems trying to manage the predictability of ‘the known’ and diminish the viability of ‘the unknown’.

32. The essence of ‘high performance and job satisfaction’ is the ‘experience of continuous patterns of successes’.

33. ‘Newness’ comes from the influencing patterns forming new forms.’ (P. Trottier, 1997)

34. On Self-Agency:
The definition of ‘agency’ means ‘the state of being in action, or exerting (one’s) power’.

Self-Agency, in terms of EODC® is the process of manifesting one’s awareness:

  1. That one can influence new patterns within oneself.
  2. That one can influence new patterns in one’s environment.
  3. That one can be influenced by old, current and expected future patterns within one’s ‘self’ at any given time – in real time. (P. Trottier, 1997)

35. Law of Emergent Transforming:

“When one’s comfort zone (individual, group, organization) with ‘the unknown’ is greater than (>) one’s comfort zone of ‘the known’, transformation occurs naturally through the dynamics of ‘letting go’ and re-framing… curiosity, exploration, open mindedness, trust, connectedness, paradigm shifts, etc., develop and the emergence of newness occurs naturally and in real time.

36. “Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.
(Texas Bix Bender, A Cowboy’s Guide To Life.)

37. The unknown is constituted with ‘what is possible’, and ‘what is not possible’. We are the ‘self agents’ of our worlds – nothing more and nothing less.”

38. ‘Chaos’ is defined as patterns yet unknown.

39. “Behavior is a gestalt – a network, of emerging influencers and patterns.”

40. People evolve on novel information.
      Perceptions shift on novel information.
      Organizations emerge on novel information.
      Self-Agency manifests on novel information (and more)

41. ‘InfoHumanics©’; IT/IS/AI system designs, within the EOD® Platform, are guided by the concepts and constructs of the principle of ‘InfoHumanics© .
InfoHumanics©; Any information technology system and process designed to support, augment and facilitate human information processing and the ‘human experience‘.
Marked by humanistic values, and a devotion to human and our planet’s well being.
Human performance centered. (
P.Trottier, 2013)

42. One must view an organization and a person as a ‘whole, dynamic, systemic entity’ in relation to its / one’s environments’.

43. When we do not understand complexity, we call such ‘chaos’. ‘Chaos’ is simply a term that we use when we do not understand the influencing patterns that exist at the moment as such are in the process of creating ‘form’.


As mentioned at the beginning of this write-up, these principles, hopefully, will themselves further emerge and evolve. New principles, hopefully, will emerge and evolve.

Thoughts? Additional principles of ’emergence’ for consideration?


© Patrick Trottier and Associates, 2015 (All rights reserved