Emerging Themes in Organizational Life

Earn your APP Professional Certification after completing all four courses.


This is the first course of its kind. 2016 participants will reap the benefits of being early adopters on these emerging themes. This course offers a concentrated, rigorous and comprehensive understanding of new ways of organizational life. You will be able to back up your intuition with a complete understanding of the history of organizational, management and strategic choice theory,  that explains in a rigorous way why we are at a crossroads today. It will give you insight into why we are feeling the pressure to explore new ideas and design new practices at this moment in history.  Coaches will be able to satisfy the demand for team-level development in organizations looking to become more agile. Organizations looking to become more agile, will gain a solid understanding of self-organization and team dynamics, without losing the ability to track structural changes as they evolve.

Principles, Practices, Process

Note: this is  prerequisite for all other certification courses.

In this course we examine the Key Principles, Central Practices, and Deep Processes of open authentic participation in organizational life. 

This foundational course trains us how to adopt the participatory attitude when facing organizational challenges. It creates a powerful experience in how we think about what an organization is, how people self-organize, why we interact and engage each other in challenging ways, how we continuously enact power relations through the on-going negotiation of asymmetrical needs and skills.


  • Examine six principles of a new zeitgeist that is already transforming our workplaces from being merely instruments of capital production, to loci of social and economic transformation.
  • Work with alternative approaches to organizational architecture that demonstrate
    • how to facilitate self-organizing teams
    • how to eliminate direct-report dependencies
    • why fixed roles are detrimental to participatory processes
    • how to close the knowledge-power gap
    • why individual leadership is unsustainable in complex environments
    • how to build strategic performance inside network teams
  • Learn how to identify and expand our trust networks.
  • Experience the difference between adaptive systems and responsive processes
  • Critical reflection around power and position
  • Build legitimacy through evaluative discourse
  • How to work with social anxiety as fuel for transformation
  • How intention, identity and interaction create team flow
  • Making sense of values and evaluating sense-making
  • Transforming the eight social selves into bona fide agents of authentic participation
  • Spotting means-ends problems and what to do about them
  • Boost performance through facilitating open discourse in teams
  • Work with emergent outcomes

Who this course is for

Leaders, managers, consultants, agile team members, executive coaches, and students of organizational theory; early adopters of agile operations and responsive organizations; change-makers focusing on next generation workforce; facilitators interested in cutting edge group practice; business owners and corporate executives responsible for organizational learning; business, organizational, and management scholars researching emergent themes in organizational life.


Origins of the Modern Organization

Note: This course is a survey of Ralph Stacey's textbook for the Doctorate of Management, University of Hertfordshire.

This is a course about the social-economic origins of the different waves of Organizational & Management Theory, Leadership & Strategic Choice

This course takes a historical and reflexive look at the origins of the modern organization, and how we have arrived at the situation we are in today. We examine how our ideas of management, leadership and strategic choice have been shaped by government policy, business school curricula, and by different scientific models of systems and change,  in response to shifting social needs and economic forces. We then turn this historical reflection into an opportunity to consciously design alternatives based on the values that are most important to us today, and the actions that are most needed to face future challenges.

While many of us are rapidly prototyping alternative organizational structures, only when we have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the social forces of that shape organizational life, can we be truly free to stay away from the habits of assumptions, mental models, and trappings of the dominant discourse in order to start fresh and create something radically new. It is not sufficient to describe only the symptoms of broken organizational life -- it is necessary to reveal the root causes of our discontent, in the disconnection between what we say, and what we do, how we reason about ethics, and how we act, what we claim to value, and how we spend our resources, what we claim to be true, and, in the end, what we decide. This course will not only be provocative, it will surely astound you!



This new view releases the escalating and paralyzing complexity of the dominant discourse-- a complexity where the individual leader is falling "in over their heads," to realize a new vision of leadership as the capacity for organizations to sustain strategic conversations across multiple, fractal and larger group levels. We learn to make the important distinction between complex adaptive systems, which have a discrete,if permeable boundary, and complex responsive processes which take us to the edges of complexity theory. We address real-life issues and complex problems through a multi-dimensional framework of change.

Co-operative Inquiry for Emerging Futures

Note: This is an advanced course for experienced leaders, coaches, and facilitators. 

this course involves experiential learning in facilitating open group process to catalyze Insight, Intuition and Cognitive Flow in Teams, through conversations around Ethical Action, Evaluative Discourse and Participatory forms of Governance

This advanced course is a deep immersion into engaging in co-operative inquiry and open, authentic participation. It offers an opportunity to experience transformational dynamics and tap into deeper intuitive capacities and higher levels of collective insight.  Here is a primer video on collective insight practice:



Coaching support is available for individuals and groups.  Please submit request using the  contact form below.


The course has been designed and developed over 6 years of research and practice by Bonnitta Roy. She will be the lead instructor and facilitator at the three retreats. Occasionally, Senior associates may host online meetings for break-out groups.


Why become a professional member?

Being a professional member means you have access to a learning community actively engaged in exploring new applications for open participation in organizations. Our aim is to turn membership revenue into membership benefits, such as annual conferences, scholarships and funding research and software development. 

I hope you can join us on this great adventure toward discovery of a future where our dreams are made possible through greater participation in the biggest challenges and questions of our times.
— Bonnitta Roy, Founding Associate

To receive information on upcoming cohorts and locations, or to request coaching support, please submit the following information.

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Please check your first choice for retreat location.