Organizing principles that embody living wholeness

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to explore what Charles Tolman has written about organizing principles on his blog Reflections, Ramblings and Rumblings: People, Technology, Gliding.

Source: Charles Tolman, Reflections, Ramblings and Rumblings: People, Technology, Gliding (

Organizing principles
Here is a post where Charles Tolman tries to explain the idea of organizing principles.

Organizing principles are not fixed, discrete ideas. They embody living wholeness, have a high degree of ambiguity, are never static, lie behind the parts, and cannot be written down.

This is very hard to get our heads around and requires mobile thinking. Experienced people have a sense of the whole and yet they also know the essence of what needs to happen in the parts.

Perceiving organizing principles
Here is Charles Tolman’s post on perceiving organizing principles, which requires the development of a living and mobile thinking perception.

Logical thinking can cope with known and static issues, but we need to be very aware of the boundaries of our knowledge. Thinking which is fixed into rule-based structures have unwanted side effects, like making it difficult to think in a mobile, living way.

Livingness is dynamic. If we want to develop a more mobile thinking perception, we need to engage in activities that foster a mobile mode of cognition, like dancing or painting. Dealing with human situations requires living, mobile thinking.

Other posts:
Here is Charles Tolman’s overview of all his blog posts in series order.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts
Memes as organizing principles

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund shares his reading, book reviews, and learning on his personal blog.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *