Enabling inclusive, emergent and resilient teams 

With the dawn of a new year, there is no shortage of articles being shared around the opportunity and potential to transition to more emergent, inclusive and collaborative ways of working. The question that fewer seem to focus on is how. This article describes the collective leadership framework – the “honeycomb” –  with its light, flexible and robust “wax”.

From Mckinsey’s Overcoming pandemic fatigue which includes the power of unleashing energy through a combination of connection to purpose, a more emergent approach, and streamlined decision making; to HBR’s article about how organisations are unwittingly losing great people with the Melinda Gates quote that we are sending our daughters into organisations designed for our dads; it makes so much sense that now is the time rethink how we work together. And fast!

But how to facilitate greater inclusivity, agility and resilience, increasing the wellbeing of individuals, as well as our organisations? How to consider the needs of the individuals and collective to achieve the right balance of planning & emergence, creativity & efficiency, flexibility & sustainability?

Perhaps a way forward is to evolve your organisation’s “honeycomb”. Inspired by nature’s most effective structure, it enables effective working with a light, flexible and robust framework. An evolving approach for organising not for profits and social businesses, from start-ups to large established organisations, and hierarchy to self management, it seems both universal and ever more relevant.

A practical methodology to facilitate (rather than replace organisational models), an iterative cycle develops and adapts the 6 components, finding the right approach and balance as trust, confidence and culture builds.

  • Aligning teams around their purpose, direction and priorities, to achieve the right balance of planning & emergence enabling more “self organisation”.
  • Balancing the needs and aspirations of the individual and collective, enabling creativity & efficiency, flexibility & responsibility.
  • Facilitating holistic, timely decision making, responding to learnings, opportunities and circumstances for agility & sustainability.

A flexible approach with customisable tools, it is designed to help teams build “the wax” based on their needs, priorities and circumstances. The focus being to help teams that are clear on their why – their purpose, identity and guiding North Star – to formulate how they will work as a collective to achieve it. 

Roadmap/North Star: setting out the direction, principles  and priorities
Roles & Remits: clarifying individual responsibilities
Charter: agreeing expectations of each other
Decision Criteria: who, what and when decisions are made, devolving as appropriate
Dashboard: Integrating reporting to oversee the big picture, learning and adapating
Stewardship: ensuring accountability & sustainability


From teams adjusting to a more emergent, responsive and remote way of working, to founders and CEOs wanting to devolve more responsibility and decision making to their team – perhaps on the path of self management and employee ownership – we shall be sharing case studies, learnings and experiences over the forthcoming months. If you are interested in understanding more, perhaps leading to co-creation of a case study, please get in touch at info@wingsandroots.net


 #collectiveleadership #emergence