LeadU presents Dissipative Structures

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Dissipative Structures

Ilya Prigogine [Like Haken, encouraged people to work on these problems in the 1970s.  His own theories, however, are completely outmoded, and he’s philosophizing below even the usual standard for Nobel Prize winners.]

http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notabene/self-organization.html

For me, the idea behind dissipative structures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissipative_system

A dissipative system is a thermodynamically open system which is operating out of, and often far from, thermodynamic equilibrium in an environment with which it exchanges energy and matter.

A dissipative structure is a dissipative system that has a dynamical régime that is in some sense in a reproducible steady state.  This reproducible steady state may be reached by natural evolution of the system, by artifice, or by a combination of these two.

Thermodynamics aside, for now, the idea of systems that organize far from equilibrium (thermodynamic anyway)… and remain open to energetic flux, but maintain an organization in the process are key for development, I think.

The abstract model is so valuable to me to be able to see that we move along a trajectory of experience, having at all times — flux — for lack of a better word, or perhaps plasticity (yet far from the equilibrium point of our life’s potential in most cases, if you catch my meaning here).

More specifically… it is around those areas where we are likely to feel and thus be motivated; continuing to make connections and grooves with our strengths and inbornness, but also moving along a self-organizing system; if I might be so bold as to try to describe this as a dissipative structure — dissipating energy and information: which doesn’t fit, until it can.

So, while Prigogine is taking his lumps, I suppose, I love the idea and want to continue to work with it.  To me, it best enables our understanding of how at any one point in time, we might be far from equilibrium, but still in a system which is organizationally closed because it can’t be open to what it can’t be open too… and this ties us back into Subject/Object Relations, Figure-Ground, and a number of other ways in which to dimentionalize our developing dance of maturity.

Helpful Hint: For me, I’m not needing the perfect theory, or master code…as the one that I’ve sewn together, seems to be able to explain and repair the cultural fabric more EES, than others, especially when it’s practiced; it self-organizes the idea of love…which I don’t like to use a lot of, because it’s ill-defined for use.  BUT, if FLOW can emerge love-related conditions, where acceptance of ourselves and others is the resultant, then I think we are headed in the direction, which places us in the best possible favor of the future, and the need for collaboration.  Since it’s just fabric anyway, we can tear it, and cut it and re-sew it, when needed.

Action Step: If you can view your present circumstances, wherever you are, as a system, that is organizationally closed, which means it functions based on the use of itself, and see that the system is actually creating entropy, which opens the door for development to occur, you can leverage this idea of dissipative structures.  The problem you and I will have is staying away from judging "good or bad" in the process, and just realizing this is where we are now…and that is where others are.  There is a good chance that tomorrow we might develop, and if we don’t, our happiness and success lie close.



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We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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