In the systemic approach, the term “emergent properties” refers to those characteristics of a system that evolve spontaneously (in a self-organised way) towards a higher level of organisation. That’s why we often say that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – and why a team’s abilities can be greater than the sum of those of its members. Teams that are performing well, that are operating with a certain maturity, display qualities that, although not actually possessed by any individual team member, are clearly visible.
Examples: co-responsibility, trust, solidarity, team leadership, the ability to learn from experience, etc.
We are constantly working to create the right conditions for these qualities to emerge in all the “systems” we support: individuals, teams, leadership teams and entire organisations.