Developing Smart Governance in a Complex World


Oasis invites you to join Louis Klein on a learning journey to help you develop smart governance in a complex world. This will include revisiting ways for being more effective and present in the world, at home, in your organisation and on the planet.

On the winery where he grew up, Louis learnt a lot about complexity, how to govern organisations systemically and to navigate change accordingly.

Growing wine like almost any form of gardening teaches a lot about complexity. The growth of a single vine is unpredictable, yet this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to farm. Similarly, people’s free will, their ideas and creativity, doesn’t make it impossible to run an organisation, on the contrary.

The ingredients

Systemic Governance

Managing complexity is a question of smart governance. Developing and organising organisations for purpose is a challenge, yet it’s the most powerful way to cope with complexity. An organisation needs to work like a great board game, engaging and motivating everybody involved to contribute their best to win the game. It is about Governing the Serious Games of Society on all levels, because we know as Theodore W. Adorno put it, that there is no right life in the wrong one. There is no health on a sick planet.

Change Navigation

How do we navigate change in unchartered territories? Be it the VUCA* world or digital transformation, organisations in their pursuit of Business Excellence need to go where nobody has been before. What models, methods and instruments are available to deal with social complexity and lesser and lesser known futures?

Over the two days participants will explore what is already available to manage True Change successfully, ranging from systemic OD and change management to Lean, Agile and Design Thinking and eventually to future literacy and the Parmenides matrix. In addition, understanding the Tai Chi of Change will allow for balance in times of disruption. All this will help us address the question ‘what is the role for leaders and governance amidst change to ensure that we not only survive but thrive?’

Learning Approach

The programme is designed to blend experience, research and applied practice, with opportunities for significant learning through bringing your own challenges and questions, mini-inputs, action learning approaches, skills development and group dialogue.

About Louis Klein

Louis Klein serves as the dean of the European School of Governance. He is the founder of the Systemic Change Journal and president of both the Systemic Excellence Group and the Systemic Change Institute.

The name “Louis Klein” sounds like a prestigious French wine, and indeed he is off the vines. His family, for many generations now, run a winery in the Mosel valley, so far to the very west of Germany that is almost the east of France. All that he learnt to become one of the leading scholars in the field of systems and cybernetics he claims to have learnt from the vines and the seasons.

*VUCA is an acronym—first used in 1987—to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations; drawing on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus.

PLEASE NOTE that this programme takes place at Rudding Park, Harrogate.

Good governance is all about providing a supportive context and care for the people and their actions. If it is done well, we can compare it to an engaging game that energises the players and provides a thriving playing field. This is far more than gamification. It settles a fair contract between the individual and the organisation. Sometimes it is a contract for life.

Louis Klein

Programme Facilitators