CDE Configurations

The HSD theory of change is based on the accumulation and release of tension in complex systems. Tension is held in the conditions (container, difference, exchange) that shape the systems patterns.

Adaptive Action allows individuals and groups to see those patterns, understand the tensions, and take informed action to shift the conditions to release tension. As the tension is released, patterns shift, which in turn influences the future of the system.

This chain of relationships depends on the relationships between the conditions that shape the patterns (C, D, and E) and the tensions that develop and release to move the system forward. This document summarizes the possible relationships of constraint that develop and/or release tension in complex human systems dynamics.

Related Resources

The CDE Model explains the three system conditions that influence the speed, path, and direction of self-organizing systems. The conditions shape the patterns that make up the reality of your world.
November 14, 2013 Glenda Eoyang talks about Stretch and Fold as a path to resilience. She provides examples and ways she has seen people use the concept of Stretch and Fold in their organizations. Then she invites the audience to consider their own sticky issues in light of this question.
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