Systems are most effectively designed when founded on a set of principles that can be used to rule in or rule out options, design elements and strategies. These principles become the “true north” of the system and are extremely useful for maintaining development over time that is consistent with the goals and mission for the system.
1. Investment in a living ecosystem is a sound business practice with potential for high return on investment and measurable gains in productivity, engagement, and achievement. It's good for employees; it's good for business.
2. Healthy ecosystems are holistic and continuous interplay between body, mind, spirit, AND family, community, culture, work, and environment. The assumption that boundaries can be drawn to separate these parts and maintain whole health is false. The assumption that health generation can be segregated from the whole context of life is false. Health generation is integral to work, home, all of life.
3. Health is founded on an intrinsically held sense of dignity, sovereignty and respect: "I matter", "We matter".
4. Motivation toward ecosystem health must be owned by both individuals and their embedding groups. The assumption that extrinsic motivation is sufficient to achieve whole ecosystem health is false. Whole ecosystem health cannot be mandated. The assumption that standardized, generic solutions will meet the needs of all people within an organization or group of any kind is false.
5. The generation of ecosystem health is intrinsically dynamic; hence it is a life-long learning process.
6. Positive and mutually supportive working relationships are necessary to support whole health.