Plexus Institute

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The Plexus Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded with the purpose to address real-world challenges through the advancement and diffusion of ideas and practices rooted in the principles of complexity

"Fostering the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and our natural environment by helping people use concepts emerging from the new science of complexity."

This original mission chosen by the founders of Plexus Institute was inspired by the rapid pace of complex systems science and the slow pace of converting those discoveries into practical applications. By remaining dedicated to fostering profound and positive impact through the application of complexity science, Plexus continues to develop solutions to complex problems that transcend traditional boundaries.

Adaptive Practices Network

For over a decade, clients have contracted with Plexus Institute to address issues plaguing their organizations and communities. Plexus provides practical methods that are based on principles of complexity for leaders and change agents to disrupt the status quo and find solutions. Through consulting and capacity-building services in adaptive leadership, positive deviance, and complex problem-solving, beneficial ideas and behaviors begin to emerge from within an organization to remedy its seemingly intractable challenges.

Partners and Case Studies

Many organizations have partnered with Plexus Institute and created their own success stories. We have worked extensively within the education and healthcare sectors; however, our methods have benefited prisons, the U.S. military, and other organizations of varying size.

Our Approach

Our approach to positive and lasting change involves recognizing the complex and interconnected nature of the challenge and focusing on leadership and the development of networks to tap into the wisdom within the community.

Adaptive Positive Deviance

Our positive deviance framework can help leaders and change agents cultivate the uncommon yet successful ideas and behaviors in their own organizations and uncover solutions that already exist. Within a community these individuals, who are the progenitors of these solutions, are called "positive deviants." Ultimately, our approach enables changes in an organization's environment (i.e., its culture), such that even in the absence of a positive deviant, the community is primed for a sustainable solution to emerge, organize, and spread.

To interrupt old habits and change the ways people relate and think, Plexus Institute uses Liberating Structures, which spark inventiveness and enhance trust by minimally structuring the way we interact while liberating the content or subject matter. When incorporated into our positive deviance approach, liberating structures change the dynamics within a community to allow the growth of new ideas and encourage effective actions.

This organization is based in Washington, DC.

See Also