Contractual vs Covenantal – Secular

As we design new models that make the existing models obsolete it is imperative that we adopt different words and language to describe the new. And sometimes to reanimate old words that have been forgotten.

A contract is to make an agreement. It is, in our current world, generally written into law. We sign a contract. If one party breaks the contract then the contract is nullified.

A covenant is a mutual compact to do something or not. It may or may not be signed into law. If one party breaks the agreement the covenant persists.

The Declaration of Independence was a covenant. There was an agreement that the covenant transcended the acts of one person or signatory.

When we make a covenant we are taking an enduring stand for an agreement that mutually honours those within the covenant. Not necessarily till death us do part, nor till the end of time, but above and beyond the petty desires of our atomised egoic selves. 

To be in a covenantal relationship is to commit to stay the distance for the agreed purpose of the relationship, to hold the relationship itself as worthy of endurance.

It is a completely different context than a contractual relationship.

Both are necessary. 

Photo taken October 19th, 2019

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About Dr Christine McDougall


As the principal of – She works with leaders and enterprises globally who have a commitment to being the pioneers of enterprise change. Christine has the ability to completely re-imagine business, its role in our world, and its potential for a future for all humans. She experiences a deeper level of truth than most through applying synergetics (Buckminster Fuller’s anticipatory design science), and has a way of articulating this so others can see it as well. Christine questions the most basic assumptions that drive our complex systems and can map that back to what is needed today. She is committed to the creation of Syntropic enterprises as ubiquitous.

To learn more visit

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 6 ways I can help you steward your enterprise for a world with a future.

1. Purchase the ebook, Speak the Truth for just $10. Our most important work is in human to human relationships. Often the greatest pain of our lives is when these relationships at home and in our work break down. This is a powerful tool that has restored the human connection in many of the most broken relationships. The 7 step process covered in Speak the Truth has been delivered to thousands around the world.

2. Masterclass – Syntropic Enterprise Design and Strategy. The masterclass seeds a new school of business and enterprise design for a world with a future. For more,

3. Enterprise Architecture Launchpad – a four day intensive experience for enterprise teams of up to twenty to shift towards becoming a Syntropic Enterprise. For more information,

4. Unplanning Obsolescence One Day Strategy Session – a team experience to consider a whole systems approach to strategy through becoming a Syntropic Enterprise. For more information,

5. Off-site retreats for Steward leaders in the process of deep change. Be this change personal, at the enterprise level, or both. Rather than a “health retreat/spa” step into a space that enables both self refection and other refection towards the fullest expression of your Pattern Integrity in the world.

6. Warm Data Labs – to consider a trans-contextual response to complex problems, evoking the collective brilliance available when we look at the whole system by design.

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