How do systemic issues arise?
Organisational systems are greatly influenced by naturally occurring forces that ensure their effectiveness and vitality. When they are disturbed or ignored, business and the business of leadership can become unwittingly entangled in the self-righting dynamics and the flow of leadership and organisational health is disrupted.
It is the attempts to ignore or side step these underlying forces which cause imbalances and entanglements in the system. Once out of balance the system tries to right itself and calls individuals or groups of people into service of the need to correct and find balance and the natural order again.
A constellation workshop or systemic coaching/consulting will surface the unseen dynamics and then reveal new paths to enduring resolution, bringing fresh vitality to the whole system.
Themes that can be explored
Business constellations reveal the underlying dynamics and patterns that both limit and resource leaders, teams and whole organisations. By creating a three dimensional relational map of the issue, leaders can see how lasting change can begin and endure. Constellations are particularly useful when the source of the issue or the solution is not clear, where previous attempts to change have not endured or where there is a sense of ‘stuckness’ in the whole or part of a system. Standing in the ‘what is’ illuminates dynamics, softens hidden loyalties, completes missing conversations and opens up fresh paths to resolution and ‘what could be’.
Leaders looking to release inertia, enter or exit a system, prepare for leading a change or resolve dynamics that limit movement into the future find a workshop a refreshing release from confusion and dilemma. They leave with rich insights and clarity on direction, responsibilities and actions. Workshops and the exercises and constellations within them can be used to test, explore, illuminate and resolve issues that challenge, confuse or are hard to influence, including:
- Leading in a VUCA world, with the health of the whole system in mind
- Mapping the relational pattern amongst key stakeholders
- Aligning the team in advance of critical change
- Releasing ‘stuckness’ in teams, divisions and individuals
- Leading organisational change and transition
- Dissolving resistance to change
- Improving key relationships, dissolving conflict
- Resourcing a leadership team
- Repurposing a leadership team
- Refining strategic focus
- Testing alternative product/service offerings
- Balancing regional/global focus
- Leading a virtual team
- Managing a matrix organisation
- Supporting successful mergers and acquisitions
- Testing organisational structure alternatives
- Strategic alignment of key parts
- Identifying dynamics behind resistance to change
- Pre or post major legal, social or regulatory changes
- Critical issue resolution
- Building organisational health
- Decisions and crucial choice points
- Identifying best investment and funding partners/options
- Mapping, analysing and cutting through complexity
- Facilitating culture change that endures
- Aligning for sale, merger or acquisition
- Illuminating inertia or resistance to change in self
- Connecting with fresh inner resources to lead complexity
- Finding the next step on career path
- Preparation for a difficult conversation
- Easing of intractable issues or conflict
- Setting a new direction
- Aligning self with role and organisation
- Finding resources to enhance work life balance
- Finding your place in a system
- Softening personal dynamics that limit professional journey
- Joining and managing a new system in a healthy way
- Succession planning
- Leaving well
Where does this approach to resolution come from and what underpins it?
The approach was originated in Europe by systemic specialist and philosopher Bert Hellinger through application within family and organisational systems. It has now been experienced by many thousands of people in Europe and across the world in both personal, organisational, consulting, educational and executive coaching contexts.
Hidden loyalties, identifications and entanglements are often revealed in just a few minutes, giving this approach a reputation as an intervention that can quickly get to the underlying dynamics and free up a system, releasing fresh energy that leads to resolution. The principles of acknowledgment and respect for ‘what is’ run through this work and so support people to really look at the truths and honour the past, before trying to move into the future and on into resolution.
Life within an organisation – with founder dynamics, matrix reporting, multiple hidden loyalties and the need for constant change – is often more complex than in a family system. Investors, staff, shareholders, former employees, suppliers and customers make business systems more complex as the interaction with many other systems on a daily basis creates a constant need for re-balance.
An increasing number of professional executive coaches and consultants are now training in this methodology and facilitating change at a deep level in individual leaders, teams and whole organisations.