What this approach offers

When used alongside conventional management tools and methods, Systemic Organisational Constellations is proving to be a radical and effective method for tackling complex and intractable issues. It is used as an integral part of a wider organisational change programme, as an intervention to help teams and consultants diagnose and then deal with perceived blocks, and as a means to design and test new ideas.

The nature of the constellating process is outlined below, including a workshop summary.

1. Preparation

An initial conversation will take place between the potential issue-holder and the coach, consultant, mentor working with them, or with an adviser from movingconstellations. This enables the person to gain clarity, deeper understanding and insights into the broad nature of their issue.

2. A Workshop

The issue holder arranges to join a scheduled or bespoke workshop session with movingconstellations.

The workshop provides a space in which to map and explore the current situation and possibilities, and evaluate the impact of designs and decisions. They work through people overtly utilising all the human faculties, of intuition, intellect, body and mind, and not just the so-called ‘rational mind’.

The components comprising the participants in a workshop process are:

  • The person wanting to resolve a particular issue – THE ISSUE HOLDER
  • A person facilitating the process – THE CONSTELLATOR
  • A group of 12 or so people – THE REPRESENTATIVES
  • A person will often accompany the issue-holder & do post-session work- COACH, MENTOR, CONSULTANT

You do not need to be an issue-holder to participate initially. By attending as a representative, you can learn about the process and begin to see how it would apply to your own situation.

Brief summary of a workshop

An initial interview with the constellator provides information to set up a living map (or constellation) of the system in question with people representing the key elements. The representatives are asked to attend to their senses, feelings, images and thoughts as a way of generating new data about the forces and factors that are helping or hindering success.

By moving people’s positions in the map, noting the changes and working with precise sentences, the entangled dynamics of the present context are revealed. This information can be used to provide an embodied understanding of an optimal resolution or future state. A constellation typically lasts 30 – 50 minutes.

At the end of the constellation a short space for meaning-making enables the group to draw out the key learnings, enabling the issue-holder and coach to leave with fresh perspectives and ideas that build on the strengths of the whole system.

When setting up a bespoke workshop, the representatives may be drawn from the client’s organisation/community, or be provided by movingconstellations, depending on the nature of the issue. Confidentiality and sensitivity are a given prerequisite for participation. The constellation itself is usually noted and transcribed, with a script subsequently being provided to the issue holder.

3. Working creatively with the resolution

The issue-holder and coach / mentor (or a colleague) subsequently use the insights and perspectives to work to support initial actions, build on the sense they are making and create new ways to move forward. This work needs to hold a careful balance between taking deliberate actions, and allowing events to unfold of their own accord, as a natural consequence of having intervened in the wider field.

As a result of this work, new insights can be integrated into the workplace and the seeds planted can become the basis for real change and sustainable growth.