Systemic influencing strives towards goal-oriented collaboration that leads to results. In order to utilize the potential of individuals and teams, the inherent developmental energy of the organization needs to be liberated and directed towards adequate solutions and goal-oriented work. Thanks to the systemic approach, you can help others see their daily work and their relationships with fresh eyes. Through this sensitivity to the larger system, you’ll be able to release the energy until then bound by the present interaction patterns.
What does the systemic approach stand for?
The term ‘system’ comes from the Latin word systēma and refers to a set of interdependent parts that interact with one another according to certain principles. Systems are dynamic, i.e. they are in constant movement. In order to influence the system optimally, one needs to understand how the different parts interact with one another. Change will occur once the energy stuck in the system gets released. Maximum efficiency is reached when the system sufficiently flexible and adaptable.
The organizational system consists of a number of actors, formally and informally intertwined with one other. These individuals and groups adjust their activities and tasks according to the environment. The organizational system rests on the interaction between its members, the quality of which is essential for success. Healthy communities are able to recognize and renew themselves through their interaction. In a well functioning organizational system, upcoming topics and concerns are considered in advance and practices are revised appreciatively.
Organizational systems are complex and difficult to observe without specific systemic skills. This lack manifests itself through certain misconceptions:
- We imagine that everyone else thinks, feels and interprets the world as we do. If not, we tend to judge others’ views and experiences and label them as bad or erroneous.
- We imagine that as adults, we are independent of one another. When our interdependency manifests itself, we accuse others of being irresponsible.
The organization comprises people who are, by their very nature, wonderfully different. When given the opportunity, each of them has the prerequisites for bringing in new ways of thinking and acting. In order to enable their potential to grow, we need to acquire a systemic sensitivity to their different strengths and to ways of utilizing these.
The organizational system offers great opportunities for practicing the use of systemic skills. The different units, teams and individuals within the organization are interconnected and communicate with each other. Individuals dependent on one another! In order to achieve success, we need to recognize and make positive use of this interdependence. Each part of the organizational system is responsible for its own actions, and specifially for the impact it has on the others.
The first thing we need is a positive attitude to help us see and reflect on what we do and what we think. Once we learn to identify well functioning and dysfunctional systems, we can start to utilize our observations. When we locate a complex blockage we haven’t noticed earlier, we can begin to investigate and disentangle it. Once the jam becomes visible, energy is being released and the set-up changes.
…helps the coachee see his/her system, recognize patterns, remove blockages and positively influence the system in the desired direction.
Change is constant
There’s no survival and development without change. Because of this, the systemic approach doesn’t strive towards stability and balance, but change. The system is in constant motion, and change in one part of the system will automatically lead to changes elsewhere. Because organizations are so complex, the outcome and effects of change cannot be accurately predicted. Change requires flexibility, “change muscles” and a willingness to try out something new.
The systemic approach will guide your company
- from control towards facilitating and releasing energy
- from hierarchic, one-way communication towards unlimited interaction
- from a search for certainty towards navigation
- from problem fixing towards seeing the big picture.
Why to use the systemic approach
In our training and coaching practice, we frequently meet leaders and executives enormously frustrated but helpless amidst change. The pace of change is unmanageable and any predictions of the future are utterly uncertain. The attempts to change people have proven fruitless. The vitality and the development of the organization have stalled. Energy is being sucked by the everyday musts, and none is left over for enthusiasm. There is a clear need for updating our thinking, our tools and for learning to work effectively!
The systemic approach brings about new organizational tools, concepts and models that sustain innovation and adjustment. They are essential for every change manager determined to having an impact, fostering development and achieving results with the team and the whole organization.
In order to implement systemic organizational development, we need firstly to understand the laws of change: what drives it and how it happens. Secondly, we need to learn to turn the energy of the team, the unit or the organization towards a common goal.
Via the systemic approach, we increase the organizations’ capacity to change. We spread our systemic understanding to those wishing to deepen their individual coaching and leadership skills and build the future success of their organization. An internal professional proficient in influencing-will induce change in the individual, in the team and within the whole organization.