4-Fold Framework

In working with hundreds of teams, I have found that this lens produces long-lasting changes:


• the stuckness isn’t IN the way…it IS the way

• problems are simply expressions of where the system is trying to evolve (or heal)

• all teams have an inherent intelligence that can be freed up with the right processes and activities

• insights without action planning and execution remain insights

“IN ALL CHAOS THERE IS A COSMOS, 

IN ALL DISORDER A SECRET ORDER.”

CARL JUNG

Facilitating with a Systemic Lens

Organizations are systems where everything is interconnected. They comprise of changing relationships, hierarchies, loyalties, and motivations. These dynamics are always shifting in order to find cultural coherence (organizational culture is the unique personality of the group and includes the natural environment, physical realities, and social interactions).


When there are underlying issues (usually unseen and unconscious), staff will express those  that are threatening to the organization’s health. The system must express and it has no regard for whom it recruits.


To illustrate, another system is the human body. If there is something wrong e.g. migraine headaches, we might mistakenly look at just the head instead of the whole body. Similarly, organizations often make the mistake of focusing on the individuals in an organization who are expressing the disease symptoms instead of looking for the underlying systemic issues first. Looking at the level of individuals results in limited overall organizational health and ironically, it can further embed trauma for all staff and not just those who are expressing it.


Workshops are designed so that participants experience the activities that highlight these underlying, destabilizing, systemic patterns (vs. traditional, individual level training and education i.e. conflict style). This isn’t to say that individual focused training is not effective, only that it should happen after systemic exploration.


Comparison of

Systemic Approach

vs.

Traditional Training


• pattern identification and normalization vs. focus on individuals

• collective responsibilities vs. individual responsibilities

• widespread impact on structure system and values vs. limited impact on long-term sustainability

• focus on organizational strengths and central spirit of the work vs. an acceptance of individual dysfunctional behavior by the organization

“THE PART CAN NEVER BE WELL UNTIL THE WHOLE IS WELL.”

PLATO