Navigating organisational change
Leadership Coach, Front of Room Leader and Systemic Change Guide
Each petal of this turquoise plants stands for one part of the system.

“I feel like we’re this close to figuring this all out”, the CEO says smiling. And then she adds after a little pause, “even though I know it’s much more complex and we aren’t.”

Everyone on the Board is smiling now, because they are all aware of their own conflicting inner voices. Some of these shout at them to swoop in and “fix things”. And like the CEO they understand that this top- down approach has not worked in the past and won’t work now. This is parts work on an organisational level, and how exciting is that! 

We’ve just debriefed an event with the Board and shared our observations of the systemic forces at play in their organisation. Other Board members comment, and they too apply systems thinking to their analysis of the current reality. 

Systems thinking matters more than ever

In our work with organisations who seek to change and evolve in order to stay relevant in an ever changing economic and societal landscape, one of the most important pillars is systems thinking. Becoming more and more aware of the complex interplay of people, beliefs and old habits that shape organisations from the inside is a crucial part of leadership development. Because you need to fully understand a system in order to change it.

It’s like getting to know your own parts as you’re trying to understand why in some areas of your life you live with one foot on the gas and with the other foot on the break. Likewise, organisations can get to know their parts better: the experience of people in diverse roles and locations differs dramatically. Ignoring that in turn leads to ill informed changes and resistance which ultimately leads to failed change initiatives.

A systems approach reignites the drive for change

We work with the whole system. In other words, we bring  a representative group of the organisation into one room. We guide them through an exchange and exploration of different perspectives. Organically they get the root causes for their stuckness and also unearth the needs and aspirations that drive people towards meaningful change. It’s a collaborative and energizing process, and it re-ignites everyone’s appetite for change. 

It’s simple: be it yourself or your team or your organisation, once a system knows itself better, the levers for change become apparent. 

Avoiding the one mistake that will kill off your change initiative

Once you have a deeper understanding, it’s important to not swoop in with solutions. In a complex environment, the more effective approach is to probe, sense, and respond. Which means experimenting with small changes and initiatives, sensing into the feedback from the system, and then responding with tweaking and/ or scaling.

One big change after another alienates employees. And especially those with a sense of agency leave. It’s time to rethink how to stay relevant in an ever changing economic environment and cultural climate.

Why not try co-creating change with the people you lead?

Work with us to explore and release what has you stuck when you try to change. In our co-active® informed coaching for individuals, teams and organisations, we tie together approaches like Theory U, Internal Family Systems, Emotional Freedom Technique, Immunity to Change, and more.

For leadership coaching and developement, get in touch

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