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Organisation constellations

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Modelling of organisational systems or organisational constellations did not appear yesterday. The small book by Jan Jakob Stam «Fields of Connection. The Practice of Organisational Constellations», translated into Russian, came to my hands in the distant 2003. Systems modelling is used by IBM, Siemens, Lufthansa, McKinsey and the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

This method is based on an interesting phenomenon, called the substitute perception. Best of all, the physiology of this mechanism is described in Joachim Bauer’s book «Warum ich fühle, was du fühlst», which opened in the special brain structures, apparently responsible for this perception, the so-called «mirroring neurons.» Direct perception of information, bypassing the eyes, ears and tactile sensations, play an important role in the learning process and the life of primates. And perhaps not only primates. And this is not about «telepathy» or «reading thoughts,» but rather about empathy, about obtaining data on the state.

Apparently, in addition to the five senses known to us, that is, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, people have one more, which is pretty dull, but not lost. Higher primates know how to get into «someone else’s skin». The ancient hunter could try on the role of a mammoth, in a sense «became a mammoth» and at the level of the body feel where is so necessary cattle is running or where it is grazing.

How can we use this additional channel for obtaining information? The employee or the owner of the organisation, together with the consultant trained in this approach, determine which system can be the source of the problem. In simple cases that require only diagnostics, the employee and owner can do it without a consultant, having read several before.

Next, the group participants are asked to stay in the «mammoth skin». In other words, be some element of the system. The participant is introduced into the model. Consultant places them at their place in the room, literally «put them» and speak aloud or themselves clearly, whose role they play. In a few minutes this participant, usually called the «representative», begins to feel in the body sensations, which he clearly defines as «not his own» and which he well distinguishes his usual sensations.

Often, it manifests itself very clearly. Sensation rarely changes if we introduce different «representatives» for the same role and do not depend on whether the «representatives» know whose role he «replaces». In 86% of cases, different participants describe them identically, even without knowing whose role they are presenting. That is, it can be an argument that these feelings are not associated with the personality of the participants, but with something more significant.

What can we see? For example, that one of the department is very warm to customers, and the other «saw them in a coffin and in white slippers.» Digging into the depth of this problem, one can clearly see that the root of this problem is in the specific life beliefs of one of the leaders. If that leader wants to figure this out, they can see and, most importantly, make adjustments to these beliefs.

Thus, you can see new connections in the system, understand about your system much more than you realised before, see which systems still affect the problem and use it constructively.

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