The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic - Peter Drucker

The TurningTides Blog

Ideas and inspiration from Turning Tides

Systemic Coaching and Constellations 'Fundamentals' Training

 Lightbulb door

“Systems thinking”. “Seeing the whole system”. “Acting with the whole system in mind”. 

These are common expectations of leaders in organisational settings, especially settings that cross organisational boundaries. But what does thinking and acting with the whole system in mind really mean? 

First, there’s a need to stand back. To put some distance between oneself and the organisational context. Not easy to do when feeling overwhelmed in a busy leadership role.Yet, the simple act of bringing this kind of objectivity into the oft beleaguered lives of leaders is one of the most fruitful interventions I can make as an Executive Coach. Like switching from dipped headlights to full beam, a systemic constellation enables the client to see the landscape in a different light.

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How can we restore the flow of trust and motivation in organisations in turbulent times?

Mams view 2016

The paradoxical theory of change holds that the more you try to make change happen the more likelihood there is of things staying the same. Planned (intentional) change disrupts the principles of ‘natural order’ in organisations and things can get stuck. There's a tendency to focus attention at the level of the individual or the team but sometimes 'difficult behaviours', conflict and repeating patterns are actually manifestations of something amiss in the system.

Adding to the complexity, there are few work places these days where collaboration isn’t on the horizon. Whether as a result of mergers, joint ventures or partnerships, teams and organisations have to work together for a variety of reasons. To reduce duplication, improve services, promote sustainability and, in some cases, to ensure survival.

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Hidden dynamics - Touching the tripwire



How do you avoid touching the tripwire that creates relational conflicts especially in sensitive change situations? 


Some conflicts in teams are difficult to avoid but by becoming attuned to the ordering principles that govern human systems you can recognise when there is the potential for difficult team dynamics. These principles are Time, Place (belonging) and the balance of Exchange. You’ll find more about the hidden forces governing systems from John Whittington’s illuminating BOOK.


Viewing the issues within the context of wider system dynamics enables you to act with intention to settle things at an earlier stage than might otherwise have been possible. A liberating alternative to being stuck in a relational quagmire.  

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