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Systemic Intelligence: A Lens to See System Across Organisations

A healthy system is easily identifiable — individuals thrive, ideas flow freely, and problems are resolved effectively and with minimal disruption. Resistance, antagonism, compulsive behaviours, entitlement, hyperactivity, chronic conflict, oversimplification, and overcomplication are all symptoms of a sick system.

Organizations have inherent cultural and operational characteristics that can either support or suffocate their operations. The term ‘System Dynamics’ refers to the motions caused by interactions between interconnected elements that collectively form a system. Understanding the most influential variables in a complex system is critical for CEOs and critical for successful organisational leadership. It can provide you with the insights, views, and comprehension necessary to uncover the system’s truth and eliminate its secrets, perceptual filters, and distortions.

The difficulty in recognizing system dynamics is that they are subtle and frequently go unnoticed on a conscious level. Due to the fact that system dynamics are ‘unconscious,’ they are frequently more potent than formally declared purpose or vision statements, entering the very fabric of the firm and influencing decisions and behaviours in ways that we are unaware of.

Systemic Intelligence enables leaders to understand their existing situation by exposing them to a variety of perspectives. Once detected, the remainder of the system initiates communication. Then, leaders can experiment with various partnerships in order to discover flow, health, and energy. By objectively observing everything in the system and broadening your perspective, you can understand what demands attention and where to take action.

The Principles of Systemic Intelligence

By Mobius Transformational Faculty Members Paul Zonneveld and Mieke Jacobs

Paul Zonneveld and Mieke Jacobs have spent the last two decades researching the impact of systemic dynamics, entanglements, and traumatic events on large organisations and top teams as a result of restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, executive leadership transitions, fraud, accidents, and transfer of ownership, among other things. They discovered that addressing complex organisational challenges with systemic intelligence, utilising constellation work’s concepts and methods, results in dramatic solutions.

The systemic intelligence principles-

1) Purpose

2) Connections and Inclusion

3) Structure and

4) Exchange assists us in appreciating the greater whole beyond the distracting components and symptoms that often divert our attention and frequently cause us to expend our energy in the wrong direction. While these principles are particularly applicable to mergers and acquisitions, the subject of our forthcoming book, systemic intelligence can be applied to any situation involving system dynamics, from organisations grappling with the full range of strategic and operational issues to more localised societal and interpersonal issues.

Why use Systemic Intelligence in Coaching teams?

According to systems theory, a system is the sum of its parts and that systemic problems influence the entire system. By adopting a systemic perspective, we may promote balance and harmony. A constellation is a technique for identifying what is not working in a system and for revealing a path to restore balance and healing. Similarly to how a constellation gives significance to a cluster of stars, a constellation tool can show a team’s true shape.

Systemic constellations enable us to bring systemic information to the surface, allowing us to collaborate with the team on future-past and outside-in work. According to a report published by the Fresh Pond Research Institute, the Systemic Constellation process is a “transgenerational, phenomenological, therapeutic intervention having origins in family systems therapy, existential phenomenology, and the South African Zulu ancestor respect.” (Forbes Magazine)

A team coach must have emotional intelligence, facilitation skills, systemic understanding and grasp, and the ability to face individuals and the team, particularly the team leader. Team coaching is a very powerful method for combining group dynamics, coaching dialogues, action items, and new team behaviour.

Coaching in collaboration with teams Team coaches obtain a greater awareness of themselves, their abilities, their presence, their effect, and team coaching itself by participation in such an activity. Reflecting together during and after a team coaching session is an extremely successful strategy for teams to maximise the benefits of team coaching. Supervision provides another safe space for team coaches to share issues, recalibrate, resource, and benchmark, and it is vital given the job’s complexity.

Team coaching needs the capacity to behave with assurance in the face of constantly changing conditions. It is an iterative dance that requires responding to the changing environment and horizon. Team coaching may be a deeply gratifying and meaningful occupation for the courageous and the daring. Above all, team coaching has the ability to have a significant positive effect on the system as a whole.

Understanding Systemic Intelligence with Chris at TCC 2021

Today’s leaders must help their organizations and teams navigate an ever-increasing array of

adaptive challenges—shifting workforce demographics, market disruptions, global economic

uncertainty, and international challenges ranging from seismic geopolitical events (e.g.

pandemics) and climate change. The pace and complexity of challenges are worsening.

Leaders need to apply a new level of consciousness—systemic intelligence (SysQ)—to have

any hope of successfully navigating these adaptive challenges.

Chris Soderquist has over twenty-five years’ experience as a strategy and leadership consultant, coach and educator, with a diverse set of clients from the private and public sectors. His expertise integrates adaptive learning and leadership, strategic planning, sustainability (environmental, economic and social), and high impact training through facilitation and simulation.

Chris is a Visiting Executive Lecturer at the Darden School of Business (University of Virginia), an instructor in Marlboro College’s graduate school, a designer and instructor of the Boeing Engineering Leadership Program, and co-designer of the Legislative Health Certificate Program at the Georgia Health Policy Center. He was a founding member and instructor of integral business/sustainability at Integral University.

He is a contributing author to The Change Handbook (Berrett-Koehler, 1999) and delivers

systems thinking webinars for isee systems, where he is a consulting partner. His video, Finding

Leverage, won the Communicator Award of Excellence for Cause Marketing. His video series

On applying systems thinking is available on the CDC-TV channel. Some of Chris’s clients include: The Boeing Company, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati Child Poverty Collaborative, Hewlett-Packard, Janssen, MIT, Nissan, Northwestern Mutual, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, UNDP, The World Bank, and The World Economic Forum.

Listen Chris on how to contribute towards bettering up your team with Systemic Intelligence at The Coaching Conclave 2021.