About Systemic Consultancy

The name “Systemic Consultancy” is the latest denomination of a set of management tools that have evolved along the last 40 years, and specially in the last 12. As a new, non-consolidated discipline, it is called by various different denominations, such as Systemic Coaching.

Systemic Consultancy was recently born as a result of the application of the knowledge on systemic laws and human sub-conscious behaviour patterns, coming from the psychotherapy world, to the business context.

In its spirit, Systemic Consultancy uses these tools in order to diagnose and solve business problems, as well as to provide for planning and strategy assessment.

Systemic Consultancy uses several tools, the most famous of which is Organisational Constellations.


Brief History

  • In the 60’ and 70’ there is a shifting from the analytic thinking to the systemic one, mainly at the psychology world, thanks to psychotherapists such as Gregory Bateson

  • In the 70’ and 80’ systemic thinking starts to be introduced at organisations. Here, the contribution of the MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) is significant.

  • In the 80’, the English biologist Ruppert Sheldrake develops his Theory of the Morphogenetic Fields, which later on is used to explain the internal functioning of some aspects of Systemic Consultancy.

  • In the 90', Bert Hellinger (famous German psychotherapist) gives the first shape to the tool of Organisational Constellations, as an adaptation of his existing Family Constellations Therapy.

  • In the last 12 years, Organisational Constellations start to be introduced at public and private organisations, leaded by Gunthard Weber. Other researchers, such as Matthias Varga von Kibéd, help the continuous development of this field.

  • In any case, Systemic Consultancy and its tools still remain an elitist discipline. It is mostly yet unknown in most European Countries, except Germany, the source country, where some awareness on Systemic Consultancy is starting to been achieved.


Main Bibliography

-   Fields of connection: Systemic insights into work and organisations. Jan Jacob Stam (2007). Ed. Carl Auer Intl. ISBN 978-90-77290-08-8

-   Systemic Coaching: a Target-Oriented Approach to Consulting. Nino Tomaschek. ISBN 978-3-89670-545-7

-   Invisible Dynamics: Systemic Constellations in Organisations and Business. Horn, Klaus P & Buck, Regine (2005). Carl Auer (translated by Colleen Beaumont). ISBN 978-3-89670-491-7

-   Systemic Consultancy in Organisations. Konigswieser, Roswita & Hillebrand, Martin (2005)  Carl-Auer-Systeme Verlage: Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-89670-499-3

-   Groups, experimental learning and action research. Kurt Lewin.

-   A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981). Rupert Sheldrake

-   The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988). Rupert Sheldrake

-   The Evolutionary Mind (1998). Rupert Sheldrake

-   Seven Experiments that Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Institute for Social Inventions). Rupert Sheldrake

-   Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network). Rupert Sheldrake

-   The Sense of Being Stared At, and Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003). Rupert Sheldrake

-   The fifth discipline. Peter Senge

-   The Organisation of Self-Organisation. Foundations of Systemic Management. Fritz B. Simon. ISBN 978-3-89670-447-4

-   Praxis der Organisationsaufstellungen: Grundlagen, Prinzipien, Anwendungsbereiche. Gunthard Weber (Hrsg.).

-   Seeing Systems: Berrett-Koehler. Oshry, Barry (1995)

-   Das unsichtbare Netz. Erfolg im Beruf durch systemisches Wissen. Matthias Varga von Kibed


Complementary Bibliography

Bertalanffy, L., (1950) The Theory of Open Systems in Physics & Biology, Science, 3: 23-29
Bohm, David (1992) Thought as a System, London: Routledge
Emery, Fred (1981) Open Systems Thinking, Harmondsworth: Penguin
Gladwell, Malcolm (2000) The Tipping Point, London: Little, Brown & Co
Midgley, Gerald (2000) Systemic Intervention, London: Kluwer Academic/Plenum
Oshry, Barry (1995) Seeing Systems, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler
Senge, Peter (1993) The Fifth Discipline, London: Century Business

Doerhman, Margery (1976) Parallel Process in Supervision & Psychotherapy Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 40:1
Lewin, Kurt (1997) Resolving Social Conflicts & Field Theory & Social Science Washington: American Psychological Association
McTaggart, Lynne (2001) The Field London: HarperCollins
Parlett, Malcolm (1991) Reflections on Field Theory, British Gestalt Journal, 1: 69-81
Parlett, Malcolm (1997) The Unified Field in Practice, Gestalt Review, 1:1, 16-33
Roberts, Arthur (1999) The Field Talks Back, British Gestalt Journal, 8:1, 35-46
Watts, Duncan J (1999) Small Worlds, Princeton: Princeton University Press
Wheeler, Gordon (2000) Beyond Individualism, Cambridge MA: GIC Press

Beck, Don & Cowan, Chris (1996) Spiral Dynamics, Oxford: Blackwell
Bohm, David (1995) Wholeness & the Implicate Order London: Routledge
Fritz, Robert (1996) Corporate Tides San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler

Abram, David (1997) The Sensuous World. London: Vintage
Agor, Weston (1989) Intuition in Organisations. London: Sage
Cappon, Daniel (1989) Intuition. Toronto:Bedford House
Harman, Willis (1988) Intuition as the code word for global transformation. Geneva:19.02.88 Institute of Noetic Sciences Conference
Parikh, Jagdish (1994) Intuition. Oxford: Blackwell
Kelemann, Stanley (1981) Your Body Speaks Its Mind. Berkeley Center Press
Nuernberger, Phil (1992) Increasing Executive Productivity. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Spinelli, Ernesto (2001) Embodied Theories. London: Continuum

Bohm, David (1995) Wholeness & the Implicate. Order, London: Routledge
Capra, Fritjof (1983) The Turning Point. London: Harper Collins
Laszlo, Ervin (1996)The Whispering Pond. Shaftesbury: Element
Prigogine, I. & Stengers, I., (1984) Order Out Of Chaos - Man's New Dialogue With Nature, New York: Bantam
Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past, London: Fontana

Conklin, Jeffrey & Weil, William (1997) Wicked Problems 3M website
De Geus, Arie (1997) The Living Company, Cambridge MA: Harvard Business School Press
Krantz, J. & Gilmore, T., (1991) Understanding the dynamic between consulting teams and client systems, in Kets de Vries (ed) Organisations on the Couch, Oxford: Jossey-Bass Nevis, C., (1987), Organisational Consulting: A Gestalt Approach Cambridge MA: GIC Press
Nevis, Ed (1996) Intentional Revolutions San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Rubenstein, M. & Firstenberg, I., (1999), The Minding Organisation New York: John Wiley
Stacey, Ralph (1992) Managing the Unknowable San Francisco: Jossey Bass
Stacey, Ralph (1996) Complexity & Creativity in Organisations San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler
Trist, E., (1979) New Directions of Hope: Recent Innovations Interconnecting Organisational, Industrial, Community & Personal Development, Regional Studies, 13:439-451
Wheatley, Margaret Leadership & the New Science, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler