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Systemic Intelligence

"Systemic Intelligence reconnects us to a deeper knowing, providing quantum perspective, insight and wisdom leading to conviction and clear next steps."

Systemic Intelligence

It’s easy to spot a healthy system – people are flourishing, ideas are generated freely and there’s effective problem solving with minimum interruption. Symptoms of an unhealthy system include resistance, opposition, compulsive patterns, entitlement, overdrive, persistent conflict, oversimplification and overcomplication.

Organisations have intrinsic cultural and operational dynamics that can either support or stifle the business. ‘System Dynamics’ refers to the movements arising from interactions between inter-connected elements that, thereby, form a ‘system’. Understanding the most influential dynamics in a complex system is important for executives and crucial for the leadership of a successful organisation. It can give you the insights, perspectives and understanding to expose the truth of the system, remove the secrets, perceptual filters and distortions.

The challenge in identifying ‘system dynamics’ is that they are subtle and often not recognised at a conscious level. The ‘unconscious’ nature of system dynamics means that they are often more powerful than formally adopted mission or vision statements, permeating the very fabric of the business and impacting decisions and actions, outside of our awareness.

Systemic Intelligence allows leaders to see their current reality, exposing them to all points of views. Once seen, the rest of the system starts communicating. Then the leaders can explore different relationships to find flow, health and vitality. By making everything in the system observable from an objective point of view and expanding your perspective, you are able to see what requires attention and where to take action.

The Banking Royal Commission as an example

As I observed the revelations of the Banking Royal Commission, and other crises that engulf organisations, it strikes me that what’s so clear from the outside, seems to be so indistinct on the inside. While the complex issues that lie at the heart of organisational failures aren’t easy to resolve for anyone who’s in the system, I know that systemic work is a potent resource to address many of these conundrums.

When it comes to the failures that have been revealed through the Royal Commission, with the systemic lens I would be curious what has its roots in the past, what lies with consumers, what come from the interaction with other systems with which they are interdependent, such as other regulators, governments, superannuation, governance, advisors, and international financial markets. No-one is immune from a role in this. And while this is just one sector across our society, it’s a perfect example of the complexity that organisations everywhere are grappling with.

We can access systemic intelligence if we start listening to systems.

What are the systemic levels of conscience, and how to do they play out in an organisational setting? Their impact can be profound. Levels of conscience can be in harmony or dissonance. When we experience significant events, it can throw us into turbulence, which arises with clashing levels of conscience. When we understand how to work with these different levels, we can create flow and vitality instead.

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Systemic Consulting

If we want to be skillful with complexity, new levels of awareness and expanded perspectives come when we realise the limitations of our own thinking and ability to observe, and instead open our hearts and minds to different realities.

The purpose and potency of understanding system dynamics is to review alternatives, seek clarity and gain perspective, create alignment, provide insight, resolve confusion, and create healing. This works powerfully for both individuals and organisations, which are human systems.

Mapping system dynamics

When providing systemic consulting, I first help create an awareness of the system, and the relationships between the elements in the system. This allows you then to achieve significant change by creating flow across the system.

An example is team dynamics – by listening, attuning and responding to the system dynamics. By exploring what is at play at the level of personal conscience vs the level of collective conscience, it can impressively resolve team issues and move them into alignment and the conditions for leveraged performance. It’s an exciting outcome that can have not just a significant organisational benefit, but deeply satisfying personal benefits to those involved as well. When we let the system do the talking, we see where the key points of leverage are. And rather than making ourselves superior to the system, we’re more in partnership with it.

Guilt and innocence in organisations as an example

Often I get asked to provide coaching services for executives who are wrestling with difficult decisions, knowing that the consequences of their decisions have a profound impact on both the business, the collective and the individuals. Decisions that relate to organisational restructures, strategic re-direction and investment, and prioritising resources all have a human cost. The choices that get made are rarely black and white, as contrasting needs and objectives can tug in different directions. Sometimes a decision can be one of silence, or inaction – not speaking up on an issue, not defending another’s perspective.

Too often, even if we don’t consciously use this language, we fall into the trap of being ready to judge someone as ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’ in social terms, based on their decisions. Systemically however, someone’s ‘guilt’ or ‘innocence’ is perceived quite differently, because higher principles are at play, as well as different levels of conscience. For example, decisions are often made with the collective in mind, i.e. the enterprise itself, and not individuals. In this way, leaders have to be willing to carry ‘guilt’ for decisions they make that go against a social conscience – such as restructuring a team that results in someone losing their job – but in fact are for the collective good. Leading from this position gives you gravitas, whereas leading from a position of ‘innocence’ – while perhaps making you more popular – is not a long-term recipe for success, individually or organisationally.

Contact me if you would like to discuss how systemic consulting could benefit your organisation.

“I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the powerful impact of Sarah’s work in a number of settings, and each time have been deeply impressed at the insight her approach brings to problems that previously seemed intractable. Her ability to reveal the full spectrum of elements in any system – including what may be agitating the system, and what it takes to calm it – go far beyond the ‘normal’ organisational development approach of considering situations through an interpersonal lens.
Sarah’s methodology offers HR executives an invaluable approach to realising profound organisational outcomes.”

PEOPLE AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ORGANISATION

Business Constellations

The quantum approach needed for today’s complexity

Organisations have complex personal, organisational and social patterns, relationships and dynamics embedded within them.

Some are obvious, but many elements exist beneath the surface. Using ‘business constellations’, invisible forces inside an organisation are made visible. Importantly, the unveiling of the dynamics enables participants to interact with or alter the dynamics if they choose.

A ‘business constellation’ is a diagnostic tool that identifies issues and maps a path forward. Once you commence a business constellation the patterns and behaviours that require attention reveal themselves. It’s a quantum approach that bypasses conventional, linear approaches of understanding and resolving issues.

A ‘business constellation’ accesses the inherent knowledge and wisdom within the system, provides space for reflection and to explore the different dynamics, offers a new perspective and gives clarity and often conviction to actions.

Echoes of the past as an example

Across my consulting career, I’ve frequently come across situations of organisational dysfunction, where there was genuine confusion as to what was causing it and why unsettling incidents kept occurring. Despite best efforts and an otherwise healthy workplace culture, something was going on that would manifest itself in unexpected, troubling behaviour or organisational disruption. What I found in these situations, was that the disturbances were actually echoes of something in the past that had not been properly attended to; they were symptoms of an earlier event or decision that had badly affected the organisation and yet had been papered over or disregarded. Conducting business constellations brought these hidden dynamics to the conscious level, which then enabled them to be dealt with appropriately, resulting in the recurring disruptions to disappear.

“Having seen how some organisations just ‘gel’, while others struggle with dysfunction – even when the right strategy, structure and talent are in place – my passion is to help leadership teams shift their perspective from looking for tactics to ‘fix’ problems, to being curious about what might lie behind organisational challenges.
I’ve found that using organisational constellations is an incredibly effective approach that allows you to see situations from the outside-in, to understand how business really works and enable all the parts to operate seamlessly together.”

LORRAINE FARAH, GLOBAL LEARNING AND RELATIONSHIP EXECUTIVE, IT AND BANKING INDUSTRY

Systemic Coaching

Are you searching for new frontiers to enable your business or clients to thrive, and adeptly navigate complexity and change? My systemic coaching develops powerful break-through thinking for teams and individuals.

You will learn to understand and tap into systemic intelligence, which allows you to go into any situation and be comfortable not knowing what’s going to happen next. You’ll have a process that’s robust and flexible enough to help find the answers. It’s an incredibly relevant way of illuminating obstacles that impede the best-laid plans, and showing a path forward, whether in small business, large corporates or personal life.

From a systemic perspective, being able to listen to and read the system’s symptoms enables you to provide interventions that act as impulses for the system to come into alignment, or potentially they can be generative impulses that move it forward, or even more intriguing, they can be active transformational impulses that invite a new future.

Via either team or individual coaching, with an emphasis on collective dialogues, I can help you gain profound and different perspectives when it comes to issues like unconscious bias or guilt and innocence in the workplace, the collective conscious, navigating ambiguous challenges, understanding resistant or recurring issues, and organisational dysfunction.

Reach out to me to discuss what might be possible.

System Dynamics Training course

System Dynamics & Organisational Constellations Training 2019

Are you searching for new frontiers to enable your business or clients to thrive, and adeptly navigate complexity and change? If yes, you are invited to participate in a unique opportunity – a 6-month training course in system dynamics and organisational constellations, incorporating the most powerful practices and methodologies from the best organisational systemic practitioners in the world.

For those with the consciousness, curiosity and willingness, this training requires a leap, both personally and professionally, and offers a highly leveraged platform for revealing different perspectives and new possibilities. The course is unique in Australia, and is designed to be undertaken by experienced organisational development practitioners and executive coaches interested in an expanded perspective and offering.

While system dynamics is a growing methodology in Europe and the US, it’s newly emerging in the Australian business context. I am committed to bringing this work to Australian Organisations and fostering a group of perceptive and skilful professionals and consultants to steward this work in the Asia Pacific region. Are you one of these consultants, looking to move beyond your current repertoire and step into the rich opportunities that become possible when you know how to work with systemic intelligence and system dynamics?

System Dynamics Organisational Constellations Training 2019

  • Consultants, Facilitators, Trainers, Executive Coaches, HR & OD Professionals & Leaders
  • Teaching, Practice & Experiential Days
  • 1 August 2019 to 2 May 2020
  • Sydney CBD

Why System Dynamics

Having applied systemic work with many clients’ situations, I’ve repeatedly seen how it is a potent and practical way to access systems intelligence that allows us to leverage our capacity to navigate complexity and ambiguity. By revealing dynamics that are often hidden from our view – and yet material in their effect – we are equipped with new awareness and expanded capacity to respond.

Attending an intensive in Mexico Gunthard Weber, the founder of organisational constellations said “Organisational Constellation work needs to come more into the hands of business consultants for it to develop and become sustainable. It’s not easy to adapt to the business world. It needs good people who understand both this work and the organisational system with ideas on how to develop it so it works well in the organisational context.”

There is a growing interest within organisations to use this work. My aim is to a community of practitioners in Australia who can steward this work in organisations, and I am inviting you to be part of the second training cohort.

Training Goals

  1. Develop an expanded capacity for applying systems awareness and competence in organisations and business
  2. Develop a systemic way of seeing to apply in organisational development, coaching, consulting and professional practice
  3. Learn how to facilitate organisational constellations
  4. See and manage your own systemic dynamics
  5. Synthesise current professional practices with the systemic view
  6. Create a community of practitioners to support each other, enhance our practice and steward this work in Australia.

What to Expect in the Program

The training program will cover a number of areas aimed at equipping you with a sophisticated theoretical framework, personal development, and practical skills. Key elements include:

  1. Understanding systems intelligence and developing a systemic perspective
  2. Learning basic theory, processes and techniques that are used for systemic interventions, including constellations as well as many other forms for organisational settings
  3. Experiencing systemic principles in action to understand how they apply in your life and work
  4. Exploring the myriad of ways this may present in your personal, and professional contexts and how to select approaches to respond
  5. Developing your own authentic way of engaging with this work that respects and includes your history, what strengths you bring from the range of systems you have emerged from and what biases or blind spots you will need to be mindful of
  6. Creating a bridge between this work and the world of clients

The level of consciousness of the practitioner, their inner attitude and capacity for systemic perception make the difference in practice.

The group will be small enough for everyone to get individual attention to support their learning, development and practice.

The majority of the time will be in experiential learning doing practical activities.

Practice & Experimentation Days

The transfer of knowledge into practice is crucial with this work. Finding your own authentic systemic voice in this work is important. The more you apply it the easier it becomes. As we are also creating a bridge into the organisational context we need to experiment with existing knowledge and application with an expanded perspective and range. This will require experimentation and feedback in a safe learning environment. Practice groups and practice days during the program will allow you to begin this experimentation and exploration, as well as assignments to do in your work. Further we will assign a full day for experimentation with your existing concepts and processes. Skilled facilitators will assist with these groups.

Guest clients

During the program guest clients will be invited to present cases they would like to address. Initially Sarah will lead this and as the program progresses participants will will be able to invite clients for these opportunities. They will need to be business owners, managers or teams from Australian organisations.

Personal Issues

In the process of becoming a systemic facilitator personal issues may arise which require attention. An optional extra day will be provided towards the end of the program to address personal issues. There will be a cover charge only for this day.

Conditions for participation

To undertake the training you need to:

  • Have experienced constellations either as a family constellation or organisational constellations (this can be done by attending one of my 1 day workshops)
  • Work in the field of organisational development, executive coaching, management consulting or strategic business management.
  • Have an interest in the systemic perspective and developing higher levels of consciousness
  • Commit to the whole training program, as it requires a full subscription.

Application

To apply, please contact Leanne Imbro (ea@sarahcornally.com) explaining:

  1. Why you want to participate and how you believe you can apply your learnings
  2. A short overview of your professional background and current work relevant to the program
  3. Your experience with constellation work (days of workshops and/or training)
  4. Your contact details – email, phone numbers and address

Dates for 2019

  • Core Module 1: 1-5 August 2019, plus optional practice day 6 August 2019
  • Module 2: 30 October – 1 November 2019, plus optional practice days 29 October and 2 November 2019
    Module 3: 6-8 February 2020, plus optional practice days 5 and 9 February 2020
  • Module 4: 30 April – 2 May 2020, plus optional practice day 29 April, and personal issues day 3 May 2020
  • Between Modules: Homework to be completed and regular teleconference calls to ask questions, gain support, experiment with and explore options for current situations, and generally support each other to grow our application and practice.

Location

To be announced, a central Sydney location.

Investment

APPLICATION FEE $880 (incl. GST) PLUS

EARLYBIRD OFFER $7,920 (incl. GST)

OR

MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN $9,680 (total cost, incl. GST)

The first practice day on 6 August 2019 is included in the program fees. Additional practice days throughout modules 2 – 4 will be invoiced to you at $140 including GST.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will be accepted up to 4 weeks prior to commencement subject to a non-refundable deposit $880 including GST. Once the program is commenced refunds are no longer available.

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Graduates of Sarah’s System Dynamics & Organisational Constellations Training course share their learnings and perspectives.

“The opportunity to develop an emerging collective of professionals, who are able to leverage the profound insights of working with systemic intelligence in organisations, could not be more relevant. I believe that we have the opportunity to make a real difference to corporate Australia, NFP and public sector organisations, by developing and applying a systemic lens to the complex future that’s rushing towards us all.”

SARAH CORNALLY

What Previous Participants Said

“I’m at a stage in my work where I’m feeling pulled to a new level of effectiveness and impact. So I was really looking for something to give me the keys to unlock that. The systemic lens of this work gave me that and more – it’s enabled a whole new level of consciousness.”

KERIM NUTKU, PARTNER, V2 LEADERSHIP – DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP POWER

“The value of the course is first and foremost your own incredible personal growth and development. The other most significant benefit is that it gives you a new dimension to your business. I can’t compare the value of the deeper understanding of systematic thinking it’s given me, and the more profound sense of what’s going on.”

MURRAY WRIGHT, EXECUTIVE COACH & FACILITATOR, MURRAY WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES

“I absolutely recommend the course to consultants, coaches, and trainers. There are so many layers to the training that give so much more context, depth and breadth to the work that we are doing, and the impact that we can have.”

DR DOMINQUE BECK, EXECUTIVE COACH & FACILITATOR

“On a personal level this course has expanded and deepened how I work with clients and the results of the systemic work are profound in terms of commercial outcomes and humbling and heartening on a human level. I am a far better consultant, facilitator, coach and mentor as a result of this training. I encourage others who feel a resonance for this work to contact Sarah and see if there is a fit.”

FIONA PEARMAN, DIRECTOR, BRAND ILLUMINATION

Download this book of case studies on systemic intelligence in business.