Systemic Perspective

The systemic approach is focussed on finding a different perspective on humans and social systems. It is a way of looking at organisations, departments, teams, or any group of people. These organisations, departments, teams, or groups of people are called 'systems'. Everybody is part of many different systems at the same time and people are connected through these systems.

The idea of the systemic approach, also called 'phenomenological' approach is that when you zoom out from the level of the individual to the level of the system and you see the system as a whole, a different picture emerges. When using this perspective, organizations can be seen as  complex, living and learning networks of relations and patterns which are interwoven with each other in many ways. The systemic perspective helps to identify complex, often informal or subconscious, relationships and interdependencies within a group of people.

When we think how to influence or lead systems, the main ideas are: When you are more aware of the patterns and inter-dependencies in a system you are part of or which you are leading, you can handle these patterns better. And, if we are not aware of these inter-dependencies and patterns, systems are leading us, instead of us leading the systems. This is not about becoming 'a leader', but to be able to lead your own life, find the best place for you and meanwhile help systems to transform.

For further reading on the systemic approach please visit the website of the Bert Hellinger Institut Netherlands, a renowned Dutch training institute in systemic work. Or the website of Infosyon. Infosyon is an interdisciplinary international association for qualified deployment of system constellations in organisations.

This perspective and method is already used in many counselling and training settings, but scientific background information is scarce. The main reason to study this perspective is that I’m intrigued by it and I’m very curious how it works and how to optimize it.

On my Blog Ongoing Research I’ll post my approach, activities and results. One of the first things will be a literature review and design a method to measure systemic intelligence and the effectivity of training.