What we do

Supporting practitioners and teams at the sustainability edge

If you’re working towards better decisions and action at the interface with society and nature, you are a sustainability practitioner. This edge demands a lot. The issues are complex; the challenges raw.  Risks become opportunities overnight, and vice versa. Many of us put our passion for a sustainable future before personal need, courting burnout in the face of overwhelming odds. Others find themselves on the classic hero’s journey, called to plumb new depths in pursuit of purpose. Each in their own ways, our coaches have been there. Whether you’re an executive or supervisor, board or innovation team, social evolutionary or revolutionary, our network of ESG-savvy, systemic coaches is available to support you. From a once-off conversation to a multi-year journey, we look forward to meeting you. Mainly online, with in-person sessions by agreement.


Systemic coaching helps individuals or teams address problems by considering the bigger system. We ask why things are the way they are. Because complex systems are sensitive to initial conditions, we reflect on what happened before.  In addressing an issue, we consider three systemic principles: order, belonging and exchange:
* The CEO of a small IT company drew from wilderness practice to inform his leadership
* The founder of an innovative development agency was able to see how she could transition beyond the organisation
* The founder of a US-based health institute developed the personal strength to support the well-being of many
* An academic, writer and activist worked with black identity and belonging to find her place at a leading academic institution.


Inspired by insights from Donella Meadows to Bert Hellinger, Nora Bateson and Dave Snowden, we call it the work that connects. To chat about systemic coaching, please contact Nicola at nicola@incite.co.za.

Photo by Victor Hernandez on Unsplash

Action Volunteers Africa
Non-profit organisation tackling South African youth unemployment

African Volunteers Africa do important work and we want them to succeed. We introduced the founder of AVA to leadership skills taught in a traditional African context. Her experience led to an invitation to work with the AVA team. The constellation method draws on traditional African ideas, but makes them more accessible in a western context. A strategic constellation helped the AVA team better understand their vision and options. We also supported a group of AVA volunteers by introducing them to indigenous African approaches to power – practices their grandparents might have shared.

The constellation work helped us steer ourselves back to our true vision and I found the executive coaching from Nicola invaluable. She supported me in my wish to hand over the organisation to new leadership with as little disruption as possible.
Lisa Garson, AVA Founder

Boards, executive committees, Social and Ethics Committees, sustainability teams and others

Constellations are one of many methods used in the systemic coaching or organisational development field. Organisations are open systems: permeable, unpredictable and human. Stakeholders matter; stuff happens. They can be fraught, but they help get things done. Every organisation encounters barriers to progress or uncertainty about the next step. To turn barriers or uncertainty into insight requires perspective and engagement. Constellations are a safe-to-fail, individual or team experiment that provides insight, quickly and effectively.

The constellations facilitator begins by sketching key elements of the system. Once agreed, the elements and the relationships between them can be represented by participants. Working slowly and deliberately, the facilitator introduces small probes to explore potential shifts or interventions that might enhance movement, understanding or resolution.

Using systemic constellations, we’ve helped:
* A Board of Medical Professionals reshape their relationship to South Africa’s health needs
* The manager of a large mining company better understand the tensions arising from their housing policy
* A leading multinational consumer goods company reflect on the barriers to change in its culture
* A local not-for-profit understand why their vision statement was not effective
* Stakeholders from government, NGOs and business explore the food-water-energy nexus that connected them.

Constellations provide an embodied way to explore how actions or changes (such as a new product or policy) might impact elements of the system. They can be facilitated with an individual or teams, on- or off-line. Please contact Nicola at nicola@incite.co.za to discuss whether a constellation might support your organisation.

Discovery Group
South African based global financial services group, and global Shared Value leader

With the publication of Porter and Kramer’s 2011 Creating Shared Value, CEO Adrian Gore found a name for Discovery’s disruptive approach to insurance. With recognised global leadership in Shared Value Insurance, we shifted a seven-year advisory partnership into coaching mode. Agile, on-demand team and individual sessions provide a thinking space to work on what is needed: the relationship between Shared Value and sustainability; tweaks in the operating system to activate the sustainability culture; and personal support for practitioners guiding the journey.

Working with Incite has deepened my knowledge of Shared Value conceptually, but more importantly has allowed me the space to understand my role and contribution within the company.
Kathleen Ebersohn-Khuvutlu, Senior Sustainability Specialist