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What are constellations?
30 October 2019

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.

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