Organizational Unconscious

When considering the entanglements, the influences of personal history, of a leader, we should look at more than one social system or level.

Although the common tendency is to look at the personal level, Organizational Constellations processes have shown, that the more established an organization is, the more its own history and the events that have happened with in it impact its performance and employees.

To resolve a complicated situation my first inclination would be to look at the organizational unconscious, meaning, how is the current issue an outcome of past events and the relationship to them.

For example:

Not long ago I delivered a workshop to a management team where trust was a big challenge. This led to problems of cooperation and undermining of senior leadership.

What was revealed in this process was that the main issue was that the new CEO brought a new culture and dismissed totally the old one. By doing that he was oblivious to all the alliances that his team had to the previous CEO, whose ways and personal relationships were very important to them.  He had no regard to the history and the main events of the organization, and the most veteran manager in the team, who by far was the most connected and identified with the organization was constantly overlooked.

This led the whole team into a dynamic of ‘overlooking’. They overlooked the authority of each other, they overlooked the needs of their direct reports and they overlooked the common goal of the organization.

It was only when this became clear through the activity of the team that something substantial could shift in the interpersonal dynamics.

Following this, the management team and the CEO have decided to bring back elements from the previous culture that were important to organization and find different ways of implementing these throughout the organization.

These changes had a very good impact on all the issues that were presented before the process and took the team and the whole company to a more friendly, trustworthy and productive environment.

To conclude, an established organization has a history. This history and the relationship to it, influences the performance and the relationships of the people with in it. This of course affects the overall success of the organization. It would have been very easy to start letting people go because of their behavior. This would have started a constant letting go and hiring loop.