The centre for Gestalt in organisations approach to consultancy has been devised to enable clients to reach conclusions and decisions through greater awareness and insight into what is really going on.
There are three stages in this enablement process.
Systemic field enquiry
- Systemic field enquiry
- Authentic dialogue
- Creative adjustment
This step involves discovering exactly what is going on in the organisation right now. Performance is conditioned by the context and conditions in which it is taking place. So we need to discover the context. To do this we enter into an enquiry process that focuses on,
In this work it is important to question all assumptions. It is almost certain that people are spellbound by the beliefs that form the culture of the organisation and have stopped noticing what is really going on. At the very least they are likely to have stopped questioning and to have accepted things as they are.
- how people are experiencing the organisation right now
- the issues that are most relevant to high performance - what is changing and how will it impact the organisation
- what is currently happening
- what is unique that will support high performance
The need is to disturb the conformity and to encourage radical questioning of everything. The answers to the questions are not as important as the process of enquiry that cracks the spell.
As people become more confident with the enquiry process they can start speaking their personal truth about what is important for them. This has to be supported in the initial phase so that people speak from their hearts and start to respond to each other with authenticity, i.e. saying it as it is, or straight talking.
This is a learning process and is about both developing skills in feedback and in increased self-awareness, particularly in respect to how each person impacts others in their work group or team.
A key element of authentic dialogue is owning every statement that you make and expressing not what you think others are doing, but what is happening for you. Three phrases which help to achieve this are, I am noticing, I am imagining, I am feeling. This authentic sharing of what is happening for you in the moment is very powerful.
The art of improvisation
The final phase of our work is the way in which people adjust their attitudes and behaviours to enable them to work towards becoming high performers.
This must happen throughout the whole organisation with an emphasis coming from the chief executive and his or her team. The form that the creative adjustment takes is context sensitive, i.e. it depends entirely on the individuals and the circumstances in which they find themselves.
The two most important ingredients in creative adjustment tend to be spontaneity and improvisation. As each moment unfolds it brings with it challenge, opportunity, excitement and sometimes fear. Working with these moments of experience and experimenting with the novelty they bring leads to new and exciting possibilities. Through acknowledging and accepting each moment of experience it becomes possible to build on the experience and seek vibrant and creative responses to what is happening. This is the art of improvisation.
In the modern organisational world, which is full of complexity, ambiguity and paradox, improvisation is an important way for managers and executives to cope successfully with uncertainty. There are no answers outside the ability to respond in the moment, to work with what is and to learn and grow from the experience.
To make decisions on the basis of expectations of what might happen is to be always shooting in the dark. You may hit the target, but this will be more a matter of luck than marksmanship. To work with what is and to improvise and create as each moment unfolds is to fashion the future. This is the art of creative adjustment.