Event Types

In the past 20 years, the procedures have become very differentiated. Many constellation leaders have experimented with the method and developed their own helpful procedures. Depending on the topic, objective and time budget, different approaches or settings are available for the implementation of system constellations.

 

The publicly advertised seminar

From the original concept, the constellation work is individual consultation in a group. Individual persons can work there on concrete questions with the support of constellation leaders. The other seminar participants are available as representatives. The topics can be of a professional or organisational nature.

 

Advantages

  • Anonymity for personal, confidential, or sensitive topics

  • Persons from outside the system have a neutral perception as representatives  

Disadvantages

  • The integration of the information usually has to be done on one's own initiative

  • Potential participants, e.g. team members, do not experience the process themselves

The individual consulting approach

People often prefer to set up a request within the framework of an individual consultation. The following serve as "representations": 

  • objects (e.g. wooden and plastic figures or so-called floor anchors - these are paper discs placed in the room) or

  • the consultants make themselves available as "reference objects" or in representative perception

  • the questioner himself or herself perceptively goes into the individual positions

  • in individual cases, external persons are appointed as representatives (pool of representatives)

Advantages

  • extensive openness with regard to the topics to be dealt with, in addition to questions from everyday management and working life, private questions can also be openly addressed if required

  • can be easily integrated into a coaching process

  • fast availability, low effort, low costs

Disadvantages

  • the interaction of system elements cannot be mapped, because not all elements in the exhibition image are represented by people at the same time

The internal Workshop

In recent years, constellations have increasingly been carried out in (in-house) workshops with entire management and project teams. The focus is primarily on the search for hints and answers to general management questions. Important decisions can be simulated at the strategic level in particular; e.g. options for strategic (re)positioning, effects of new structures, change management or questions regarding the chances of success of alliances, innovations, advertising campaigns, complex decisions.  All these areas are characterized by high complexity, uncontrollable momentum and mostly high entrepreneurial risks. For this reason, a holistic view of several levels and the detection of implicit knowledge is particularly helpful and useful.


Advantages

  • Creating a common 'reality', collectively shared subject-specific experiences and points of view emerge or differences emerge

  • Common experience, the whole group experiences a process together which is usually described as 'impressive' and lastingly effective. This promotes commitment, positive-emotional charging, and goal-oriented action; i.e. there is a considerable additional benefit in the form of team development 'along the way'

  • Physically perceptible effects for the agents, the perception of an 'unsatisfied customer' on one's own body, so to speak, is clearly stronger than any market study, due to brain physiology

Possible disadvantages/risks or requirements

  • People with a strong rational orientation often have reservations about an approach that is incomprehensible to them

  • Unwanted disclosure potential. Potentially, the method can also point to hidden things that are not desired: e.g. a hidden agenda, personal relationship aspects, influences from personality structure, etc. To deal with this in a professional way lies in the competence of the person who is putting it up.

  • It requires high professional, methodical and ethical competences of the constellation leaders

 

Brief intervention in the ongoing process

A new direction is showing good results: At certain points in an ongoing consulting or management process, an intervention is often set up that is not designated as a constellation. Examples: One makes a 'short simulation' of the strategic reorientation that has just been worked out; the whole team goes (physically) the way into the vision that has just been worked out; in a presentation, one part of each participant is the target group A, B, C or a 'critical journalist' or the 'people affected by short-time work'/'those not affected' etc.; a working model, e.g. customer benefit strategies according to Treacy/Wiersema, is simulated with the help of a rope etc.

The examples show that the interventions are used as a small excursus, as a 'learning loop', as a supplementary diagnostic tool, as a short analog exercise; naturally integrated into the process; coupled to the other approaches used.

Advantages

  • Unspectacular use of implicit knowledge; corresponding access via various channels of perception

  • Good connectivity, acceptance, and integrability

Possible disadvantages or requirements

  • Irritation in very ratio-controlled persons (which can also be evaluated as a successful pattern interruption)

  • Requires basic acceptance of the facilitators; requires multi-level competence in facilitators

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