Are the relationships not good at work?

An organization compiler can help to get them going by making it physically visible how people in a team relate to each other.

That's how the processes come to the surface, is the idea.

Management consultant Mark Reijnders: "With a constellation you can detect any taboos. This will reveal the 'real' problem."

If you approach an organization as a system with its own memory and morality, the hidden dynamics become visible.

It is a completely different way of looking, combined with feeling.

Sickness absence, burnouts and rapidly successive managers are, according to this vision, no longer isolated problems, but symptoms of an unbalanced system.

In a constellation, the dynamics are made visible with representatives: people who 'portray' the role of the employees or managers involved.

They divide themselves over a space, whereby the mutual distance and viewing direction are decisive.

The draftsman can deduce from this what is going on 'in the depths'.

High absenteeism due to quarrels in the company

Coach and drafter Els van Steijn devotes

a chapter to systemic principles at work

in her book

De fountain, make wise choices


She once supervised the management of a company that was struggling with high absenteeism and many burnouts.

One of the founders had quarreled a few years earlier.

“The set-up showed that the employees were fully focused on that departure, they were shaking on their feet. When the remaining directors recognized the departed founder for his contribution, the employees quickly recovered,” says Van Steijn.

"A constellation is a means of making emotions open for discussion."

Mark Reijnders, management consultant

In another organization, a manager had bought into the management with shares.

The arrangement showed that this was the cause of mutual competition and confusion about the place in the organization.

"Some people worked extra hard, while others became less productive. Loyalty conflicts arose and patterns from the upper layers were repeated in lower layers of the organization."

A team knows what is not being talked about

Van Steijn prefers to do organizational constellations with board members, because they have the right to know what is going on.

Managers with a lower rank might receive information that is not appropriate for their position.

This can cause insecurity, for example for the employees involved.

Management consultant Mark Reijnders often works with entire management teams as an organization compiler.

"A constellation is a means of making emotions open for discussion. In a team there is always - implicitly or explicitly - agreement about what is and is not discussed. With a constellation you can detect any taboos. light."

For example, Reijnders once made an attitude with a director who had his employees against him.

"The line-up showed that no explanation had been given when the co-director was fired by the supervisory board. The employees then turned against the remaining director."

'It is precisely in direct eye contact that a lot of information is exchanged'

Van Steijn prefers to work offline in a room with representatives.

That was quite a challenge last year.

"Representatives wear transparent face masks and I work with screens that can be placed between two people. It is precisely in direct eye contact that a lot of information is exchanged. That is more difficult via a screen, but not impossible."

Reijnders, who has extensive experience with offline setups, is now also doing online variants due to the current situation.

He has now done about twenty of the latter category.

Representatives can see each other during online meetings via Zoom.

Then, in another program, they show their mutual position and viewing direction, as on a chessboard.

"It's amazing how well this works."

The old perspective becomes useless

Nannette Vilders is a systemic transformation coach and helps companies through change processes.

She participates as a representative in online setups.

"As a representative you take the place of something or someone else. Although I first doubted whether constellations also work online, I notice that the energy field created extends further than I thought. Everyone has the potential to participate, if you is open and you concentrate. "

"Usually after a setup it is no longer possible to look from the old perspective."

Els van Steijn, coach and drafter

Yet an attitude is always a means and not an end in itself, Reijnders emphasizes.

"It's a way of revealing where the problem is in a company."

That's where the way out is: the point where something has to change.

Incidentally, there is by no means always a direct solution, adds Van Steijn. "Usually after a setup it is no longer possible to look from the old perspective. This creates space from which new dynamics and directions for solutions arise."