The Power of Systemic Coaching in Change Management

Understanding and navigating the complexities of organisational dynamics requires a thoughtful approach, which is where Systemic Coaching comes into play.
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This blog post is the first in a series of five where we will delve into the benefits of using Systemic Coaching in the context of Agile and Change Management.

Here is the full list of blog posts in this series in case you want to jump directly to one of the topics:

In the ever-changing landscape of today’s organisations, effective change management is a critical factor for success. Many organisations invest significant time and resources in creating strategies and plans for change, but the ultimate success of any change initiative depends on the collective actions of its employees. The late Ralph Stacey would assert it is rather the employees’ actions that determine the outcome of the change, based on what makes sense to them, rather than the strategy defined by management.

Organisational dynamics are inherently complex and influenced by various factors, including individual perceptions, emotions, and social interactions. Understanding and navigating these complexities requires a thoughtful approach, which is where Systemic Coaching comes into play.

Systemic Coaching is an approach that recognises the interconnectedness of the entire organisational system and can help to align individual actions with the organisation’s broader objectives. It fosters a culture of self-awareness, empowerment, and continuous learning, making it a powerful tool for change management.

One valuable framework that can explain the importance of Systemic Coaching is David Rock’s SCARF model, which highlights five social domains that significantly impact human behaviour: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.

Let’s focus on the “Status” element of the SCARF model and its relevance in change management. Traditional change approaches often involve employees being directed or told what to do, leaving them feeling diminished in status and threatened. This can lead to resistance and hinder the successful implementation of change.

On the other hand, Systemic Coaching takes a different approach. It involves helping employees explore their inner potential, identify solutions, and determine their own approaches to meet the desired change. By empowering individuals and involving them actively in the change process, Systemic Coaching increases their sense of status and accomplishment. It also increases their feeling of autonomy – and most likely fairness as well.

As David Rock states, it is not about forcing people to change; it is about helping them build a framework for changing. In line with this approach, there are three important considerations for successful change processes:

  1. Provide a Safe Environment: Systemic Coaching creates a safe and trusting space where employees can express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of judgment. This environment fosters open communication and enhances the likelihood of valuable insights and innovative solutions.
  2. Focus Attention on the Desired State: Through Systemic Coaching, individuals can focus their attention on the desired future state, aligning their goals with the organisation’s vision. This alignment helps create a sense of purpose and direction, motivating employees to actively participate in the change journey.
  3. Sustain Focus Over Time: Change is an ongoing process, and Systemic Coaching can help ensure that attention is consistently directed towards the desired new state. By regularly revisiting and refreshing goals, employees stay engaged and committed to the change effort.

In conclusion, Systemic Coaching offers a powerful and holistic approach to change management. By acknowledging the significance of individual intentions and aligning them with organisational goals, Systemic Coaching empowers employees, increases their sense of status, and fosters a positive and motivated environment for change.

For those interested in harnessing the potential of Systemic Coaching, we are pleased to share that Better Change is providing Systemic Coaching training as part of our ICAgile Agile Coaching Professional Certified (ICP-ACC) classes. This training will equip participants with the necessary tools and techniques to become proficient in Systemic Coaching, as well as other relevant Agile Coaching techniques, enabling them to drive successful change initiatives.

As mentioned, this blog post is the first in a series of five, addressing the benefits of Systemic Coaching in a context of Agile and Change Management, as well as how to apply it. By equipping yourself with the necessary tools and techniques to become proficient in Systemic Coaching and other relevant Agile Coaching methodologies, will enable you to drive successful change initiatives. Continue by reading the next blog post: Navigating the Terrain – Agile Coaching vs. Systemic Coaching.

Embrace the power of Systemic Coaching and be at the forefront of positive change in your organisation. Together, we can create a culture of continuous improvement and growth.


Photo by Ana Paula Grimaldi on Unsplash

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