Business Constallations


Systemic Business Constellations – or Organizational Constellations – is a coaching method used by executive coaches for organizational development (OD), leadership consultation, conflict resolution, organizational restructuring, innovation management, change management, financial planning etc. in an organizational or corporate environment. 

The methodology of Business Constellations is a phenomenological – rather than analytical – approach, and is based in the principles of systemic thinking. The technique is a direct development of Bert Hellinger’s work with Systemic Family Constellations.

A business constellation helps solve business related issues by spatially displaying an organization with the help of participants representing a number of different elements of an organization, a situation, a problem, or a question.

Representatives can stand for employees, managers, owners, departments, products, locations, customers, market competitors, governmental authorities, as well as for abstract concepts (e.g. goals, resources, profit, work-life balance) etc.

They are positioned spatially so as to make underlying structures and relational patterns accessible and visible.

In the course of a business constellation, representatives tend to become aware of previously unavailable information – both objective (i.e. business related) information and subjective information (e.g. feelings, attitudes, motivations, resistances).

With the help of representative perception, relational patterns between structural units, attitudes of people, results and consequences of various processes, underlying entanglements within the organization etc. can be brought to light.

By allowing the representatives to move around, various hypotheses can be explored, different solutions can be simulated, or decisions can be tested.

Subsequently, clients and other participants can process their newly gained insights in a verbal discussion.

Participation in a Business Constellation

Groups are formed for one workshop, 

there is no need for longer-term commitment. 

Group Workshops

Business/corporate clients are welcome to bring their business related issues or problems to any constellation workshops. 

The client is asked to describe the issue in a few sentences. The coach helps the client reframe the problem in a systemic context and identify the most relevant systemic elements.

Representatives are chosen for each element and asked to move around in space based on what is called representative perception: sensing unconscious information about persons, situations, events etc. within an intricate network of complex relationships.

The first part of a constellation is dedicated to clarifying the problem and discovering tensions and conflicts between various elements of the ‘system’: the company,the team, the management, a project, a process of change or restructuring, etc.

The second part is focusing on gaining new insights, accepting new truths, testing out different solutions, and moving toward a resolution.

Subsequently, clients and other participants can process their newly gained insights in a verbal discussion.

Not all problems can find a final resolution within a single session. Change and growth often happens over time.

Following up on a business constellation group session, subsequent group sessions and/or individual coaching sessions can be arranged to monitor progress.

On Location

On-location constellations are done in the offices of a company with members of the organization acting as representatives. Otherwise, the process is the same as in a workshop.

Persons familiar with this technique (e.g. people who regularly attend systemic constellation workshops) might be a great asset because of their previous experience. Such groups, however, are seldom available.

On-site constellations can usually be arranged very easily (within normal working hours of staff members, or for overtime) with a relatively large number of available participants.

The so-called covert constellation technique is particularly suitable for on-site business constellations.

In a covert constellation, no representative knows what they are representing. For a substantial part of the constellation, only the client(s) and the coach know who/what the representatives represent.

Working covertly allows the participants to free themselves from their usual way of seeing and interpreting whatever is happening in the organization. 

It helps participants to open up to all the new information that becomes accessible through representative perception. It also helps the client(s) to ask new questions and experiment with new answers or solutions.

Following up on a business constellation group session, subsequent group sessions and/or individual coaching sessions can be arranged to monitor progress.

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I run a small company for architecture and design, and it is not easy to compete with the big ones. But getting ahead of our competition by literally "reading the minds" of our clients, we have just landed the third commission in a row. Wow! And thank you, Dr. Anna!

I became familiar with business constellations in Germany, and learned how clearly certain business trends can be predicted by this technique. It's not easy to convince me about anything, but when something can be measured in $$$, I'm game for anything (even if it looks like sorcery)! 🙂
I never heard of "constellations" in the US, but in Europe it seems to be the go-to technique in organizational development and corporate coaching. And I have to admit that having worked with Anna for a number of months it is becoming our go-to solution, too. Not that we understand what she is doing, but her wizardry seems to make an amazing financial sense. And the proof is in the pudding, after all.