Core principles


    Systemic is all about usefulness so its application is context specific. You will encounter displays of this from our work, and together we will look at the richness of your working lives in analysing closely details of episodes to understand how translation into practice happens.

    People ask what is systemic practice, we say a better question is ‘tell us how you worked systemically?’ ‘What happened, what was different and useful?’ ie the contrast is that our emphasis is on what does systemic organisational practice do, show, create, enable …… ie what it produces in context. This means wide, reductionist generalisations are not possible.

    This is where the idea of systems comes in: something happens and if we could stop it in time we could look at the surrounding context which influenced/enabled it to happen. This is a system.


    Systemically we see problems as dilemmas to explore, as we believe the solution is in the problem. This contrasts with conventional organisational wisdom which may seek to put right ‘solutionise’ too quickly, or to deny or push away by making excuses for the problem. We believe: no matter how dysfunctional a problem it has a meaning and some usefulness to the system, and we need to tease this out in order to dislodge its grip, so its better to get inside and discover the meaning of a problem ie whats holding it in place.

    Exploring will lead to stuckness unravelling on its own, the skillful exploration becomes an intervention in itself.


    ‘All anyone did is talk’. Systemically, we would see this as useful, we are interested in purposeful conversation, in fact the transformative power of conversation, and making wise choices about use of language.

    Wittgenstein said ‘language is fateful’ and from a systemic perspective we believe language is action ie language is behaviour and so we look closely at words and gestures used, images created, bodily sensations experienced as ways of understanding what is going on between people and within people. The focus is on how we relate to each other and what we create together through our particular use of language.


    We strive to bring to consciousness who you are as a person and practitioner (manager, consultant, coach) ie what you believe and value and how your life experiences have moulded these, because these influence what you do when you work, how you use language, how you relate to others, to problems. As you discover fundamental beliefs and values your ‘systemic observer eye’ develops and therefore your capacity for reflexivity.


    We believe that we co-create reality and reflexivity is the capacity observe yourself in interaction with others doing just this. Once able to do this you can reshape patterns of interaction for the better. Reflexivity can be enabled by enhancing your skills in inquiry ie:

  • clarifying and circular questioning
  • hypothesis fuelling your curiosity
  • voicing assumptions
  • reframing


Our Core Principles can also be downloaded as a pdf Systemic Practice Core Principles