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The Key to Unlocking Stakeholder Management
We live in a world where businesses are becoming increasingly complex and interdependent. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to navigate the maze of relationships and power dynamics within their own walls. But what if I told you that there is a tool that can you manage your stakeholders and unlock their full potential and achieve the product goals? That tool is called organization constellation.
I highly recommend you first read the article A practical guide to stakeholder management.
What is Organization constellation?
Organization constellation is a powerful and unique approach to analyzing and improving organizational performance. It was first introduced in the late 1980s by German sociologist Bert Hellinger and has since been applied to organizations worldwide. The essence of an organization constellation is to use symbols, models, or objects to represent the relationships and dynamics within an organization and then to analyze these representations to gain insights into the underlying structure and functioning of the organization.
An organization constellation is like a puzzle, where we try to put all the different pieces together to make a picture. But instead of pieces, we use people and various parts of a company to make a picture of how everything works and fits together. We do this to help the company run better and make everyone happier. It can be tricky, just like putting a puzzle together, but it’s fun and vital to do!
Let’s say that a school is an organization and all the teachers, students, and staff make up the different parts of it. Just like stars in a constellation, each of these parts has a specific role and they all work together to make the school run smoothly.
For example, the teachers teach the students, the students learn from the teachers, and the staff helps everyone by doing things like cooking lunch and cleaning the classrooms. Each of these parts is important and they all need each other to make the school a great place.
A company is built of many different parts. Some people work there, and they have various departments and rules they follow. When we use organization constellation, we study these parts and how they work together. We want to ensure they fit together well and that everyone is happy.
Sometimes, one part of the company might not work right, just like if one part of a car was broken. We can use organization constellation to help fix the problem so the company works better and everyone is happy. That’s why an organization constellation is essential and an excellent way to help make a company the best it can be!
But why is organization constellation so effective?
The answer lies in its ability to reveal patterns, dependencies, and imbalances that may not be immediately apparent to the people within the organization. By bringing these hidden elements to light, organization constellation helps organizations identify areas for improvement and develop solutions that can unlock their full potential.
For example, let’s consider a large multinational corporation struggling with a decline in productivity and employee morale. The company decided to apply organizational constellation to understand its organizational dynamics better. During the process, it was revealed that there was a power imbalance between different departments within the organization, with one department dominating the others. The result was that other departments felt suppressed and lacked the autonomy to make decisions, leading to low morale and reduced productivity.
By uncovering this power imbalance, the company was able to address the root cause of its organizational problems and develop solutions that empowered all departments to contribute to the company’s success. This led to an improvement in productivity and employee morale, which in turn translated into better financial results for the company.
Another example is a non-profit organization struggling with high turnover rates and low employee engagement. Through the organization constellation, it was discovered that it had a rigid hierarchy and a lack of transparency in decision-making processes. As a result, employees felt disconnected from the organization’s mission, and their voices were not being heard.
By addressing these issues, the organization created a more inclusive and collaborative work environment, which decreased turnover rates and increased employee engagement. The organization also attracted new talent and strengthened its position as a leader in its field.
So, what can we learn from these examples?
The first lesson is that organizational constellation can help organizations identify and address the root causes of organizational challenges. By revealing patterns, dependencies, and imbalances, organization constellation allows organizations to see beyond the surface-level symptoms of their problems and get to the heart of the matter.
The second lesson is that an organization constellation is a powerful tool for unlocking organizational performance. By addressing the root causes of organizational problems, organizations can create solutions that unlock their full potential and achieve their goals.
How can you apply organization constellation?
It’s important to remember that organization constellation is an iterative process, and you may need to repeat steps as needed to achieve the desired outcome. The process should have an expert facilitator, but you can learn the basics to explore and learn on your own.
The process is straightforward and can be summarized as follows:
Identify the challenge: The first step is to determine the challenge or issue that you want to address using the organization constellation. This could be anything from declining productivity of the matters with teamwork or communication. Clearly define the problem and the desired outcome.
Gather information: The next step is to gather as much information as possible about the challenge. This could include relevant data, stakeholder opinions, and any past efforts to resolve the issue. The goal is to have a comprehensive understanding of the challenge before proceeding.
Create a visual representation: Using the information you have gathered, create a visual representation of the organizational challenge. This could be a diagram, flowchart, or other visual representation that clearly shows the different parts of the organization and their relationships.
Engage stakeholders: Involve stakeholders in the process by inviting them to participate in the visualization. This could be done by creating their own diagrams or contributing to the one you have created. This step helps ensure that everyone clearly understands the challenge and their role in resolving it.
Analyze: Analyze the visual representation to identify patterns, dependencies, and imbalances within the organization that may be contributing to the challenge. This may involve looking at how different parts of the organization are connected and how they impact each other.
Identify solutions: Based on the findings of the analysis, determine potential solutions to address the organizational challenge. This could involve re-organizing departments, changing processes, or improving communication.
Implement and evaluate: Implement the proposed solutions and evaluate their effectiveness in resolving the problem. This could involve monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed.
Refine: If necessary, refine the solutions based on feedback and results, and repeat the process as needed. This step ensures that the solutions are continuously improved and that the desired outcome is achieved.
By following these steps, you can apply organization constellation in a systematic and structured way, gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying dynamics within your organization and making informed decisions that drive performance.
Organizational constellation is a flexible and adaptable tool that can be used to address a wide range of organizational challenges, from declining productivity and low employee morale to issues with teamwork and communication. It is a valuable tool for product managers, as it allows them to understand the underlying dynamics within their organizations and make informed decisions that drive organizational performance.
An organization constellation is a powerful tool that can help organizations unlock their full potential and achieve their goals. By revealing patterns, dependencies, and imbalances that may not be immediately apparent, organizations can identify and address the root causes of their problems and develop solutions that drive performance. Whether you are a product manager or a leader in any other field, I would highly recommend giving organization constellation a try.
Just like a constellation of stars in the sky, organizations are complex systems of many individual parts. Using organization constellation, we can shed light on these parts, understand their relationships, and create a brighter future for our products.