October 5

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By Tom Wittig

October 5, 2020


Applied Systemic Organization Constellation

An Organization Constellation Example Case Study

In this article I am sharing with you a complete case study how an organization constellation supported improvements in marketing and business. I am walking you through the steps I took in this situation.

  • Application of systemic family and organization in a business marketing problem.
  • How we tested the systemic insights with digital marketing advertisements.
  • How we applied the insights in a client situation.

My motivation to share this example case is to illustrate how an Organization Constellation can pave the possible pathways from Challenge to Insight to Decision and Action.

You are invited to watch the free webinar replay video where I am explaining the exact steps I took.

Complex Challenges in Business Marketing

Many of the big problems in organizations have to do with relationships. Take Employee Recruiting for example. Finding, attracting and keeping talented employees is a major challenge for many businesses and organizations. Idenfying and building up leaders is even more important.

Successful recruiting is highly impacted by relationships. For example, the relationship between existing employees and company management. If the relationship of employees to the company is “challenged” then management should not expect a lot of word-or-mouth from employees to attract more candidates.

But even the attitude of the company owner or manager has a major impact.

Successful application and integration of Systemic Organization Constellations

Successful integration of an Organization Constellation in Marketing, Business and Organizational Development should include three steps:

  1. Surface Systemic Insights through an Organization Constellation.
  2. Test and Validate the results before you go “all-in” with your budget.
  3. Integrate the insights in your updated communication and engagement of stakeholders.

Organization Constellation Example Case Study

Recently, I worked with a number of clients on optimization of employee recruiting and talent acquisition – in other words: successful hiring practices for growth.

The situation involved several stakeholders:

  • The owners of the companies.
  • The “helpers” (Consultants and Digital Marketing Agency).
  • The potential candidates for recruiting as employees for the company.

This was a B2B2C challenges:

  • B2B: The Business-to-Business challenge was the relationship between the “Helpers” and their client, which is the company.
  • B2C: The Business-to-Candidate (Consumer) challenge was the relationship between the company and potential candidates.

The challenge started when the Consultants advised the Company Managers and Owners to adopt modern practices of Online Marketing for recruiting employees. But the company owners did not show any interest at all. They were very sceptical and wanted to rely on traditional ways of hiring employees.

When a networking and learning event about “How to use Digital Marketing for Recruiting” was scheduled, the “Helpers” were surprised that there was little interest – even though the event was free of charge.

This was a very strange situation, because on one hand the companies felt the increasing pressure to find employees. On the other hand they did not show any interest in a new way of finding candidates. In a conversation with trusted colleague from my network, I mentioned the situation. And she confirmed that in her industry, company owners were waiting for candidates. This was an important hint for me.

In a workshop for managers in organizations and owners of family businesses, I facilitated a systemic organization constellation about this topic.

In the following, I want to share the steps we took in this situation and how it unfolded.

Step by Step Organization Constellation and Business Improvement Approach

How to apply Organization Constellations and turn Systemic Insights into better Decisions?

Organization Constellation Setup: Surfacing the Issue

Organization constellation setup example

The first step is to understand the issue. I set up the constellation: First I chose a representative for the companies. I always choose a woman to represent a business or organization.

Then I chose a representative for the candidates. In this case I chose a male representative, but in this case the gender does not make a difference.

It is important to add that the representative had no knowledge about the client’s issue or situation.

The representative for the companies did not look at the candidates.
Event when I added a representative for the “Helpers”, it had no effect. The companies were not interested in looking at or moving towards the candidates.

This was surprising, because the companies are the ones who feel the pain. And in a candidate-led market, where there is a “war for talent” one would expect that they are eager to get the best talents.

Systemic Intervention: Testing possible Solutions

Organization Constellation Intervention

A small change happened: The “Helpers” moved to the candidates. In this moment the look of the “Employers” changed.

Then I let the “Helpers” say: “…Candidates come to you…”. In that moment, the Employers started to look friendly at the Helpers and the Candidates. The representative started to move. This was the important hint towards the solution.

But now what? How could this be turned into action?

Testing: Turning the Insights into Online Advertisements.

Organization Constellation Testing Insights with Online Advertisements

As a next step, we rant a small experiment for “little money”. When I say “little money”, I mean that a small ad budget is often enough to test and validate if the insights resonate in the market place (where the companies and candidates are).

We set up two different ads:
1) The original ad said: “…Finding Candidates and Applicants…”.
2) The second ad said: “…Employees come to you…”.

We ran different variations of the ads ceteris-paribus, which means that all other things are equal. The ads were targeted towards companies who are looking for employees.

Validating the Results

Organization Constellation Impact Higher Website Traffic

The next step was to validate the results. In digital marketing we have a big advantage: everything is measurable.

One key metric we looked at is the CTR (Click-Through-Rate). That means, what is the percentage of people who clicked on the ad when they saw it?

There was a major difference between the ads: The ads which included “…Candidates come to you…” had a 74% higher CTR than the ads which said “…Find Employees…”. This validated the insights from the Organization Constellation.

There were other interesting facts: the improved ad had a 21% lower CPC (Cost-per-Click).

In other words, the new approach led to more prospects visiting the website at lower cost.

Integration: Changing the Communication and Engagement

Still, the important question is: what to do with these results?

In a new client project we changed the approach of client communication and engagement in a simple way: In the past, the Helpers would try to convince and push the business owner to use digital marketing and to invest more in employer branding.

The new approach would start with a simple question: “..How would you like to test a new approach how candidates come to you? …with “little money”…”.

The new client agreed. The Helpers worked with the team to setup a test campaign. After three days the HR Recruiting Manager had 95 CVs from candidates on the table.

The response from the business owner was enthusiastic…

“…We are shifting our budgets towards THIS now!…”

Business Owner

Conclusion

An Organization Constellation can help surfacing the entanglements in a complex business situation. This approach is especially effective, when the underlying problem is not clear. During the Organization Constellation, the hidden dynamics come to the surface in the very first moments. This is often enough to gain Systemic Insights and to identify possible solutions to the problem. When I am facilitating a Constellation, I am staying on the relationship level. And after the possible solutions come to light, we can support the client in implementation of the insights and improvements.

Successful integration of an Organization Constellation in Marketing, Business and Organizational Development should include three steps:

  1. Surface Systemic Insights through an Organization Constellation.
  2. Test and Validate the results before you go “all-in” with your budget.
  3. Integrate the insights in your updated communication and engagement of stakeholders.

Do you want to learn and experience more in this field? Check out our next events and webinars. Also check out the courses and Masterclass with Tom Wittig.

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