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What is Gestalt in Organisations?

Contemporary Gestalt provides an important and powerful framework for leading/managing change and introducing creative, ethical and sustainable solutions for organisations.
Gestalt therapy’s contribution to the area of organisational development and change is well established and Kurt Lewin, who heavily influenced modern organisation development, is also a key contributor to Gestalt therapy theory and practice. Notions of group dynamics, action research and field theory, as well as key aspects of Gestalt psychotherapy theory, all contributed to the field of Gestalt in Organisations. This early integration of OD and Gestalt continued through the work of Richard Wallen and Edwin Nevis at the National Training Laboratory Institutes and subsequently at the Cleveland Gestalt Centre in the US. Today, a growing number of centres around the world provide Gestalt based organisational training.
Central to our concept of Gestalt organisational change is that practitioners and clients work collaboratively and learn together from experience of change. This is a practical, action-orientated approach that incorporates shared inquiry and evaluation of outcomes. GPO practitioners are therefore technical specialists, who also possess high ability to develop the positive relationships required to support this learning process.
We believe that developing personal awareness is a fundamental part of managing or facilitating change. Equally, working in the here-and-now is a primary characteristic of organisation development work. To combine these processes effectively, one must be self-aware so that personal, subjective, here-and-now experience is selectively shared in the service of the organisational work. Developing practitioner presence is thus a key aspect of becoming aware of one’s impact and of being able to use oneself as an instrument of change.
In the application of Gestalt to organisations, several field/relational and systems theory principles inform our interventions. We acknowledge the function of resistance and recognise how people and events are unavoidably interconnected in organisations. We also believe that the Gestalt view of change within organisations as non-linear, emergent and dynamic is compatible with the latest thinking in complexity theory and provides a unique approach to change interventions at the group and organisational-wide level.

How will your organisation benefit from a Gestalt approach?

Key Benefits include:

  • Significant increase in understanding and awareness of current and emerging situations
  • Increased awareness of roles of relationships and how to leverage these to support change
  • Improved strength of key relationships between individuals, teams and groups.
  • Attention to all aspects of the client system: inclusion of diverse perspectives in dialogue
  • Improved resilience, flexibility, creativity and tolerance for individuals and teams
  • Enhanced innovation and response to new challenges
  • Increased cultural and situational awareness with improved ability to respond to diversity.

 

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