Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues 2015

Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues 2015 Roehampton

The emergence of the ethical and effective organisation

This four day collaborative event will be focused on development, learning and sharing of systemic organisational practice, with inputs from key note speakers and participants. The theme of this year’s dialogues is ‘the emergence of the ethical and effective organisation’ and the programme will include planned inputs from Murray Anderson Wallace, John Shotter and Cherrie Ravello, Christine Oliver and Martin Miksits, and participants sharing their systemic organisational practice.

Christine and Martin will facilitate the Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues, from Friday, July 10 to Monday, July 13. The venue for these Dialogues will be Parkstead House, University of Roehampton, London.


About practice dialogues

With the conference format of practice dialogues we are aiming to engage practitioners such as organisation development consultants, executive coaches, organisational leaders, managers, clinicians, social workers, researchers, religious and community leaders, who are interested in the application of systemic and social constructionist practice in relation to organisational emergence. Participants are invited to take an interest in learning from each other’s practice as well as from planned workshops.

The format of this four day developmental journey is one of collaborating, co-creating, learning and exchange on multiple levels. Participants will learn in relation to individual aims, plenary discussions and workshops, but also from groups of practitioners with related aims and interests to process and develop learning. These practitioner groups will be invited to share and exchange their work throughout the conference.

The Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues are a platform to develop your relationships within the community of systemic practitioners and with systemic thinking and practice concepts, and to make concepts and experiences relevant to your practice, your team or your organisation. It is also a place to share your practice with others and to talk about what you are doing, what has been successful and also what you are hoping to develop. There will be space for such dialogical exchanges in plenary sessions and in small group work.

The programme

Business people discussing.The programme includes coffee, tea, pastries and a gourmet sandwich lunch served with crisps and fresh fruit and a complimentary conference supper party at Christine Oliver’s house on Sunday evening. The conference dinner on day 1 at a nearby pub is optional and not included with the course fee.

Friday, July 10, 2015 9:00 – 18:00

  • Introduction, aims, formation of groups

The conference starts with an orientation – to each other, to our individual and collective aims, to how we wish to relate and achieve specific and emergent outcomes. This includes the formation of small groups of participants who will provide stability for learning, reflecting and supporting its members over the four day conference.

  • Christine OliverMartin MiksitsIntegrating Postmodern and Modern Organisational Practice – on opportunities for an inclusive and coherent frame of practising.
    Christine Oliver and Martin Miksits

The invitation to polarise postmodern and modern organisational practice is evident in key literature informing systemic constructionist approaches. It is tempting when forming and developing the identity of a systemic organisational practitioner to distinguish one way of practising from another by polarising, simplifying and reducing complexity and often, in the process, constructing the ‘other’ as deficit. While the consequences of such polarisation are sometimes useful, they can often create a loss of opportunity for contextualised enrichment and inclusive practice.

We propose that Systemic Leadership Practice represents the potential for ethical, inclusive and generative integration of modern and postmodern positioning in organisational practice. We will share our current thinking and consulting practice, using some core Systemic Constructionist ideas and, in particular, developing the Domains Model, embracing irreverence and critique of some traditional systemic positioning, and taking a non-naïve position in relation to power and decision making. Opportunities will be created for participants to explore experience in relation to these challenges and to imagine opportunities for inclusivity in their own organisational practice.

  • Practitioner groups working on participant aims and interests

Working in interest groups and reflecting on emergent learning and interests.

  • Plenary dialogue on learning from inputs

All participants / groups come together for sharing and reflecting on day 1.

  • Conference dinner at pub (optional)

Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:00 – 18:00

  • Cherrie RavelloJohn ShotterManagement and the creation of shared horizons of possibility
    Cherrie Ravello and John Shotter

Nurse: There are some very good managers that you could go to for support, but I would not say that all of them are approachable.

Interviewer: … what effects do you think that has, not having supportive managers around?

Nurse: I think that there is a lot of people at present who is not working as well as they could because they have lost their motivation, they are not feeling so supported on the ward.

Interviewer: So if you had a voice to speak with management what would you say to them?

Nurse: … I would want to say well the things that I have been wanting to say to them for a long time, (laughs)…

It is far too easy, especially in these days of largely electronic communication, for managers to think of communication as a one-way process: managers just tell workers by email what to do. But what is crucially missing in the transmission of information idea, is how our tone of voice, bodily postures and other expressive movements (facial expressions — smiles, frowns, grimaces, etc), work to create the ‘relational context’ for the ‘content’ of our talk. We fail to notice that an ‘information transmission’ relationship is quite different from, say, one in which a work-group is ‘trying to work out the difficulty’ they face on their own, which is also very different from one in which the group know that, within the larger context within which they work, further resources are available to them if needed. So, although we are not easily aware of it, both the intonational contours of a manager’s utterances, as well as the whole style of their talk (their word choices, the metaphors they use, and so on) can ‘shape’ people’s spontaneous responsiveness to their talk. This all gets summed in whether they are “approachable” or not.

We will illuminate the importance of these issues making use of research Cherrie Ravello presented in her doctoral thesis on this topic; we will invite participants to reflect on the style of talk within their organisations as a means to identifying opportunities for developing the organisation’s resourcefulness and responsiveness.

  • The emergence of the ethical and effective organisation – participant inputs

Participants offer short presentations and workshops in relation to the topic of emergence of the ethical and effective organisation- you are welcome to register your interest to contribute in this way!

Graham Ebers

Learnings from introducing ‘internal coaching’ in a multi-purpose organisation
Graham Ebers

With this presentation I will share learnings from the recent introduction of ‘internal coaching’ into a multi-purpose local authority with just over 1000 employed staff. My hope is to offer insight and to ignite interest in the possibilities of coaching in organisations. From the position of an employed Director and a member of the internal ‘coaching cadre’ I will offer a reflexive account of the successes, the challenges and ongoing development of ‘internal coaching’ in the organisation, which I will develop using Co-ordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) theory.

Beverly Clarke

Positioning Systemic Coaching
Beverly Clarke

Over the past few years there has been a proliferation in the use of the term ‘coach’. It is now attached to many practices of variable focus and quality. What do we mean when we talk about coaching in an organisational context? We come across different types of coaching such as executive, development and leadership coaching – so what exactly is systemic coaching and how does it add value for clients and commissioners?

I will use case studies to demonstrate how a systemic coaching model adds a new dimension of value for clients. I will also attend to the question how might we language and position a systemic coaching model to clients, in a way that sufficiently differentiates it, and how might professional standards develop in relation to sponsors’ potential requirements?

  • Practitioner groups working on participant aims and interests

There will be time in the morning and afternoon for practitioner groups to reflect on learnings and develop thinking in relation to participant aims and group purpose.

  • Plenary dialogue on learning from inputs

All participants / groups come together for sharing and reflecting on day 2.

  • No formal evening programme

Sunday, July 12, 2015 9:00 – 18:00

  • Murray Anderson-WallaceMoral Leadership in Medicine – Building Ethical Healthcare Organisations
    Murray Anderson-Wallace

Serious errors occur in healthcare usually come as a terrible shock to all those concerned. For families, the “bond of trust” with those caring for them can be seriously undermined. For health professionals – who don’t come to work intending to do harm – their world is turned upside down, often leaving them devastated and bewildered.

In this session Murray Anderson-Wallace will discuss how leaders develop moral narratives to make sense of these complex situations and consider how they balance conflicting moral goals and influence those around them to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. He will also explore the moral and ethical challenges associated with re-presenting the testimony of families affected by these events through the construction of emotive, mediated digital narratives, with the clear aim of provoking change.

  • The emergence of the ethical and effective organisation – participant inputs

Amynta Cardwell

Organisational Development in Development
Amynta Cardwell

In this workshop I will share a current piece of OD work that involves a look at the climate for care on an in patient ward for patients with dementia.

Theoretical ideas informing my approach to the work will be highlighted and there will be a particular focus on the developing story of my own practice working within a context where a systemic approach to organisational development is a relatively new concept for the Trust, so engagement, coherence, meaning and value are key areas.

I would hope to invite participants to think in particular about how they position, co-ordinate and engage those they work with and to share their ideas about how their practice has developed in context.

Garin RouchConsulting in Complexity: An invitation to Work on a ‘Live’ Intervention
Garin Rouch

I will be inviting participants to join our consulting team and support us on a ‘live’ intervention my organisation is currently working on.

My client is a division within a large matrix organisation with a hugely ambitious growth plan. To achieve this both the consulting team and the leadership will have to negotiate complexity and successfully inhabit ‘a place at the edge of chaos’.

The system in focus is a myriad of strange loops, double binds, power dynamics, and primitive reflexivity. For transformation to take place, it will require the effective integration of both modern and postmodern organisational practice.

We hope that the wisdom of the group will support our next steps and allow us to ‘go on’.

  • Practitioner groups working on participant aims and interests

There will be time in the morning and afternoon for practitioner groups to reflect on learnings and develop thinking in relation to participant aims and group purpose.

  • Plenary dialogue on learning from inputs

All participants / groups come together for sharing and reflecting on day 3.

  • Course supper party at Christine Oliver’s house (complimentary)

Monday, July 13, 2015 9:00 – 15:00

  • Practitioner groups – report out, presentations and performances

The sharing and integration of the process and outcome of group work. Groups are invited to present, perform, or otherwise share in their own unique or creative ways.

  • Conference reflections

In a final plenary session, participants are invited to share reflections and learnings on what has been created and how individual aims could be achieved or progressed, thus creating another level of integration and learning.

  • Closing

Your invitation to contribute

Having joined the Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues you will find yourself in a position of co-creating the conference and each other’s experience and position in it from day 1. Inviting collaboration in a community of practice we hope that dialogue and collective inquiry into the emergence of the ethical and effective organisation will thrive on everybody’s contributions as much as on the resonance from inputs of key note speakers.

You are invited to take an active position in these dialogues and to make a brief contribution – be it on your practice, your research or the challenge you are facing in relation to organisational emergence and ethical, effective organisational practice. We have planned for sessions of half an hour or an hour for these contributions including some time for reflections and dialogue. If you are interested in leading such an input please contact Christine Oliver and Martin Miksits at



John Shotter

John Shotter is an Emeritus Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire and a Research Associate, Centre for Philosophy of Natural & Social Science (CPNSS), London School of Economics, London, UK. His long term interest has been, and still is, is in the social conditions conducive to people having a voice in determining the conditions of their own lives. He is internationally well-known as one of the founders of the social constructionist movement in the human sciences, and especially for introducing into it the works of Wittgenstein and Bakhtin, as well as for his focus on practices rather than theories. He is the author of a number of books and journal papers. But what he most enjoys is working alongside practitioners in the fields of systemic family therapy, health care, and public sector consulting.


Cherrie Ravello

Cherrie Ravello (DProf) first trained as a psychiatric nurse at the University of Hert­fordshire and University of Buckinghamshire. Cherrie is a registered systemic psychotherapist and also runs a private practice in systemic therapy. Her many years of working within a social constructionist and systemic paradigm with therapy and manage­ment has invited and co constructed many possibilities for the people that she collaborates with. Her work is mainly with families, indivi­duals and organizations. Cherrie obtained her M.Sc. in Systemic Leadership and organisation studies and doctoral degree at the KCC Foundation and the University of Bedfordshire. Cherrie is also an ADHD practitioner.


Graham Ebers

Graham Ebers
Director of Finances and Resources

Having spent a short while in work placements across the commercial sector, I joined a London Borough Council as a junior finance officer. It was from here I began my Accountancy studies which I continued as moved between various Local Authorities. Following qualification as a Chartered Management Accountant, I moved up the ‘ranks’ to my current role; Director of Finance and Resources. I am responsible for most of the organisations support services including; Human Resources, Information Technology, Property Services, Customer Services, Legal Services and Finance.

I have recently become a qualified Executive Coach and am a member of my Organisations ‘internal coaching cadre’ that provides a coaching resource to the employed staff. It was this that provided the catalyst for my latest episode of development; studying an MSC in Systemic Leadership and Organisational Development.


Beverly Clarke

Beverly Clarke
Executive Coach, Systemic Psychotherapist, Lecturer

Beverly Clarke believes relationships are the currency that differentiates a business – across all aspects of the value chain. She is an Executive Coach and Managing Director of Relational Economics, providing a unique systemic coaching and OD methodology that gets to the heart of individual, organisation and customer networks, to identify influences on employee, team and customer decision-making and action.

Successful projects have been delivered at the levels of employee, team, culture and customer experience for clients including Diageo, Johnson and Johnson, PepsiCo, BMW, The Advertising Association, Berkshire County Council, Lowes, Barilla, Mazda and others. Her Customer Networks methodology has recently won two awards for work with PepsiCo, MESH and the Sustainable Research Communities in Brazil. 2014 MRS Awards New Consumer Insights: Winner and 2014 MRS Grand Prix Award For Greatest Impact: Finalist

Beverly is also a visiting lecturer at Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and an Associate Organisational Consultant of Tavistock Consulting and a systemic psychotherapist in NHS and private practice.


Murray Anderson-WallaceMurray Anderson-Wallace is a specialist in healthcare communication and independent producer. He has a professional background in nursing, systemic practice and organisational communications research.

Murray is the Executive Producer of Patientstories, which makes drama-documentaries to provoke discussion about safety and quality in healthcare. He has developed particular expertise working with the testimony of patients and professionals who have been affected by preventable harm, and has a specific interest in the moral and ethical dimensions of practice in this domain.

Current advisory roles include work with several national organisations and campaign groups including the Clinical Human Factors Group, The Health Foundation and the Royal College of Surgeons. He was a member of the NHS England “Never Events” Task Force and an advisor to the surgical safety group at the NHS Litigation Authority.

Murray is a member of the Medical Journalists Association and has published a number of articles and book chapters associated with social and cultural change within complex human systems, including healthcare. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Centre for Innovation in Health Management at the University of Leeds.


Amynta Cardwell

Amynta Cardwell
Organisational Development Consultant CNWL
Systemic Therapist/Supervisor

After an early career in the film industry, Amynta trained as a systemic practitioner qualifying her to work as a therapist, supervisor, consultant and teacher in the NHS and the private sector which she continues to do.

In her current role, Amynta works across the various CNWL Services that deliver a range of clinical services to a wide patient group across 8 London Boroughs. Using a systemic, social constructionist theory base, Amynta works with clinical and non clinical staff to progress local  and strategic objectives where whole system engagement is a key element.


Garin RouchGarin Rouch runs an Organisation Development consultancy specialising in transforming the effectiveness of organisations and optimising performance. He has worked with a wide variety of organisations from ambitious start-ups to complex multi-nationals and state-owned enterprises. His previous clients include Lenovo, ibm, Ebay, Macmillan Cancer Support, US Embassy Shanghai, Age UK, DNV GL, M& C Saatchi, BNP Paribas, Shanghai Baosteel, Emmaus UK, YMCA, Citigroup, Visa and Westpac Bank.

With a particular specialism in organisation culture, Garin and his team work with organisations at every level from the Boardroom to front-line teams. His current portfolio of OD projects include leadership programmes, governance initiatives and culture transformation. He is currently studying for a Masters in Systemic Leadership and Organisational Development. Garin is also accredited in an extensive range of psychometric and diagnostics tools.


Christine OliverChristine Oliver (PhD) co-leads the MSc in Systemic Leadership and Organisational Development with Martin Miksits for the University of Bedfordshire. She also works as Consultant Family Therapist and Group Analyst for East London Foundation Trust and is an independent psychotherapist and organisational consultant working to facilitate individual and organisational development.

Christine provides systemic leadership and management training and consultancy for public, private and not for profit organisations locally and globally. A primary interest is in consultancy methodologies for structuring dialogue to engender reflexive practice in the work place. She has contributed to the development of systemic theory and practice through many published papers and through her most recent books: Reflexive Inquiry, published by Karnac, London (2005) and Complexity, Relationships and Strange Loops, published by the MHA Institute, Canada (2003).


Martin MiksitsMartin Miksits (DProf) works as coach and consultant with leaders, teams and organisations. He also works as systemic therapist in private practice. His consulting experience is in facilitating organisational transitions, development and learning, for instance in relation to organisational practice, process, performance, strategy or culture, using systemic, appreciative and collaborative approaches.

Martin draws on twenty years of industry experience working mostly in international management positions. These include assignments as a global programme manager leading major strategic change initiatives in a global company, business development and sales management in North Latin America, management of merger and acquisition projects in the Netherlands and in Belgium, cultural change and process change in Austria and in the UK.


Conference Venue

Chambers Suites, Parkstead House, Roehampton, London, SW15 4JD

Parkstead HouseChambers Suites

Parkstead House is situated in Whitelands College of the University of Roehampton, just a five minute bus ride from Barnes mainline station and minutes from the A3. There are also regular bus services from Putney, Wimbledon and Hammersmith which all have underground stations direct to central London. This location is within easy reach of Heathrow airport and has a number of car parking spaces available on site. For directions please refer to the last page of this flyer.


Location Map – Whitelands College, Parkstead House

Location Map


The nearest station is Barnes, from which it is about 25 minutes walk to Whitelands Campus, or take buses 72 or 265, which stop outside all campuses. Trains to Barnes run from Clapham Junction, London Waterloo, Staines and Windsor.


District/ Piccadilly/ Hammersmith & City lines to Hammersmith. From the tube station, go to bus stop K in the Lower Bus Station next to the shopping centre (see the map of Hammersmith Bus Station on the TfL website) and take bus 72 to all campuses.

District line to Putney Bridge. From outside the tube station, take bus 265 to all campuses.


Buses that stop nearby: 72, 265, 493, 170, 493. Travelling up Roehampton Lane, alight at the stop just before the junction with Danebury Avenue. Turn right down Danebury Avenue and then take the immediate left onto Holybourne Avenue. Whitelands is a minute’s walk on the right-hand side. If you are travelling from the direction of the A3 alight at the stop just after the junction with Danebury Avenue.


Accomodation available at Roehampton University Campus

Single and double rooms from £42 per night – only a few rooms available;
Shared or en-suite bath rooms; facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, fridge, microwave and toaster.

Recommended local hotels and B&Bs

3 Star Hotel – Rooms from £99 per night
52-54 Upper Richmond Road, Putney London, SW15 2RN
+44 (0)20 8874 1598  | |
4 Star Hotel - Rooms from £115.00 per night
94 Kingston Hill, Kingston-Upon-Thames Surrey, KT2 7NP
+44 (0)20 8541 4481  | |
4 Star Hotel – Rooms from £119 per night
Richmond Hill, 
Surrey, TW10 6RW
+44 (0) 20 8940 2247  |  |

3 Star Hotel– Rooms from £69 per night
255 King Street
Hammersmith, London, W6 9LU
+44 (0)871 527 8660  |
4 Star Hotel - Rooms from £105 per night
West side,
 Wimbledon Common,
 London SW19 4UE
+44 (0)20 8879 1464  |  |
4 Star Hotel – Rooms from £139 per night
Richmond Hill
, Richmond-Upon-Thames
, Surrey TW10 6RP
+44 (0)844 855 9121  |  |
3 Star Hotel– Rooms from £49 per night
3 Putney Bridge Approach Putney, London 
+44 (0)871 527 8674  |
4 Star Hotel – Rooms from £100 per night
1 Shortlands
, Hammersmith 
London, W6 8DR
+44 (0)207 660 0680  |  |


Registration and fee

The fee for the four day Systemic Organisational Practice Dialogues is 490 pounds. This includes coffee, tea, pastries and a gourmet sandwich lunch served with crisps and fresh fruit and the complimentary course supper party at Christine Oliver’s house. For bookings before April 30 a reduced (early bird) fee of pounds 450 is applicable.

To register please submit an application form to or fax it to +43 1 2533033 8780.