Oksana Korolovych, a certified systems therapist, facilitator, advisor and partner S&P Agency, told LDaily about the peculiarities of working with different companies’ systems and the way owners’ and CEOs’ psychology affects them. She also shared methods of correcting and preventing business crises.
LDaily: Why is facilitation so popular today?
O. Korolovych: First, we are now in a crisis, in a great transition, when values and ways of communication are changing. If we want to change something, we should alternate common ways of communication and our attitude to the world. We should help ourselves reconsider values. Our society, civilization, people, and a great system called “Person” are in the process of transformation.
Earlier, it was still possible to somehow cope with the crisis using the old models but they do not work anymore. Business processes require a huge number of changes, some of the services go online, and some die altogether. Now the whole world is in a very big transformation. Moreover, the transformation is happening extremely quickly. That is why many companies do not understand at all what to do in such a situation. Those who are constantly evolving and changing something will appear to be winners. We will never go back and interact with the world in the old way, and our business will not work as it used to. Now it is necessary to change the level of the product in synergy with changes in space.
Systems psychology was born from cybernetics. This is an exact science with no lyrics. It is important to see that everything is interconnected. There is a crisis and people are not ready for it at all. There is no resource for understanding. On the contrary, we see a lack of physical, emotional, psychological and other resources. That is why facilitation is in great demand. It allows the business to cope with new challenges and look at the problem globally. It is an effective tool for rapid transformation, which is the only thing that will keep companies alive.
LDaily: What business challenges does facilitation help solve? Which ones can’t be solved by facilitation?
O. Korolovych: Facilitation works well with all business tasks, starting with the project organization. It helps prevent a threatening negative process. Ideally, a company should address a systems facilitator to see if everything is going well. It is always better to prevent the disease than to treat it at a later stage.
Facilitation can not help only if you want to change the model of the behavior of an owner and he does not want to do it. Often, owners or managers are so overwhelmed with processes that they want to shift responsibility to others. They do not want to change anything, neither in their thinking nor in the interaction algorithms within the company. They only want a magician — be it a coach or facilitator — to come and instantly solve all the company’s problems. A facilitator cannot do this. Their task is to teach a company leader how to act. The facilitator will come and go, and the owner or manager will stay. The key task is to understand the system created.
LDaily: How does facilitation work in practice?
O. Korolovych: First of all, there is an acquaintance with an owner or manager. Next, I carry out the company’s diagnostics to identify the problem levels. I watch how the company works, what issues it has. After receiving the general picture, I create a plan for the elimination of problem places. Sometimes, it is enough to work only with the company leader, and in other cases, I have to dig deeper and connect the team to this process.
In other cases, we work with crises. Everything is very organic. We create a necessary algorithm, list and approve consecutive steps. We decide what to do to remove the symptom — to perform “surgery” or simply to neutralize “inflammatory processes”. There is constant contact. This does not mean that I research financial or economic issues; I don’t work in this area. My task is to analyze how the system works and help it recover and reach self-regulation. I do not change anything but the system must be understood. Only after realizing its peculiarities, I help it reach the point where it will begin to recover. Sometimes, one or two algorithms for changes in the system are enough and it will recover itself perfectly. However, all this is very individual.
LDaily: How fast can you get results?
O. Korolovych: Depending on the volume of teams, a project is diagnosed from one to three months. Only after that, the transformation begins. It is very important that it first occurs in the mind of an owner or manager. It takes time for changes to take place and new algorithms to be created. In practice, the whole process can take even longer. It all depends on who will implement it.
My task is to identify weaknesses, point them out and give recommendations on how to eliminate them. At the same time, the task of an owner or manager is to determine whether they want to act in accordance with these recommendations. As my experience shows, not everyone is ready to follow them. Many find it very difficult to let go and change something in life because working with certain algorithms has become a habit. Often, those who order the services of a facilitator do not fully understand the scale of the work to be done. Not everyone reaches the finals, but those who have endured these processes get a lot. Including an increase in profits, and sometimes the profit can be even more than the owners expected at the start of the facilitation process.
LDaily: Which companies use facilitation to solve their problems?
O. Korolovich: Most often they are large corporations realizing that everything depends on the correct alignment of communications, goals and objectives within the company. These companies understand that they must first establish internal processes, monitor all goals (if necessary, modify them), unite the team, and only then they can achieve their goals and become successful. Such companies will become leaders. One of my teachers, Max Schupbach, facilitates the SpaceX of Elon Musk, and this is an example of how facilitation works in companies striving for innovation and new heights.
LDaily: How is this role different from the role of a business coach?
O. Korolovych: Company executives often hire a business coach hoping that they will solve all the problems. A business coach is needed, but it is important to understand that they need to set very clear goals and point out existing issues. However, what should we do if we do not know what these issues are? A facilitator comes to the rescue. This person calculates the problem, passes it to the business coach, and they, in turn, prepare an action plan for the company.
I have been studying and expanding the set of tools throughout my life. This gives me the opportunity to conduct both the necessary training and individual work together with mediation. For example, to “settle” conflicts, tensions in the system. A facilitator looks for such stresses within the whole system, and an advisor considers the stresses associated with the attitude of an owner or CEO to their project.
LDaily: Could you please tell us about your profession?
O. Korolovych: I am a certified systems therapist, facilitator and advisor. I have 20 years of experience in the field of psychology and support of clients in their personal process — in everything related to the systems “Person and Family”, “Person and Relationship”. I also handle any work with systems on clients’ inquiries. No matter whether it is a system of organization, project, enterprise, or state. Any system can go through the process of facilitation (“facilitate” means to help, and unlike management, this method is not directive, does not go beyond the self-organization of the managed system. — Ed.). A psychologist, facilitator, advisor is a specialist who can organize a space of clear understanding for an owner or CEO of any company. This space provides a grasp of what is happening to the system. When a person is part of the system and takes part in it from the inside, they are biased and can not see the blind spots and their parentification. I mean switching, when they confuse the system with someone or something important to them. This happens quite often in any relationship.
I am a mother of three children, a wife, I enjoy traveling and love holidays with my family. For me, such values as freedom, love, and professionalism are essential. These are the pillars on which my “Oksana Korolovych Development and Educational Space” is based — this is my brand. It is very important for me that everything has its meaning, that there is a clear understanding of why we do it. I really like simple questions that can’t be answered easily. You need to think, ponder, explore, break down the question into “molecules” and only then, after answering these questions, suddenly find some deeper meanings. I bring my clients to a deeper understanding by asking questions. I value responsibility and maturity in decisions, so I help clients go through their parts. Our psyche is much more subpersonal than we could expect. So, I help pass that interferes to reach the necessary purpose. My role as a psychologist-psychotherapist helps clients achieve this goal.
LDaily: Where did you get the facilitator’s knowledge and experience?
O. Korolovych: I studied at various institutes, including German ones and Sadalmelik. I am also a student of the famous advisor and facilitator of world processes Max Schupbach. I am happy to be related to his philosophy of working with large streams. Max Schupbach is the man who opened great world facilitations for me.
At first, I was trained as a systemic family psychologist. This is someone who can work with the “Family and Person” system. Later, I expanded my knowledge and studied how large systems work. I mean projects, organizations, companies, and countries. They operate under different laws but have much in common.
LDaily: Why did you choose the facilitation direction?
O. Korolovych: When I work with a person, I organize a space for awareness and understanding that there are positive changes. This gives me not only inspiration and confidence that I will be able to work with larger projects and help more people but also a resource for that. When I work with one person, it is just one system. When I work with an organization, this affects the country, the city, and many people. For me, this is a huge value. It is not about influence, it is about being able to be useful and valuable, to use my knowledge for the benefit of the maximum number of people.
LDaily: Could you please share the main arguments why companies need facilitation in the group interaction process?
O. Korolovych: The main thing is that facilitation gives an understanding of the laws of the system functioning. If you acknowledge how the system works, see its blind spots, determine where the crises are, then you are already in control of the process. When we understand how the system works, we can achieve the goal faster and much more efficiently. Everyone has a place and a role, and if the business works in its specific niche, there will be a completely different return. There will be both the profit and the results. Both employees and consumers of the company’s products will be satisfied.
LDaily: What can you recommend to companies affected by quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic?
O. Korolovych: I would recommend them to pay attention to the processes that have suffered the most. The pandemic that provoked the crisis has revealed the weaknesses of companies, which need to be addressed. All inefficient things just die. I do not recommend resurrecting dead processes during a crisis. Better create new, stronger ones.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein