Relationships form the foundation of all human interactions. Understanding the dynamics that occur within those relationships is the focus of Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC™). This versatile model is currently practiced by a growing community of over 500 ORSC-certified coaches and countless coaches-in-training worldwide.
Davor Čengija has taken part in the ORSC Fundamentals and Intermediate training programmes and introduced the business-oriented foundation course ORS@Work to the top leadership at his company CROZ, one of Croatia’s leading tech and innovation consulting firms. Below, Davor shares what he has gained from his coaching journey.
In my work, I play a double role: I am an agile coach to my company’s clients, who are in the process of implementing transformations within their own organisations. At the same time, I am Head of Innovation within our own company. In both my roles, I focus a lot on keeping teams agile and ready for the future.
I'm at my best when I’m enabling people to work better together. And in the software development world, that means enabling people to be more agile on the team level. Being an agile coach has given me a lot of perspective on groups and the dynamics within them. This is one of the reasons why ORSC has resonated so much with me.
ORSC is much more than just a set of coaching tools. It’s a mindset. And it works on multiple levels. It lets me work effectively in any context involving multiple people—whether it’s a team, two people in a conflict, or a large group that needs to work together creatively. I am able to approach all these groups with an attitude of inclusiveness.
I’ve always known that we can build better things when we work together. ORSC gives me the ability to share that understanding with everyone around me—as a coach, a colleague and a leader.
To me, the best part about coaching with this model is that it gives you a firm foundation, an underlying mentality, that helps you navigate group dynamics. But at the same time, it gives you the flexibility to apply whichever coaching tool works best in the context.
It starts with a powerful insight: ‘Everyone is right, but only partially’. That is such an open, compassionate way to approach other people. It means that we all bring unique perspectives to the table that deserve to be explored with honesty and empathy. None of us have all the answers all of the time, but together, we can figure out what works best.
When I first discovered ORSC principles during my Fundamentals training in Munich, I was immediately inspired by the way the trainer worked with us as a group. Rather than treating the group as a set of separate individuals, she showed us that there is a group dynamic or energy that instinctively occurs between us. We are all part of that dynamic, but at the same time, it is separate and distinct from us as individuals. This is why we talk about the group itself as a ‘third entity’.
Learning to interact with that third entity has opened so many possibilities. Now, if there’s a conflict within the group, we address that with the third entity instead of fighting with each other.
Currently, I am working on the complex task of creating a new department within my company. When I approach this topic from the ORSC perspective, I feel like I almost have a blueprint for how to work through the complexities.
One of the overarching metaskills we learn in this model is how to build an entity—bringing the vision, understanding the roles, and discovering the edges that all of us need to step over as a group.
I also draw on the ORSC principle of Designed Alliances. That means starting out by clearly deciding how we will work together: What do you need from each other? What do you need from me to ensure a successful collaboration?
Most people aren’t used to this structured, intentional way of working in groups. But doing so gives us the opportunity to take a step back and make sure we’re all looking in the same direction. Because once we’re all looking in the same direction, we can also change that direction together.
As a tech-driven organisation, we are very much aware at CROZ of how important it is to upgrade our systems to keep them fit for purpose and ready for the future. By learning to focus on relationship systems within our company, we’ve started upgrading our organisation’s ‘operating system’ on the human level. We’re giving people the perspective to see that there’s something beyond simply performing operational tasks.
ORSC encourages us to start a conversation about ‘How do you want to be together?’ And that means getting past the transactional way of communicating and moving towards a transformational approach.
Looking back on it, I only wish that I had discovered ORSC sooner. I would encourage everyone to just get started and see what it can do for you. One thing that I have learned is that the combination of both in-person and virtual training is extremely valuable. We’re living and working in a hybrid world, and I think that the combination of both training methods helps you learn the skills in a more realistic, effective way.
I would also encourage everyone to stay in touch with their fellow trainees. For me, it has been so rewarding to be part of this inspiring community. Together, we share a wealth of practical insights and ideas that challenge me and help me see things from different perspectives.
If I had to start over, I would have listened sooner to people who gave the exact same advice as I am giving now: Embrace the mindset, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. ‘Step over the edge’, as we say in ORSC, and you will see the difference.