If one understands a system as ‘something’ which often or mostly ‘consists’ of elements, then one must bear in mind that these elements, in turn, are usually complex. A team is thus burdened with all the never-ending complexity which the members of the team bring with them in the way of psyche and body. So, a serious illness of a team member will definitely have an effect on the interaction patterns of the team, as everyone knows. This is why it is important, though, that the team, as a team, does not also have the competence for the treatment of the illness.
Thus, the reduction of complexity is achieved through the fact that one omits or prevents most of the possible reactions, in order to avoid an overburdening. Systems, however, have a definite tendency (bureaucracy, rules, regulations) to consider, for cases in the future, special instances arising and possible environmental expectations.
Therefore, all systems need ‘leadership’ to repeatedly carry out decouplings. These justify, so to speak, the ignoring of expectations or emerging disturbances. On a physical level, for example, this happens through the ability to repress pain, on the psychological level, through the ability to repress bad experiences, on the team level, through the ability to limit expectations about the wellbeing of employees, and on an organisational level, through the limiting of the decision-making rights within different roles. Through these limitations, systems maintain themselves and become distinctive. By a change of these references (not only through the exchange of elements!) such systems can change profoundly. This is enormously important to keep in mind as a focus for consultants and coaches; increasing and reducing networking can be necessary!