BGJ Student Essay Prize Winner Announced

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2015 BGJ Student Essay Prize is Maggie Marriott.  

Maggie’s article ‘Bringing Gestalt to Cyber security: A case study’ will be published in the November 2016 issue of the BGJ (Volume 25.2). This clear and concise article is an extremely interesting example of how Gestalt principles have been applied in an organisational environment. The piece centres around a case study involving the Board of a Government Department and their need for an alternative model of working in order to improve a sense of well-being within the team and to keep up with the current cyber security threats to UK citizen information. In using Gestalt techniques, Maggie clearly outlines how her approach brings about long-awaited change within the organisation. 

We asked Maggie to give us an insight into her discovery of Relational Organisation Gestalt and the influences that have shaped her career so far.  So without further ado.... 


“What about the people?” has been my constant cry in my 25 years involvement in organisational transformations.  

Over the years I’ve seen and used many change theories and approaches- Business Process Re-engineering and Total Quality Management in the 1990s, John Kotter’s change management theories and Lean in the early 2000’s. Most recently, I’ve experienced, and rejected, PROSCI and leant more towards agile change. 

On too many occasions I’ve been involved in transformations that are designed around processes and procedures, where it’s assumed people will just change what they’re doing and be happy to behave differently.  

I’ve been on a quest to find a more humane and sustainable way of transforming organisations where people are heard and understood, where their history and hopes for the future are valued and woven into the transformation.

I’ve re-used knowledge and techniques from my days as a teacher including Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the importance of involving the whole person and environment in learning. I trained in neuro-lingusistic programming (NLP) and valued David McClelland’s work on motivation need theory, and learnt negotiation skills from Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to yes”. But I still felt I wasn’t engaging the whole system in the change. In 2013, after many hours of reading and research, I came upon the theories of organisational Gestalt and began to feel that I had found my holy grail.

When I started learning with Relational Organisational Gestalt (ROG) in 2014, I felt I had found the answer to my quest. I was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in ROG in 2015 and was accepted as a Gestalt Practitioner in Organisations by the EAGT in 2016. ROG has changed my whole way of being and has transformed my work as an organisational consultant and leadership coach.  

I now work as an independent consultant specialising in helping leadership teams in the private, public and charity sectors prepare their businesses for the Digital age, and recharge myself through spending time in my garden.

Address for correspondence:


The BGJ Student Essay Prize invites part or full-time students on a Gestalt Course and those who have graduated in the past 12 months, to submit their writing. All submission are judged anonymously by the Editorial team and the winning entry is awarded a cash prize and the opportunity to be published within the Journal. The next call-out will be announced in November 2016.