Seeing the System

Seeing the System

Seeing the System

Exclusive AODA development session with Cameron Brooks

📆 Tuesday 19 March 2024

Seeing the System

An experiential AODA activity ‘seeing the system’ – exploring the role of leadership within a system and inter-connectedness between roles.

What’s included in this exclusive AODA development session?

The activity highlights common dynamics experienced within organisational systems and helps people to see how they all contribute to conditions experienced. A fun and experiential way of helping participants learn about systems and strategies to respond more effectively.

Who should attend this immersive session?

Members of Alumni of Organisation Dynamics Australia (AODA) who are interested in making systems psychodynamics accessible and applicable to your workplace.

If you have studied organisation dynamics at NIODA, RMIT, Swinburne or an equivalent course, and are not yet registered with AODA, please click this link: https://form.jotform.co/82477989122874 to register for AODA first.

Seeing the System

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

📆  Date & TIME

6.00 – 7.30 pm  – 19 March 2024 

💷  For only

AUD $49

Post workshop woodfired pizza and drinks included

👩🏻‍💻 Location

Bourke Street, Melbourne

Seeing the System

An experiential AODA activity – exploring the role of leadership within a system and inter-connectedness between roles with Cameron Brooks.

Cameron Brooks

Cameron Brooks

Cameron Brooks, NIODA 2019 Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) graduate, describes himself as a Learning Consultant, designing and facilitating bespoke learning programs with clients across the private and public sectors. Operating his own business, Ignite Leadership, and working as an Associate at organisations such as Melbourne Business School, Cameron runs both bespoke and open enrolment programs with participants from various organisations and backgrounds. His work supports leaders and emerging leaders to appreciate and work with the complexity inherent in all systems and organisations. He does this, in part, by supporting them to find, make, and take up work roles with greater clarity, confidence and authority.

 

 

 

.

About NIODA

The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research in organisation dynamics, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. 

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

PO Box 287, Collins Street West,
Melbourne  8007  Australia
+61 (0) 414 529 867
info@nioda.org.au

NIODA acknowledges the Kulin Nations, and respective Traditional Custodians of the lands we work on.
We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise their enduring sovereignty which has, and continues to, care for Country.
NIODA welcomes the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a collective movement for a better future.

Understanding organisation dynamics

Understanding organisation dynamics

Thinking systemically and understanding organisation dynamics can be leadership and management SUPER-POWERS!

NIODA students certainly think so, often referring to new skills and capabilities as having an amazing new lens on the workplace. With a 100% satisfaction rate for graduates of the Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) course. They know first-hand that being an organisational leader or managing a team can be enormously satisfying but equally can be frustrating and confusing. Why do smart, sensible people behave irrationally? Why does competition seem to outweigh collaboration? Why is it so hard to shift a toxic work culture? If, as neuroscientists are telling us, 95% of our brain activity is unconscious (Young 2018), then perhaps it’s little wonder these are the sorts of confounding questions preoccupying leaders and managers. How well equipped are most of us to make sense of the paradoxes and irrationality that are regular features of work life? How able are we to just ‘get on with the job’ when we are not aware of so much of what is occurring?

How well equipped are most of us to make sense of the paradoxes and irrationality that are regular features of work life?

Business degrees typically cover disciplines such as finance, marketing, operations, strategy and leadership and are designed to equip graduates to take on managerial and leadership roles. Taking a rational, cognitive approach to analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making is valued alongside developing effective teamwork and communication skills. However, this approach on its own is not enough when people and workplace dilemmas don’t respond to logical formulas, when emotions are running high and the capacity for coming up with sound and strategic business solutions is overwhelmed.

Applying an organisation dynamics lens

This is when taking a systems perspective and applying an organisation dynamics lens will help. Having an approach to discerning what might be really going on can feel like having secret superpowers for finding a way through the maze of workplace complexities.

The discipline of ‘systems psychodynamics’ is at the core of the National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA)’s post-graduate degrees in Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics). Founded in 2010 to provide high-quality education in systems psychodynamic approaches, NIODA builds on and continues the world-class programs first delivered at Swinburne University and RMIT University.

Study designed for work-experienced professionals

NIODA’s Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) is designed for experienced professionals who wish to develop their leadership and managerial capacities. In this world-renowned work-integrated program you learn to:
– analyse, understand and manage ‘below the surface’ group and organisational dynamics in organisations
– identify blockers to change due to structure, culture and technology
– work with the emotional labour of leading complex systems in fast-changing environments.

This part-time course supports the development of individual capacities to shape and take up work roles that are meaningful, values-based, and which serve the ultimate purpose of the organisation. It provides industry-relevant, post-graduate education grounded in rigorous conceptual development and work experience and provides opportunities for engagement with real-world learning in a social and global context.

Reflecting on study at NIODA with a graduate

It is so rewarding to hear about how this is being applied by a NIODA graduate who has taken up the option of a continuing professional development subscription with NIODA. I find it such a privilege to think with Laurette about her work and carry on exploring how the concepts and skills learned in the NIODA course can be applied in the workplace.

“I’m more comfortable with the complexity, I embrace ‘not knowing’ and observe what is emergent.”
– NIODA MLM(OD) Graduate, Laurette Chang-Leng

We recently reflected on how Laurette now takes up her role managing large and complex transformation projects as compared to when she came to NIODA. “In some ways, not much has changed, except for one major thing: my attitude and the perspective I bring… large, big-budget projects still have the feeling of being impossible, but now I’m more comfortable with the complexity, I embrace ‘not knowing’ and observe what is emergent. I sit back and think when others are focused on charging ahead, even when the train is heading for derailment! I have the confidence to call it out, and I am listened to – especially because I know the value of a good metaphor!” (an early subject in the course puts a spotlight on the ways in which metaphors are used in management practice and how working with them opens up understanding and new possibilities.)

Laurette and I also talked about the benefit of knowing about her own, what we call, ‘valences’ (predispositions) or what she is bringing into work encounters and what gets triggered for her. “I’m much more in tune with what’s mine and what’s not” – what belongs to the organisational system and others within it. This echoes something I wrote a couple of years ago: The course supports you to locate and integrate learning about yourself, who you are, where you have come from and all the ‘selves’ you are bringing with you to work.

I see the fruits of this self-knowledge all the time in our supervision sessions. Laurette has a courage and a curiosity for reflecting on roles, and what is being avoided or defended against. It is so exciting to witness how she is building capacity to take up bigger roles, for fostering healthier dynamics, and creating a more effective and resilient team and organisation.

Postgraduate study with 94.7% student satisfaction

Laurette is just one of the many students who have valued learning with NIODA. We are proud of the high 94.7% overall student satisfaction rating we have gained in the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). QILT is a suite of government-endorsed surveys for higher education that NIODA has participated in since 2021. Currently, all 41 Australian universities and around 90 non-university higher education providers take part in the surveys. Over the two years of our participation, our students reported higher levels of satisfaction than the QILT national averages on key indicators including: learner engagement (NIODA received 97% compared with the national average of 42%), teaching quality (97% compared with 78%) and student support (97% compared with 74%). As institutes of higher education go, NIODA is small, but punching above its weight with these teaching and learning outcomes.

If you’re interested in knowing more about studying system psychodynamics and developing leadership and management superpowers, enrolments are open for 2024. We have two more preview sessions before the first semester starts in March. At these preview sessions, you will be introduced to NIODA and system psychodynamics and encouraged to consider if NIODA is where you’ll find your learning edge.

Young, E. (2018). ‘Lifting the Lid on the Unconscious’, New Scientist, Viewed 20 June 2023, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23931880-400-lifting-the-lid-on-the-unconscious/.

About NIODA

The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research in organisation dynamics, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. 

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

PO Box 287, Collins Street West,
Melbourne  8007  Australia
+61 (0) 414 529 867
info@nioda.org.au

NIODA acknowledges the Kulin Nations, and respective Traditional Custodians of the lands we work on.
We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise their enduring sovereignty which has, and continues to, care for Country.
NIODA welcomes the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a collective movement for a better future.

Thinking together to navigate complexity

Thinking together to navigate complexity

The Power of Pause: Thinking together to navigate complexity

leadership development workshop

📆 21 June and 22 November 2024

The Power of Pause: Thinking together to navigate complexity

 

Navigating VUCA in workplaces: Experiential learning for greater insight and practical knowledge

Learn by Doing: Transforming insight into impactful action for navigating complexity in organisations

Choose the acronym that best captures your workplace experience: VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), RUPT (rapid unpredictable, paradoxical and tangled, BANI (brittle, anxious, non-linear, incomprehensible). Modern work can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. In an era of constant change and connectivity, the importance of reflective practices has never been more apparent for navigating complexity. The turbulence of technical and economic, social, and political dynamics pushes modern workplace endeavors into unpredictable territory. In this environment, pausing to recalibrate emerges as both a sanctuary for sanity and a profoundly effective strategy. ‘The Power of Pause: Thinking together to navigate complexity’ is an immersive workshop where we practice creating the space to consider ‘what is really going on – ‘thoughtful inaction’’. This insight generating experience helps you clarify what is needed next.

At the completion of this full-day workshop you will:

  • Understand the value of strategically pausing, creating space for thoughtful consideration of complex workplace challenges and opportunities.
  • Recognise the range of settings in which pausing to reflect can be effective in recalibrating, and informing effective decision-making in complex situations
  • Be skilled in diverse reflective practices, including somatic awareness, role drawing, active listening, and free association,
  • Have a strategy for applying the power of pausing in workplace routines.

 ‘We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.’
John Dewey, American pragmatist philosopher

 

What’s included in this full-day workshop?

➣ The workshop includes a series of experiential learning exercises for participants to experience the ‘power of pause’, at the levels of the individual, in pairs, and groups and to consider wider contextual issues. This is a chance to practice using different approaches including somatic awareness, role drawing, active listening and free association to help make sense both of the ‘here and now’ experiences of the workshop, and apply them to ‘real life’ workplace dilemmas.

➣ A short seminar on the ‘Transforming Experience Framework’ (developed by the Grubb Institute, Long, 2016) is a useful reference point for considering different domains of influence on organisational roles and associated dynamics. We spend time reviewing how the practices can be built into back-at-work routines, so participants leave with strategies for navigating complexity using powerful pauses.

Who should attend this immersive workshop?

Leaders who aspire to navigate complexity with more ease

‘The Power of Pause’ is for leaders and managers who aspire to thoughtfully navigate the complexity of the modern workplace, those who seek a deeper understanding of unfolding situations, enabling informed responses rather than impulsive reactions. Join us for an immersive day of learning to support your leadership development, exploring strategic approaches to combatting overwhelm and skillfully navigating complexity.

References

Long, S. (2016) The Transforming Experience Framework, Karnac, London

The Power of Pause: Thinking together to navigate complexity

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

📆  Date

Fridays 21 June and 22 November 2024

⏰ Session Time

9.30 am – 4.30 pm  🇨🇰  Melbourne
11.30 pm – 6.30 am (eek!) 🇬🇧  London
6.30 pm – 1.30 am 🇺🇸  New York
6.30 am – 1.30 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

💷  For only

AUD $970

Three or more participants from the same organisation for AUD $825 each

Email Helen to find out more about our 10 or 20 place packages, custom designed to suit your organisations needs

👩🏻‍💻 Location

Melbourne
Morning tea & lunch provided

All workshops are available for on-site delivery, and the potential for a hybrid format can be discussed.

The Power of Pause: Thinking together to navigate complexity

leadership development workshop with the following:

Ms Helen McKelvie

Helen McKelvie

Helen has had over 25 years of working in organisations to inform her approach to helping others gain insights into how they take up roles and how to achieve greater alignment with individual, team and organisational purpose. Her own roles as internal planning consultant, policy and project manager, and lawyer in workplaces in both the public and private sectors have provided her with first-hand experience of the complexity and challenges of organisational life.

Helen is an alumnus and now teaches in the Master’s program at the National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA). She also has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. In addition to her academic qualifications, Helen is an accredited practitioner of PRISM Brain Mapping, an online, neuroscience-based behaviour mapping instrument, and is a registered Analytic-Network Coach. Helen also has training and experience in workplace mediation and yoga teaching qualifications.

Mr Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Over the last several years Thomas has enhanced his extensive professional experience by learning from, and working with, leaders across the executive coaching, group dynamics, and systems psychodynamics fields. A graduate of the NIODA Master of Leadership and Management – Organisation Dynamics, Thomas combines a deep understanding of working in large organisations with a passion for supporting others as they work toward achieving their goals and gaining a deeper awareness of their actions and drivers. Highly skilled in creating a safe environment to support participants explore their roles, Thomas manages the balance between empathy and candour allowing participants to feel secure whilst having their assumptions challenged.

 

 

 

.

About NIODA

The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research in organisation dynamics, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. 

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

PO Box 287, Collins Street West,
Melbourne  8007  Australia
+61 (0) 414 529 867
info@nioda.org.au

NIODA acknowledges the Kulin Nations, and respective Traditional Custodians of the lands we work on.
We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise their enduring sovereignty which has, and continues to, care for Country.
NIODA welcomes the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a collective movement for a better future.

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety: Strategies for building trust and resilience

leadership development workshop

📆 16 February and 19 July 2024

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety:
Strategies for building trust and resilience

 

Learn by Doing: Transforming Insight into Impactful Action for psychological safety

The pandemic underscored a fundamental truth: trust and resilience form the bedrock upon which teams either falter or flourish in high-pressure work environments. Leaders adept at fostering open communication, encouraging vulnerability, embracing risk-taking, and valuing diverse perspectives cultivate teams that not only endure but actively support each other. In the face of the intricate challenges defining modern work life, such teams not only survive but thrive, weathering overwhelming pressures that can otherwise stifle productivity and innovation. This workshop is designed to help you enhance your ability to nurture psychological safety within your team, creating an environment of trust where innovation thrives, challenges are met with resilience, and collective success is the norm.

At the completion of this full-day workshop you will have:

  • the ability to identify key elements contributing to psychological safety and assess its current state in their teams.
  • valuable insights into the practical and emotional aspects of team interaction that either contribute to or hinder a culture of psychological safety.
  • an understanding of theoretical frameworks for fostering trust and resilience in work environments.
  • actionable psychological safety strategies for translating workshop learnings into elevated levels of trust and resilience in their teams.

What’s included in this full-day workshop?

➣ A facilitated discussion exploring the elements of psychological safety and why it is important leads to a diagnostic exercise for participants to identify the current state of psychological safety in their teams.

➣ Participating in experiential learning through a temporary team exercise offers valuable insights into both the practical and emotional dimensions of collaboration, shedding light on behaviours that may hinder or foster a culture of psychological safety.

➣ A seminar on the theory and practical application of Winnicott’s (1971) concept of the ‘holding environment’ and Hirschhorn and Gilmore’s (1992) ‘managing the boundaries that matter’ for cultivating work environments in which trust and resilience can thrive.

➣ Dedicated time to review how the workshop learning can be applied to address identified team issues allowing participants to leave with practical strategies for taking their team’s psychological safety to new levels.

Who should attend this immersive workshop?

‘Cultivating Psychological Safety: Strategies for building trust and resilience,’ is tailored for leaders seeking to enhance team dynamics and well-being. Whether you oversee people or operations, if you value practical frameworks and hands-on learning to deepen your understanding of psychological safety, this workshop is designed for you. Walk away with actionable strategies to nurture trust, navigate team interactions, and create environments where your team thrives.

Join this immersive one-day leadership development workshop to unlock your leadership potential, address team challenges, and navigate the intricacies of building a resilient and trusting work culture. Embrace this opportunity to excel as a leader, making a lasting impact on your team and contributing to a psychologically safe and innovative workplace.

References

Winnicott, D.W., (1971) Playing and Reality, Tavistock Publications, London
Hirschhorn, L. & Gilmore, T. (1992) ‘The new boundaries of the boundaryless company’, Harvard Business Review, Vol 70 (3) p.104

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

📆  Date

Fridays 16 February and 19 July 2024

⏰ Session Time

9.30 am – 4.30 pm  🇨🇰  Melbourne
11.30 pm – 6.30 am (eek!) 🇬🇧  London
6.30 pm – 1.30 am 🇺🇸  New York
6.30 am – 1.30 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

💷  For only

AUD $970

Three or more participants from the same organisation for AUD $825 each

Email Helen to find out more about our 10 or 20 place packages, custom designed to suit your organisations needs

👩🏻‍💻 Location

Bourke Street, Melbourne
Morning tea & lunch provided

All workshops are available for on-site delivery, and the potential for a hybrid format can be discussed.

Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety: Strategies for building trust and resilience

leadership development workshop with the following:

Ms Helen McKelvie

Helen McKelvie

Helen has had over 25 years of working in organisations to inform her approach to helping others gain insights into how they take up roles and how to achieve greater alignment with individual, team and organisational purpose. Her own roles as internal planning consultant, policy and project manager, and lawyer in workplaces in both the public and private sectors have provided her with first-hand experience of the complexity and challenges of organisational life.

Helen is an alumnus and now teaches in the Master’s program at the National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA). She also has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. In addition to her academic qualifications, Helen is an accredited practitioner of PRISM Brain Mapping, an online, neuroscience-based behaviour mapping instrument, and is a registered Analytic-Network Coach. Helen also has training and experience in workplace mediation and yoga teaching qualifications.

Mr Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Over the last several years Thomas has enhanced his extensive professional experience by learning from, and working with, leaders across the executive coaching, group dynamics, and systems psychodynamics fields. A graduate of the NIODA Master of Leadership and Management – Organisation Dynamics, Thomas combines a deep understanding of working in large organisations with a passion for supporting others as they work toward achieving their goals and gaining a deeper awareness of their actions and drivers. Highly skilled in creating a safe environment to support participants explore their roles, Thomas manages the balance between empathy and candour allowing participants to feel secure whilst having their assumptions challenged.

 

 

 

.

About NIODA

The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research in organisation dynamics, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. 

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

PO Box 287, Collins Street West,
Melbourne  8007  Australia
+61 (0) 414 529 867
info@nioda.org.au

NIODA acknowledges the Kulin Nations, and respective Traditional Custodians of the lands we work on.
We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise their enduring sovereignty which has, and continues to, care for Country.
NIODA welcomes the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a collective movement for a better future.

Hybrid working – the devil is in the detail

Hybrid working – the devil is in the detail

Hybrid working –
the devil is in the detail

Helen McKelvie & Thomas Mitchell

Helen McKelvie
Thomas Mitchell

An unconventional organisation, NIODA has operated across online and onsite modalities its whole life. Initially, the learning opportunities were always onsite as the experience of working together in a room is where the study of organisation dynamics began. By contrast, ‘running’ the organisation, forging a new direction for the study of organisation dynamics in Australia, leading a not-for-profit education institute, devising and managing a master’s degree, and establishing a workplace training and consulting practice, began with the founders and staff working virtually. Working from home wasn’t as accepted, or as easily achieved for a small start-up, in the ‘naughties’ as it is today, but NIODA found a way to make it work.

‘The work’, for NIODA staff revolves around developing high-quality experiences that support participants across academic and workplace activities, to develop practical skills and knowledge. Our work is differentiated by its attention to the experience participants have and the resultant insights gained. Going online as a mode of choice was out of mind for NIODA before COVID pushed much of our working lives into the digital universe. The unspoken assumption may have been something like, as a student, academic, coach, group or organisational participant, interacting online will not provide us with the depth or quality of experience we expect when it comes to working with organisation dynamics.

When COVID rapidly took hold, we went from ‘this is not what we do’, to the realisation and acceptance that, not only was it possible to do this work online but that this possibility represents a significant opportunity for the organisation. NIODA leveraged existing staff skills and capabilities and successfully went live interactive online. As COVID restrictions have wound back and organisations have begun inviting, demanding in some cases, staff return to the office, NIODA has plunged whole-heartedly into the hybrid space. We now teach a portion of our academic classes in a hybrid fashion, we offer workplace training experiences as hybrid events. We routinely work with consulting clients who have dispersed workforces and therefore request to work online or in a hybrid format.

The societal scale switch to working online was driven by a global health crisis. Informed and empowered by the forced switch to working online, many organisations and individuals now choose to work in a hybrid fashion part in the office, part online. Studies of hybrid working often survey various industries and report the risks and benefits of the practice and comment on the likelihood that the hybrid workplace is here to stay.

From our experiences running hybrid events, we have a few observations that are starting points for further consideration:

The energetic paradox of online participation

Not having to commute, maintaining more integration with day-to-day lives, and overall being less taxed, are reasons those who have flexible arrangements often choose to work from home. These were the reasons for two students who lived locally but opted to be live interactive online for a week-long NIODA hybrid experiential learning event. By the end of the week, the students were identifying just how exhausting it was to be online and asserting it was more taxing than being onsite. Energetically, we also noted an end-of-event ‘high’ was evident for many of the onsite participants, much less so, for those online. These observations lead us to wonder about how the stresses of both onsite and online work are being monitored and managed in organisations – what are the longer-term impacts of these stresses for engagement and productivity?

Being online may be deauthorising

In our hybrid events, we often have an online tech support staff member who intervenes as needed to suggest adjustments that will improve the experience of those online. For example: could those in the room wave and identify yourself before speaking because it’s hard to make out who is who? Exercising this authority is welcomed and expected. When there is no designated tech support role we notice that online participants can struggle to speak up about fixable issues that might be bothering them and are more likely to ‘suffer in silence’ even when specifically invited to identify issues. At the same hybrid event noted above, an academic staff member who was online for the first day said he felt disempowered and disconnected from his role as one of the holders of the space, “I felt like a portrait on a wall…sometimes I would be looked at directly and spoken to, otherwise I felt very passive”. … as if being together in the room was the ‘real’ experience and being online was ‘not real’. Paying attention to how authorised participants feel becomes important for anyone facilitating hybrid events or managing hybrid work, lest unhelpful power or other dysfunctional dynamics develop. From the perspective of feeling and being authorised to take up leadership, is this more difficult from an online position when hybrid working?

Fluid authority relations around work location

In the hybrid experiential learning event, self-authorisation around moving between onsite and online became a feature of the experience. As staff, we noted that on the second morning, a number of students did not arrive onsite for the first check-in session of the day, but they appeared onscreen. We had not articulated ‘rules’ around attendance, after the initial onsite/online choice had been made, but noted the students clearly felt they could make this decision for themselves. Such self-authorisation could have felt like undermining the authority of the staff group. Still, we felt it was in line with the expectations that the student groups would undertake the assigned task in a self-directed manner. We had no compelling reason to require onsite attendance for the purposes of the task, as the spaces and technology available were not impacted, so we decided to make no comment. Monitoring the effect of the waxing and waning of onsite attendance became important for our sense of being able to adequately manage the boundaries of the system created for the purposes of the event. The continual attendance of staff onsite and adherence to the set time boundaries for each of the sessions in the timetable felt especially important. This experience seems to have a strong resonance with the ‘real-life’ workplace boundary management and maintenance of containing work environments – we wondered about how workers feel when there is no management presence onsite or availability is uncertain. Another implication of self-authorised fluctuating attendance is where the use of space and other resources are impacted. Downsizing of office space and hot-desking is a feature of the modern office environment, with the longer-term impacts on team dynamics and productivity yet to be fully understood.

In many ways, these observations could seem mundane and yet, as Paul Kelly sings, ‘from little things big things grow’. Small frustrations may soon grow into larger, and more problematic, issues. NIODA’s 2023 Group Relations Conference identifies that this move to hybrid working arrangements has, for many of us, occurred so quickly that we have not taken the time to consider the nuanced impacts, both positive and negative. The conference is offering participants an opportunity to work with the experience of hybrid working and its impacts on ourselves and our roles, on leadership, authority and on our work relations. Created as a temporary learning organisation, the conference will operate onsite and live interactive online and offer members and staff the space to explore the hybrid experience in-depth and to learn from experience about ourselves, groups and organisational dynamics.

Helen McKelvie & Thomas Mitchell

November 2023

Hybrid working – the devil is in the detail

Hybrid working – the devil is in the detail

Helen McKelvie

Helen McKelvie

NIODA Director of Leadership Development and Consulting

Helen McKelvie is an alumni of the NIODA Master’s program and is now a member of the academic staff and holds the role of Director, Leadership Development and Consulting. She has previously worked in organisations as an internal planning consultant, policy and project manager, and lawyer in workplaces in both the public and private sectors. Helen has been a staff member on the 2018 group relations conference hosted by Group Relations Australia and is excited to be staff on the 2023 conference learning about Authority, Role, and Distributed Leadership in the Hybrid Workplace.

Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

NIODA Master’s Course Lead

Thomas Mitchell is personally driven by a primary philosophy of strengthening the humanity of organisations and teams by building their capacities to work together. He identifies his dedication to working with organisations, teams, and individuals to think about, explore, and enhance organisation dynamics by, in part, connecting with, and striving to make sense of reality, and think about next steps. Thomas has a Master of Leadership and Management (Organisational Dynamics) from NIODA, a Master of History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Melbourne and is a current PhD candidate at NIODA. Thomas holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice, a Diploma of Leadership Coaching and Mentoring, and is an accredited Analytic Network Coach. He is a member of the ISPSO, OPUS, and Group Relations Australia.

About NIODA

The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research in organisation dynamics, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. 

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

PO Box 287, Collins Street West,
Melbourne  8007  Australia
+61 (0) 414 529 867
info@nioda.org.au

NIODA acknowledges the Kulin Nations, and respective Traditional Custodians of the lands we work on.
We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise their enduring sovereignty which has, and continues to, care for Country.
NIODA welcomes the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a collective movement for a better future.

Pin It on Pinterest