Small Study Group 2022

Small Study Group 2022

Small Study Group Series

Seven online sessions with

Dr Wendy Harding

Small Study Group Series

Seven live interactive online sessions with

Dr Wendy Harding

 

Seven two-hour sessions

Two time options starting March 2022

NIODA is offering an exciting and valuable opportunity to explore online small group dynamics through participation in a small study group. Studying online small group dynamics provides an edge to the work we are all currently engaged in on virtual mediums. The study group method is that of the traditional Tavistock style study group method. In this, the participant group explore their own conscious and unconscious patterns of small group behaviour in the ‘here and now’ using group/system-level analysis. This design encourages in-depth ‘learning through experience’ as well as laying a theoretical foundation for understanding interpersonal group dynamics.

Through this experience, it is anticipated participants will increase their capacity to identify, analyse and manage online and onsite workgroup dynamics; to appreciate the emotional labour of work, and to enable constructive leader-follower relations.

The direct group experience is supplemented by critical discussion of selected theories and models of group dynamics.

Your learning will be supported with weekly readings.

Dr Wendy Harding will lead and manage the sessions, along with taking up the consultant role to the study group.

Small Study Group Series: Dr Wendy Harding

AUD $2,000 for seven live interactive online two-hour sessions

The study group will be fully interactive and online. The commitment is for seven, two-hour sessions. The two hours will involve one hour of a traditional Group Relations style small study group and one hour of reflection, development of working hypotheses and links to work.

There is also an option to study this as a subject of the NIODA Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) course which includes an additional three sessions and assignments are required. Please contact admin@nioda.org.au for details.

Starting Monday 7 March option

3 – 5 pm 🇨🇰  Melbourne
11 pm Sunday – 1 am 🇺🇸  New York
4 – 6 am (eek!) 🇬🇧 London
6 – 8 am 🇿🇦 South Africa
9.30 – 11.30 am 🇮🇳 New Delhi
12  – 3 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

or

Starting Tuesday 8 March option

7 – 9 am 🇨🇰  Melbourne
3 pm Monday – 5 pm 🇺🇸  New York
8 pm Monday – 10 pm 🇬🇧  London
10 pm Monday – 12 am 🇿🇦 South Africa
1.30 – 3.30 am (eek!) 🇮🇳 New Delhi
4 – 6 am (eek!) 🇸🇬  Singapore

Please note, there are time zone shifts during these sessions to daylight savings and wintertime, so the session times do vary.  The time listed below is set to calculate the first start time depending on the time zone of your computer.  The first sessions will start at:

time start

or

time start

Small Study Group 2022

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Wendy Harding, CEO NIODA

Dr Wendy Harding

Small Study Group Series

CEO & Director of Academic Programs NIODA, Australia

Wendy Harding has been actively involved in the field of organisation dynamics in Australia for 30 years. She has been an educator for 25 years, first at Swinburne University, then RMIT, and since 2014 at the National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA). Wendy is currently the NIODA’s CEO and Director of Academic Programs. Wendy is also faculty in both the NIODA master’s degree and PhD.

Study group is a unique and powerful method for understanding the ways in which covert dynamics impact the way that groups and systems work towards tasks, or alternatively seek to avoid the task. Avoidance can occur as a result of the challenging experience of being in a group, the task itself and the contextual forces acting on the group, or all of the above together. Wendy has had decades of experience in introducing ideas about deeper group dynamics and their impacts on the group through the study group consultant role. It is a critical capacity of the study group consultant to co-create with the group safe enough conditions for in-depth learning to occur. Wendy brings her extensive knowledge and experience to this task. Participants of study groups are then able to translate their learning to a greater understanding of, and influence upon their own workplace group dynamics, both online and onsite. This learning is a significant professional edge for all leaders, managers and team members.

When & Where

NIODA Small Study Group Series 2022: Seven two-hour live interactive online sessions with Dr Wendy Harding

📆  Dates

Monday 7 March – 9 May 2021

⏰. Session Times

3 – 5 pm 🇨🇰  Melbourne
11 pm Sunday – 1 am 🇺🇸  New York
4 – 6 am (eek!) 🇬🇧 London
6 – 8 am 🇿🇦 South Africa
9.30 – 11.30 am 🇮🇳 New Delhi
12  – 3 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

Due to changes in different countries for daylight savings, summertime, wintertime there will be variations.

📆  Dates

Tuesday 8 March – 3 May 2022

⏰. Session Times

7 – 9 am 🇨🇰  Melbourne
3 pm Monday – 5 pm 🇺🇸  New York
8 pm Monday – 10 pm 🇬🇧 London
10 pm Monday – 12 am 🇿🇦 South Africa
1.30 – 3.30 am (eek!) 🇮🇳 New Delhi
4 – 6 am (eek!) 🇸🇬  Singapore

Due to changes in different countries for daylight savings, summertime, wintertime there will be variations.

💷  For only

AUD $2,000 including; all seven two-hour sessions; study group, weekly readings, and critical discussions with limited participant numbers

There is an option to study this as a subject of the NIODA Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) course which includes an additional three sessions and assignments are required. Please contact admin@nioda.org.au for details.

👩🏻‍💻. Location

Live interactive online sessions via Zoom

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Masters preview sessions

Masters preview sessions

Master’s Preview

This preview session is an opportunity for you to experience a snapshot of the NIODA degree; to begin discovering the value of this type of study; and to meet others who are considering this course

Masters Preview

Two live interactive online sessions

NIODA is offering an experiential preview, a good entrée to the master’s course.

The two sessions previewing the Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) course are an opportunity for you to experience a snapshot of what starting the course might feel like. Begin discovering the value of this type of study and to meet others who may also be considering enrolment in 2022.

The workshop will be held across two online and interactive sittings. In each, you will be introduced to concepts and methods that are learnt about in the course. Reading material is provided for each week.

If you would like to find out more about the sessions, please don’t hesitate to make contact.

Masters Preview Session

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

When & Where

Masters Preview Session

📆  Date  ⏰ Time

Sundays 16 and 30 January 2022
🇺🇸 4 – 5.30 pm New York
🇬🇧 9 – 10.30 pm London
🇫🇷 10 – 11.30 pm Paris
🇿🇦 11 pm – 12.30 am Cape Town
Mondays 17 and 31 January 2022
🇮🇳 2.30 – 4 am New Dehli (eek!)
🇸🇬 5 – 6.30 am Singapore/Perth
🇦🇺 7.30 – 9 am Adelaide
🇦🇺 7 – 8.30 am Brisbane
🇦🇺 8 – 9.30 am  Melbourne/Sydney

🔖 Details

Two preview sessions – a good entre to the course.

👩🏻‍💻 Location

Live interactive online sessions via Zoom

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

NIODA Colloquium 2021

NIODA Colloquium 2021

NIODA Colloquium 2021

Final year students in the Master of Leadership and Management
(Organisation Dynamics) present the outcomes of their action research.

NIODA Colloquium 2021

9.30 am – 3.30 pm (Melbourne time)  Friday 29 October

The NIODA Colloquium is a forum where final year students in the Master of Leadership and Management (Organisation Dynamics) present the outcomes of their action research with participating organisations. The research projects are the culmination of three years of postgraduate study for the students. The projects are carried out under NIODA staff supervision, with ethics approval, and using state-of-the-art methodological approaches.

By joining us at the colloquium, you will have access to some of the latest research in systems psychodynamics as well as supporting the development of candidates in the field. Attesting to the calibre of work in the program is the knowledge that many past graduates have presented their work at international conferences and had their work published in refereed journals.

NIODA Colloquium 2021

There are nine live, interactive online half-hour presentation and discussion sessions.

FREE!  Please register to receive details

Friday 29 October from 9.30 am – 3.30 pm (Melbourne time).

We invite you to attend the sessions across the day that work with your timetable.

9.30 am – 3.30 pm 🇨🇰  Melbourne
11.30 pm – 5.30 am (eek!) 🇬🇧  London
6.30 pm – 12.30 am 🇺🇸  New York
6.30 am – 12.30 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

The time listed below is set to calculate the first start time depending on the time zone of your computer.  The first session will start at:

time start

NIODA Colloquium 2021

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Colloquium schedule

9.30 – 9.40 AM

Welcome & introduction
Professor Susan Long

9.40 – 10.15 AM

Lee Esposito
“Exploring a Change Approach:
Sitting in the cracks to figure what is happening in the whole”

10.15 – 10.45 AM

Kelly Hallinan
“Mothers, Metaphors and Meaning Making:
The power of the use of metaphors during Organisational change”

10.45 – 11.15 AM

Andie Meredith
“Through Transitional Space Comes the
Re-discovery of Power and Authority”

11.15 – 11.30 AM

break

11.30 – 12.05 PM

Mahesh Kandasamy
“What if COVID disruption is an invitation to engage in
symbiotic collaboration and create sustainable futures?”

12.05 – 12.35 PM

Janet Searle
“Anxiety in the time of COVID:
How might action research assist leaders to navigate their organisation through a pandemic?”

12.35 – 1.00 PM

lunch break

1.00 – 1.30 PM

Sally King
“Finder, Grinder, Minder, Binder and Miner –
what makes business development work in law firms?”

1.30 – 2.05 PM

Diana Amato
“We’re not robots’! Survival in the bad, sad, glad, and
mad world of people in groups in organisations”

2.05 – 2.35 PM

Belinda Bywaters
“Holding a Transitional Space”

2.35 – 3.05 PM

Rhianna Perkin
“Leading to the Edge:
Supporting teams and organisations through change related grief”

3.05 – 3.30 PM

Professor Susan Long
Open plenary

When & Where

NIODA Colloquium 2021

📆  Date

Friday 29 October 2021

⏰. Time

9.30 am – 3.30 pm 🇨🇰  Melbourne
11.30 mid – 5.30 am (eek!) 🇬🇧  London
6.30 pm – 12.30 am 🇺🇸  New York
6.30 am – 12.30 pm 🇸🇬  Singapore

💷  For only

FREE!  Please register to receive details

👩🏻‍💻. Location

Live interactive online sessions via Zoom

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The shadow of our limiting beliefs

The shadow of our limiting beliefs

The shadow of our limiting beliefs

Sunitha Lal

The shadow of our limiting beliefs

At a Group Relations Conference two years back, the Primary Task was: to study the exercise of authority in the taking up of roles through the interpersonal, inter-group, and institutional relations that develop within the conference as an organisation, within its wider context.

During this conference, the identities I was recognized by were ‘woman’, ‘middle aged’, and ‘brown’. What struck me is that these labels are given as a limiting force by the system. I agree that I am brown and I am middle-aged – but that defines ‘what is’; it does not limit me.
Here is my experience regarding two separate incidents at this conference, in the space of these identities:

Incident 1:

In the Large study group where the entire group met, the seating arrangement was that of two spirals in double-coil format. For a few days, men took the centre of the spiral. Nothing moved forward in the group, we were neither exploring nor discussing, and there was this feeling of being stuck. With some planning, one fine day, we women took over the centre of the spiral.

As we were sitting in the centre and enjoying what we have achieved, the group started slowly waking up to the reality of what happened. A new reality. Some were congratulating us, some were seeing us in a new light; there was some recognition and appreciation. The earlier occupants were stunned and were lamenting how the middle-aged women took over their seats and that they were feeling emasculated. There was also a discussion on how all the women sitting in the centre were middle-aged, and the young women were left out.

At that moment, one voice from the further end of the spiral asked

“Are you planning to do anything? I understand you took over the space but what are you going to do now?”

She was young and I could sense disappointment. When men occupied the centre-stage, nothing more was expected, but with women occupying it, something more was demanded. That too from other women. There was disappointment for not achieving more and ambivalence towards the formation of alliances with the older women.

The ‘middle-aged women’- I wonder what we represented – the mothers they resented? Shame if we were not cool enough or effective enough? Is it envy or competition? Also, in patriarchal systems, men use women as gate-keepers to keep the outliers inline – no one should stray, no one can reach forward, no moonshots.

Incident 2:

In a separate inter-group event, my colleague and I went to the group that called themselves a diversity group. As I started speaking, they were looking at my colleague and responding to her. It was almost like I was not there. Later, I went to the same group requesting them for a meeting. I shared the need for the meeting, our request, the task, venue and time. But when we met them, they asked basic questions as if I had not shared all the information earlier. It was puzzling. My colleague and I explored this with the members from the diversity group.

The three women from the diversity group accepted that they were not able to see me in a leadership position, as I was brown. They were able to respond to my colleague who was Caucasian and were not able to acknowledge what I was saying. Interestingly, two in that group were from the UK, the colonizer, and I am from India, the colonized. Later, one of them apologized profusely.

Reminiscence

When we are in a group it is not about the self, it is about what’s happening in the group, the organization, or institution. Where is the intersecting point? When you can’t see me or hear me, where will we meet to know each other? There is an unconscious and immediate negation of mutual recognition. That was the question that haunted me.

Moreover, I had a choice in whether I wanted to feel limited, labeled, judged or cheated. But in many ways, these identities are part of what I am. I felt proud and centred as I embraced them. Also, what I am today does not stop the million possibilities of what I can become in the future – and it is into this beautiful future that I walk forward and onward.

Sunitha Lal

October 2021

The shadow of our limiting beliefs

Finding our Moorings during Uncertain Times

Sunitha Lal, MLM

NIODA Group Relations Conference staff member

 

Sunitha Lal is the CHRO at Ather Energy and has more than twenty-five years’ of experience in the space of organisational development and people practices. She actively engages with and contributes to forums and platforms that focus on building Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, Mindful Leadership, and Organisational Behaviour. She has participated in GR conferences and workshops as a member and staff since 2015 and is an Associate Member of Group Relations India. She is a strong proponent of the oral tradition of storytelling and is the author of the book ‘Dotting the Blemish and Other Stories’, a collection of short stories about women’s lives embedded in patriarchy.

Complexity, Creativity and Community in a Networked World

NIODA Group Relations Online Working Conference

Introductory Session: Familiarisation with the technology
Wednesday 3 November 2021

3 – 5 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
4 – 6 am London 🇬🇧
12 – 2 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
12 – 2 am New York 🇺🇸
9:30 – 11:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

Live Interactive online Conference:
Monday 8 – Wednesday 10 November 2021 and Friday 12 November

10 am – 4 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
11 pm – 5 am London 🇬🇧
7 am – 1 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
7 pm – 1 am New York 🇺🇸
4:30 – 10:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

FEES
Full fee AUD$1,500
NIODA Alumni/AODA Members/ Group Relations Australia Members AUD$1,200
2 or more people from the same organisation AUD$1,200

BURSARIES
Please contact Ellie Robinson, Director of Administration for
information about partial bursaries for those unable to meet the full amount.
GRC@nioda.org.au

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

COVID, Our Teacher

COVID, Our Teacher

COVID, Our Teacher

Dr James Krantz 

COVID, Our Teacher

A recent newscast about ‘COVID’ panic brought to mind an article that impressed me as an undergraduate 50 years ago. It said that, during the Great Depression, people loved each other more because they had to rely upon one another. My comments here attempt to unpack this as it pertains to our current situation.

On reflection, it seems the show was mis-titled. Instead of panic, I would say fear, which is, of course, as vital an emotion for survival as love. The instinctual impulse of self-preservation is built into our nervous systems. Not the neurotic fears that we work to resolve, but the fear
that alerts us to real danger and mobilizes us to flee or fight. It is survival through self-preservation; love, on the other hand, is survival through embrace of the other.

Fear and Love – an essential tension

I see fear and love as polar opposites, inescapably harnessed to one another. The dance of fear and love is the interdependence of self and other, of the individual and the collective , of self-interest and public interest. Neither exists without the other.

It’s an interdependence that holds the (potentially creative) tension of opposites. Idealizing or debasing either denies the complexity of the human condition. Through holding the tension, and tolerating the resulting anxiety, we can engage the world as whole people. Holding the complexity allows us to fully inhabit our roles as citizens.

COVID is both a mirror of who we are and a portal to a new unknown. It reveals hard truths and reshapes social reality. How we handle the reciprocal dynamic of fear and love will have a lot to say about how we ultimately cross the threshold on which we now stand. As T.S. Eliot said: “Everyone gets the experience. Some get the lesson.”
How we handle it will have a lot to say about whether we emerge on a path toward democratic principles or head further toward the politics of inequality and tribalism.

Democracy requires us to think about our roles as citizens much like our roles as parents, caring both for ourselves and for the other. Citizenship involves recognizing the difference, tending to our own needs as well as those of society. Whether we will learn something about embracing both the importance of self-preservation and community wellbeing is an important COVID question. The stakes are very high.

The role of leadership

Leadership enters the equation as an essential “third” that helps us contain the dread and anxiety that colors our world today. Leadership that provides emotional containment by treating others as adults – telling the truth, putting experience into perspective, acknowledging heartbreak and sad tradeoffs, and helping people embrace the necessity of both fear and love.

Effective leadership helps us transform the experience into the lesson and it supports our ability to think rather than panic. True leaders invite us into reflective space, a crucible for the sort of engagement that enables ethical choice and mature action. Leaders help us remain in what Bion (1970) called negative capability, referring to a state of mind that enables us to stay alive, open-minded and reflective in the face of doubt and uncertainty. By tolerating the emotional distress, we avoid hasty reactions, premature responses, or the siren song of the
latest “answer” or “certainty.”

Absent leadership, pathological expressions of fear and love will likely fill the void, as we see in many arenas. Without it, we are more easily drawn to narratives that seal over the shame and grief that COVID has brought us. Narratives that simplify and scapegoat. Without the generativity of reflective space, the residue of trauma and unresolved mourning will linger as corrosive, repressed memories.

Our particular moment

While pandemics have universal qualities, they are also particular to their own historical moment. Paradoxically, now we are together by being apart. We affirm solidarity through distance; togetherness through separateness. All of which casts the fear-love dialectic in an unusual light.

I believe we can thank social media for helping us keep the need for both in mind by enabling us to connect in our isolation. While we rightfully worry about the detachment created by relating through screens in ordinary times, for the moment we can see something containing about how technology helps communities come together in the midst of the pandemic and keeping hope alive.

Hope, as with fear and love, is essential to our ability to find redemptive solutions. When Pandora opened her box (often claimed out of curiosity, not malice) she inflicted pandemics, disease, death and all manner of evil on humankind. When she closed the vessel, only Hope remained: “within her unbreakable house.” It’s on the topic of hope that I will conclude.

There is much to worry about in terms of the post-COVID world. The bleaker realities of human nature may very well hold sway. To a great degree, baser motives are propelling action rather than higher ideals. Nevertheless, I have some hope that we will emerge with a deeper awareness of our connectedness.

As individuals, it may leave us with a bit more humility and a greater awareness of our vulnerability. If so, we will be more receptive to each other and more careful as citizens. And as a result, we will be more resilient. Perhaps less eager to reach for simplistic narratives that see
people only for their flaws or their virtues.

Let’s hope the vivid exposure of social inequality will find its way into policy. As perhaps will be appreciation of how much we depend on those who are often discounted and how much we depend on those who care for others on our behalf. We will be stronger if we develop a new appreciation of the importance of robust institutions, especially now seeing how degraded they have become. It is important to note that while people didn’t create the virus, we did create the systems and networks giving this pandemic its unique quality. COVID has exposed how traditional approaches to control and management are ill-suited for today’s realities.
Addressing the problems arising from the pandemic requires new levels of global cooperation.

At the societal level, we urgently need to learn from COVID about the dynamics arising in our globalized, densely interconnected world. About how complexity, creativity and community coalesce to shape our increasingly networked world. Learning to approach our world with a systems mindset, one that recognizes how limited our control actually is, and learning to live with the realities of global interdependence, may be the most important lesson that the virus offers us. If we don’t learn about these unpredictable and precarious dynamics from COVID, then we will most certainly confront them at far greater scale and with far greater tragedy with climate change.

Our most intractable problems are rooted in multiple interacting systems. I look forward to the upcoming NIODA conference to help me better understand both the conscious and unconscious aspects of these forces.

Dr James Krantz

October 2021

COVID, Our Teacher

Kim Krantz

James Krantz PhD

NIODA Group Relations Conference staff member

 

James Krantz is an organizational consultant and researcher from New York, where he is Managing Principal of Worklab, a consulting firm focusing on strategy implementation and leadership development. His principal interests are with the impact of emerging trends on the exercise of leadership and authority; the social and technical dimensions of new forms of work organization; and the unconscious background to work and organizational life. Currently, Jim serves as Honorary Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow; Chair, Editorial Committee of the Journal of Organisational and Social Dynamics; and Faculty, Dynamics of Consulting at the Wharton School.

Complexity, Creativity and Community in a Networked World

NIODA Group Relations Online Working Conference

Introductory Session: Familiarisation with the technology
Wednesday 3 November 2021

3 – 5 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
4 – 6 am London 🇬🇧
12 – 2 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
12 – 2 am New York 🇺🇸
9:30 – 11:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

Live Interactive online Conference:
Monday 8 – Wednesday 10 November 2021 and Friday 12 November

10 am – 4 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
11 pm – 5 am London 🇬🇧
7 am – 1 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
7 pm – 1 am New York 🇺🇸
4:30 – 10:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

FEES
Full fee AUD$1,500
NIODA Alumni/AODA Members/ Group Relations Australia Members AUD$1,200
2 or more people from the same organisation AUD$1,200

BURSARIES
Please contact Ellie Robinson, Director of Administration for
information about partial bursaries for those unable to meet the full amount.
GRC@nioda.org.au

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

What does it take to be vulnerable online?

What does it take to be vulnerable online?

What does it take to be vulnerable online?

Thomas Mitchell

What does it take to be vulnerable online?

I find myself wondering about this again and again. The question hits me as if it were the question of the week, the year even. I look around as if it has been boomed out over loudspeakers to a crowd who have all been stopped in their tracks by the sheer brilliance of it. In my fantasy, they collectively think, ‘Ah… yes, that is the question,’ and then they rush off home and do something with this information and, miraculously, things get better. In reality, however, there are no crowds, no recognition of the manner in which being a little more vulnerable might help an online group or community operate differently, or release some of the anxiety it is holding, or spark some creativity.

It is 2021 and in Victoria, Australia we are in the midst of another lockdown. We are only allowed outside our homes for one of 5 reasons. For the vast majority of us, this does not include going to work. There is a curfew between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am. The days can lose definition. Time seems a little out of whack, how is it that late in the day? How is it September? Clips of politicians talking about case numbers, restrictions, and ducking and weaving in and out of veiled blame games are being played on high rotation. One day bleeds into another.

Without a day punctuated by the physicality of movement and vociferous and lively interaction outside the home, it all becomes a bit of a haze, a little fuzzy, not just around the edges, but through and through. The recent introduction of the curfew in Melbourne took me by surprise and is the thing that shook me out of the fuzziness. The announcement came in the middle of the day, it was to be introduced that evening. I had plans, that evening. I learnt that I needed to cancel my plans through a work meeting. As I entered the Zoom room, colleagues were talking about the curfew and what it meant. As it became clear to me what my colleagues were talking about, I felt a deep anger at the imposition of what felt to be a draconian law.

More media connections, less human connections

Focus on work tasks grew over the following days, more Zooms, more reports, more things, more media connections, less human connections, less reality. My team slipped into, for a short while at least, basic assumption dependency (Bion, 1961). We looked to the leader as some sort of seer who would, without any substantive input from us, make decisions. As a part of this same dynamic, we created an inadequate member, an object of care within the group (Lawrence et al., 1996). In this environment, I became more and more anxious about the morning ritual of watching the email inbox expand to a sea of unread mail each time it refreshed, of clicking open the first Zoom screen and seeing myself in reverse, of negotiating with a supplier, a potential supplier, and my boss. One day I found myself, metaphorically, wondering/wandering somewhat confusedly around between workspaces, one online Zoom meeting after another.

Creating Community

In this confused state, I participated in an early morning, online meditation session. This is part of my daily routine. Apart from the voice of the person leading the session, the meditation space is silent. We do not talk or engage in overly lively or obvious forms of ‘community’ interaction. For the 30 minutes we are together each morning, however, we are together. We are communing, we are connecting in an intentional, synchronous practice. Creating community. In silence, we let each other in. I compare this with my experience of the online team meeting which is loud and seemingly engaged. It moves quickly, tasks to discuss, to track, to complete. My experience is not one of communion, or of community. If there is an invitation to create together it is hard to hear, and harder still to action, in this environment.

Moving between these realities offered the opportunity to reflect on the environments, to ponder the differences and to wonder, what does it take to be vulnerable online? My most recent experience tells me that it’s ‘simple’, I needed to let the humanity back in. I needed to scratch the Zoom surface to get a glimpse, to give a glimpse, of what is behind the camera. One day, I loosened my grip just enough and admitted to my colleagues that ‘things are tough’ and that I was struggling with the latest restrictions. Collectively, we started talking about our anxieties, not just those related to the pandemic but also those about the work tasks filling up our inboxes. As Leonard Cohen (1992) says,

“Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”.

As the light began to seep in, we began moving toward creativity and it became possible to talk to each other, to ask questions, to admit to not knowing. As we let the humanity into the Zoom room, we also gave rise to the possibility of the basic assumption group encountering the creativity of the work group. A shift occurred, there was a tickle of connection, of resourcefulness, of creation. It is tender and new and imperfect, let’s hope it continues.

Mr Thomas Mitchell

October 2021

What does it take to be vulnerable online?

Bion, W., 1961. Experiences in groups, and other papers. Tavistock/Routledge, London.

Cohen, L., 1992. Anthem [WWW Document]. MusixMatch. URL
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Leonard-Cohen/Anthem (accessed 8.25.21).

Lawrence, G., Gould, L., Bain, A., 1996. The Fifth Basic Assumption. Free Associations 6, 1–20.

Mr Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Academic staff member, NIODA

 

BA, MA(HPS), MLM(OD)  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 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.

Complexity, Creativity and Community in a Networked World

NIODA Group Relations Online Working Conference

Introductory Session: Familiarisation with the technology
Wednesday 3 November 2021

3 – 5 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
4 – 6 am London 🇬🇧
12 – 2 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
12 – 2 am New York 🇺🇸
9:30 – 11:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

Live Interactive online Conference:
Monday 8 – Wednesday 10 November 2021 and Friday 12 November

10 am – 4 pm Melbourne 🇨🇰
11 pm – 5 am London 🇬🇧
7 am – 1 pm Singapore 🇸🇬
7 pm – 1 am New York 🇺🇸
4:30 – 10:30 am New Delhi 🇮🇳

FEES
Full fee AUD$1,500
NIODA Alumni/AODA Members/ Group Relations Australia Members AUD$1,200
2 or more people from the same organisation AUD$1,200

BURSARIES
Please contact Ellie Robinson, Director of Administration for
information about partial bursaries for those unable to meet the full amount.
GRC@nioda.org.au

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.

Get In Touch

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

This Get In Touch form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Pin It on Pinterest