Discovering Leadership: Authenticity, Action and Responsibility – a group relations conference

Conference overview

Conference Director: Ben Neal

A four-day non-residential conference for the development and understanding of the dynamics of leadership.

How can we move into and between our organizational roles, in good faith, and from a position of authenticity?

How do we take appropriate action (or not) both individually and as part of a group, with a sense of agency, authority, and clear intention?

To what and to who are we responsible, and how is this dimension of leadership articulated when taking up multiple complex roles? In what way do the actions we take effect and change the systems we inhabit and people that populate them?

How do we live with both what we do, and don’t do in our group and organizational lives?

This group relations conference provides an opportunity for deep learning about the complex dynamics of leadership, from the individual, to the group, to the organization. 

Independent Applicants - £650

Tavistock Students and Trainees - £580, unless the fee is included in your course fee. Please consult your course director.

A group discount is available to groups of 3 or more from the same organisation. Please contact the Conference Administrator for details.

Cancellation charges
Less than 2 weeks in advance of first day: 100%
Between 2-8 weeks in advance of first day: 50%
Between 8-12 weeks in advance of first day: 25%

Applications are welcome from anyone who is interested in understanding more about groups and organisations, working as leaders and managers or consultants in the public, private or independent sectors.  It is particularly relevant for anyone with an interest in exploring the nature of leadership.

A proportion of the conference places are reserved for members of the Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (D10)

The programme consists of a series of events that build on each other to allow members the space for exploration and cumulative learning. For example:

The Intergroup Event starts with an opportunity to explore personal effectiveness in an interpersonal face-to-face group and goes on to explore dynamics arising between groups and also within groups when linked to a wider system.  The event allows exploration of the experience of crossing group boundaries and the issues for an individual in representing one group to another group.

Whole System Meetings explore the organisational dynamics of the conference itself as an organisation and the problems of individual effectiveness in a large group.

The Staff Management Event explores the boundary and dynamics between members and conference staff in a management role. This facilitates learning about issues that arise between those in authority and those who may perceive themselves as less powerful. The exercise of authority, leadership and creativity by both staff and members may also be studied.

The Resource Management Event explores the dynamics of delegated authority, leadership and followership, and the management of resources.

Personal Development Groups are provided to review the progress of members’ learning towards the end of the conference, with a focus on making links with members' own work environment in order that the learning may be applied after the conference.

The programme is designed as a whole. Applicants who cannot attend the whole programme should contact the Conference Administrator at the time of application.

This is a rewarding, but demanding programme and so applicants currently experiencing stressful circumstances such as divorce, bereavement or serious illness, are advised to attend at another time.

Please note the conference is non-residential.

Leadership? Energy? Empowerment? Creativity? Co-operative endeavour? Infighting? Destructive competition? Lethargy? Cynicism?

How many of these describe your organisation, or the organisations you work with?

How does leadership emerge in an organisation?

Do you understand how organisations work below the surface and what you might do to make them work more effectively?

Whether your pre-occupation is culture change at a macro level in the private sector, working more effectively with your team in the NHS, or a wish to help promote creativity, this Group Relations Conference could help you take up your role differently, be a better leader, and develop an unfolding sense of organisations, and the part you, and we all, play.

A group relations conference is a personal development programme, which aims to increase personal effectiveness in any organisational role.  Development happens through experiential learning - that is, learning from the immediate experience of participation in, and reflection on, the conference events.

This particular conference will offer participants an opportunity to discover what may underpin leadership effectiveness at personal, group and organisational levels.  The method is not one of conventional conferences.  The conference is designed to be a miniature organisation in which a range of events take place that mirror typical organisational situations and in which you will experience leadership and followership in unrehearsed ways, in different group configurations.

The primary task of these activities is to study organisational behaviour as it happens.  This creates a continuous process of feedback about organisational behaviour from staff and other participants. Issues are explored in relation to awareness of the impact of self on others and the impact of others on self, leadership, followership, group membership, lateral and vertical collaboration, delegation and representative roles.

"I felt surprised, distressed, humbled and finally, deeply emotionally impressed that I had so much to learn, and that the event evoked layers of personal experience of which I was hardly aware, and which can be traced back many years, if not further."

September 2014 participant

"I experienced the conference as rich and intense learning which I anticipate I will be learning from for a long time.  It was particularly useful not be given ‘answers’ and sometimes to be offered possibilities.  This enabled me to find my own answers.  Early learning is that I have a much clearer understanding of my own leadership and what can get in way.  I feel tangible change on a personal level which I have taken into my professional life."

September 2014 participant

Course tutor, Ben Neal.

Ben is a management and leadership coach, and organisational consultant, with over fifteen years of experience. A specialist clinical practitioner, with experience in a number of clinical roles in the NHS, he has worked with leaders and managers who work with and deliver services to some of the most demanding and vulnerable demographics in society.

Ben moved into the field of consulting and coaching in 2010. Since then he has worked extensively across voluntary, public, and private sectors, with clients ranging from celebrity chefs and authors to executives running gold mining operations in South Africa.

He is a visiting lecturer on the MA in Consulting and Leading in Organizations and the Educational Psychology Doctorate Programme at the Tavistock.

Contact Ben Neal.

The Tavistock Centre, London
3 September 2018 09:00 to 6 September 2018 16:00

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