Organizations conduct themselves not only according to stated tasks, but often under the influence of group and systemic processes, both overt and covert, rational and irrational, that have a crucial impact on their life and culture. A Group Relations conference aims to study and investigate these processes both in the context of the group and the organization, and in the wider social context.
The conference, in which both participants and staff come from a wide range of professions and cultures, provides participants with opportunities to discover the unspoken and at times unconscious feelings and processes that are often put aside in our everyday working life and buried under the drive to fulfill formal tasks; to better understand the fantasies and irrational forces that help shape organizational life and the way we use our authority and take up our roles; and to use the potential within us to bring about changes in the way we work and influence our surroundings.
The learning in the conference is experiential, modeled after the “Leicester” conferences developed by the Tavistock Institute in the 1950s. There are no lectures or theoretical discussions. Rather, we form a temporary learning organization, where the topics and issues arising in the conference are studied as they evolve, here and now and in real time. The work in the conference opens a window into the emotional and unconscious layers that are part and parcel of our behavior in all spheres of life.