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41 minutes | Sep 23, 2022
50: 50th Episode Special: Monarchy and Meaning with Leslie Brissett
We are celebrating our Golden Jubilee with the 50th episode of Edgy Ideas and thought it appropriate to reflect on the monarchy and its meaning. My guest Leslie Brissett draws on his wealth of experience in human dynamics and as Director of Group Relations at the Tavistock Institute to share his thoughts on what is projected onto the monarchy from the people, and what the monarchy represents, contains and holds for us. Simon is an anti-monarchist, and whilst able to admire Queen Elizabeth's extraordinary leadership over 70 years and recognise how the monarchy offers continuity for many, it also is highly problematic. Simon believes it reinforces a dependency and a "know-your-place" culture that reproduces class divisions, and elitist power and undermines our capacity for autonomy and to maximise our collective potential. Leslie and Simon ponder together the meaning of the monarchy and explore the difference, and continuity between a matriarchy (the Queen) and patriarchy (the King). They reflect together in a non-partisan way, what future containment might look like without a monarchy and what can be learnt from the monarchy, that can help us to work towards creating the good society. Bio Leslie is a member of the Judiciary in England and Director of the Group Relations Programme at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and has studied human dynamics in experiential settings in many countries. He is also the Company Secretary at TIHR. Born in the UK, Leslie experiences life as a Citizen of the World More on Leslie: https://www.tavinstitute.org/staff/leslie-brissett/
34 minutes | Sep 16, 2022
49: The State of Coaching Today with Liz Hall
In this episode, Liz Hall draws on her experience of editing 'Coaching at Work' journal to reflect on the state of coaching today. Liz shares how she believes coaching is thriving for two key reasons First, the demand on managers increasingly means they need a reflective space, and support to help them navigate the emotional and relational people side of the work, and the intensity of work demands upon them. Second, Liz blurs the boundaries between coaching and therapy and believes that coaching provides important support to people who would not necessarily go to therapy. Liz shares her own practices of utilising mindfulness and somatics in her work, sharing how important this is in her own life, and how the bodywork is gaining increasing prominence in coaching more generally. Her initiative 'Coaching for Covid and Beyond' was established with colleagues and offered free coaching during the pandemic, and Liz shares her experience of this project. Enjoy this exploration of coaching! Bio Liz Hall is a leadership coach and mindfulness teacher. An award-winning journalist, she’s the editor of Coaching at Work magazine, and the author of publications including Mindful Coaching (Kogan Page), Coach your team (Penguin Business), and author/editor of Coaching in times of crisis and transformation (Kogan Page), and numerous chapters in other books. As a co-founder of the award-winning Coaching through Covid and Beyond, offering pro-bono coaching to NHS workers impacted by the pandemic, she helped create a trail-blazing organizational culture shaped by compassion, relational mindfulness, psychological safety, agility and openness to emergence. The initiative is to be the subject of a study by a leading university exploring coaching in crisis. Through Coaching at Work, Liz has launched initiatives including the pioneering Roundtable towards Race Equity in the Coaching Profession which has seen professional coaching bodies agree to collaborate around a charter for change, and Climate Coaching Action Day, an annual event in March to celebrate and encourage climate coaching. Liz is also a co-founder of the International Summit for Mindfulness and Compassion at Work and speaks regularly on mindfulness and coaching at conferences. She is a member of the Academy of Executive coaching’s faculty, teaching on mindfulness in coaching. She’s currently working on a book on relational mindfulness with Dr Emma Donaldson-Feilder. Follow Liz Website: https://lizhallcoaching.com Coaching at Work Magazine: www.coaching-at-work.com Coaching through Covid and Beyond www.coachingthroughcovid.org Article on Coaching Through Covid Initiative: https://www.coaching-at-work.com/2021/03/01/covid-a-year-in-coaching/
46 minutes | Sep 2, 2022
48: Web3 & Human Dynamics with Shermin Voshmgir
Shermin Voshmgir is a leading thinker in the world of Web 3. This podcast explores the intersections between human dynamics and Web 3 developments. Shermin discusses the new possibilities of more democratic and decentralised ways of being and organising, and shares her growing concerns about how old politics, ego-driven behaviours, and simply the lack of awareness around potential dangers. There are tensions around transparency and privacy, algorithmic bias, and lack of participation in decentralised systems which leaves a few people making decisions. Power dynamics and biases become embedded in new DAOs and networks, making them difficult to influence and change. Shermin shares her new adventures in the domain of agriculture as she works with her partner to bring together Web 3 technologies, such as tokenization, that will support more sustainable farming. We are all entering the new world of Web 3, and Shermin Voshmgir is a brilliant translator who brings that space to life for those of us struggling to understand it - a must-listen episode! Bio Shermin is the author of the best-selling book “Token Economy“, the founder of Token Kitchen and BlockchainHub Berlin. In the past, she was the director of the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics which she also co-founded and a curator of the infamous project TheDAO back in 2016. She is currently setting up a data-driven farm in Portugal with her Partner where they investigate how to tokenize agricultural assets and sustainable ecosystem services such as soil quality or CO2 capture with the support of hardware wallets and sensor technology. Shermin studied Information Systems Management at the Vienna University of Economics and film-making in Madrid. Under her alter ego KAMIKAT.SE she has also created a series of audio-visual works. She is Austrian, with Iranian roots, and now lives in Portugal where she works on the intersection of technology, agriculture, art & social science. Her biggest strength is to make complex issues easily understandable to a wide audience without losing the depth or scope of the issues she writes or talks about. Shermin has a long track record of public speaking about Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, the Web3 and the future of technologies in general – from prestigious community conferences such as TedX, The Next Web or Re:publica, to private events for companies and institutions such as Vodafone, Audi, IMF and the Wordbank. She has a multidisciplinary perspective of how Web3 will impact different areas of society. She believes that Web3 and its tokenized applications can shift the dynamics of our socio-economic systems. Her focus is to make technology accessible to a non-tech audience so that all those who use technology can also take part in the decision-making process of the technology they use. Buy Token Economy, Shermin's fantastic Web3 explainer: https://www.bookdepository.com/Token-Economy/9783982103853 Follow Shermin Website: https://shermin.net Twitter: https://twitter.com/sherminvo LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherminvoshmgir
36 minutes | Aug 19, 2022
47: #IsThereEnough? with Daniel Matalon
Daniel Matalon is on a mission. Dan asserts that humanity’s biggest existential threat is not climate change, tribalism, or inequality but our inability to make agreements with each other at the level we require to address our challenges. In this podcast Simon explores both the mission and what's behind it, making interesting connections to how the personal and the project come together. The question "is there enough?" is like a yeast starter, once you ask the question it expands. Dan aims to meet everyday folk in a place where they can reflect on their identities and their worldviews, opening a space for new collaborations. Enjoy this podcast! Bio Daniel Matalon is the founder of #IsThereEnough, a provocative new conversation about the intersection of survival economics and social justice. He is also the co-founder of Impact Launchpad, a UK-based venture studio for social impact incubation and development. His upcoming title, The First Agreement, is a historical and future-leaning look at economics, scarcity, and survival, that suggests that our drivers of incentive can be measurably built around human beings at the center of our economies, rather than the assets and resources we measure them by today. Visit Dan's website: https://www.isthereenough.org
34 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
46: Leading by Nature with Giles Hutchins
Giles Hutchins shares his work and thinks about how to lead organizations following nature's flow rather than using nature as an external resource. Since the industrial revolution, we have been an extractive society, taking from the environment, without understanding or considering our interconnectivity and interdependence with the environment. We are now paying heavily for this way of thinking, and Giles works in organizations to change worldviews and create regenerative leadership. He calls for a shift from the machine mindset to a living-systems mindset; from a world that is made of separate parts, to a world that is interconnected and interdependent. If you want to be part of creating more humane and sustainable workplaces, this is an important podcast to listen to! Bio Giles is a pioneering practitioner, keynote speaker and executive coach at the fore-front of this necessary revolution. He applies advanced consciousness raising techniques, deep-dive nature immersions, embodiment work, ancient wisdom tradition insights, and cutting edge research on leadership consciousness. Giles has over 20 years business experience in helping all shapes and sizes of organisations transform. Formerly, over a decade as management consultant, programme manager and business practice lead at KPMG, and more recently Global Head of Sustainability for the global technology provider Atos. He is currently Chairman of the Future Fit Leadership Academy, Lead Partner of The Natural Business Partnership, co-founder of Biomimicry for Creative Innovation, co-founder of Regenerators.co and partner/associate with a number of pioneering organisations, such as The Global Leaders Academy and The Laszlo New Paradigm
51 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
45: Transpersonal Coaching with Hetty Einzig
Hetty explores how transpersonal coaching takes us ‘beyond the person’ and into the wider ecosystems in which we live and work, including the spiritual realm. Hetty and Simon share their own faith journeys that have shaped how they engage with this work. They discuss how spirituality is either ignored in the workplace because it is not relevant to a high-performance ‘modern’ work culture and belongs in the private realm, or how it can be instrumentalised i.e. take this mindfulness course and your productivity will increase by 30% (which immediately turns a transpersonal opportunity into a secular, goal-focused activity. To work with a transpersonal frame is therefore challenging yet Hetty claims they are vitally important. She describes how this work needs to be embodied and how her yoga practice has helped her with this over the years. Hetty also shares how women’s experiences have been marginalised, and the part they play in developing a transpersonal frame. We are facing very challenging times, and the answers will not come from more of the same. It is only by de-centering the human and recovering a sense of belonging to the whole that will bring hope and change to our current state of being. Hetty believes that focusing on the transpersonal is an essential part of this journey. Bio Hetty brings 25 years of psychology and executive coaching experience to global leadership development. A best-selling author, her career has spanned the arts, journalism, media, health, and policy development in the private, public and voluntary sectors. She designs and delivers leader-coach and global culture change programs. Key focuses are women’s leadership, Transpersonal Coaching, and the regenerative contributions approach. She works ecosystemically and holistically founded on transpersonal psychology and informed by psychoanalysis and embodiment approaches. She teaches at the Irish Management Institute, is a Senior Associate Director with Common Purpose, and she coaches, teaches, and facilitates in French. Hetty is Director of Publications Strategy for the Association for Coaching and Executive Editor of the AC global magazine, Coaching Perspectives, now a leading publication in the field. Hetty holds a Masters in Psychoanalytic and Systemic Approaches to Organisational Consulting from the Tavistock Centre (UEL), a Certificate in Coaching Supervision from Oxford Brookes, a Masters in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute (UL), and a BA in languages from Cambridge University. She is married with two millennial daughters. Recent publications: The Future of Coaching: Vision, Leadership and Responsibility in a Transforming World published by Routledge. Her long-form essay on Radical hope: a dimension of the soul rooted will be published in the Autumn by PCCS Books in the collection of essays, Holding the Hope: Essays exploring psychological and spiritual responses and practices to climate change and extreme biodiversity loss. For more information on Transpersonal Coaching programmes For more information on Ecosystems Supervision programmes with Martin Vogel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.hettyeinzig.com
41 minutes | May 6, 2022
44: The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations with Dr Eliat Aram
Our guest this week is Dr Eliat Aram, CEO of The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR). Dr Eliat Aram has been the CEO of TIHR for over 13 years. The TIHR, a not-for-profit outfit operating in the UK and abroad is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022 and is a world-leading research, evaluation, consultancy, and professional development organisation. Believing in the abundant potential of human relationships and love for people are the drivers in the way she shapes the direction of the institute, the multitude of its activities as well as her praxis. TIHR was established in 1947, dedicated to the study of human relations for the bettering of working life. Eliat discusses some of the TIHR developments over the years and shares new directions they are pioneering, particularly in the areas of how aesthetics, art, and place inform our working lives today. TIHR developed many experiential learning methodologies, drawing on systemic thinking, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and other social sciences, the most well-known are the Group Relations Conferences. Eliat reflects on the importance of this innovative learning methodology and its continued relevance in today's disruptive world. This podcast will be of great interest to all of us indebted to the Tavistock Institute and its positive influence on work, organisations, and society. Bio Dr Eliat Aram is a Chartered Scientist Psychologist (BPS), a UKCP registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, and has been one of the pioneering members of the CMC (Complexity & Management Centre) of Hertfordshire University. Her theoretical grounding is in complexity theory, organisational studies, Gestalt psychotherapy theory, and systems psychodynamics. She is a keen practitioner of Group Relations, the Tavistock enterprise’s core ‘learning through experience’ practice. She has directed many Group Relations Conferences internationally including the Tavistock Institute’s flagship GRC known as the ‘Leicester’ conference. She has been one of the two directors of the TIHR’s certified courses Coaching for Leadership and Professional Development (2014-2017) and co-founder of the Supervision for Coaching and Consultancy course, now in its seventh cohort. She has contributed to all TIHR Professional Development activities and program design. Someone told her recently that perhaps work-life balance is found when one finds their love at, and for, work and life. Working with the dynamic of shame as an integral part of any potentially transformative learning process has been her quest and the tenet of her evolving thinking over the decades of her practice. Someone told her recently that perhaps work-life balance is found when one finds their love at, and for, work and life. She unashamedly thinks this might just be so.
45 minutes | Apr 7, 2022
43: Exploring the Unconscious with Susan Long
Susan Long has studied and practiced working with the unconscious for many years. She brings fresh thinking to help us understand the unconscious in its many forms. Susan discusses the pre-Freudian unconscious drawing on the romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling’s work who thought of the unconscious as a source of creativity. Susan reflects on the ‘repressed unconscious’ of Freud, and how he developed a treatment method (psychoanalysis) based on using free association to access the unconscious. Freud also pioneered group psychology, and Susan explores the group unconscious and how this manifests in society today. The 'associative unconscious' is a more contemporary exploration of the unconscious and Susan shares how we might draw on it to discover individual and group thoughts that are not yet accessed, what Christopher Bollas called the 'unthought known'. Simon shares his experiences of using a 'free-association matrix' method in a work setting The conversation finishes by exploring a new wave of thinking about the unconscious, such as neuro-scientific insights and a more generative eco-unconscious, taking the unconscious beyond the human mind. This is a fascinating discussion, enjoy! Bio Susan Long is a Melbourne based organisational consultant and executive coach. Previously Professor of Creative and Sustainable Organisation at RMIT University, she is now a Professor and Director of Research and Scholarship at the National Institute for Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) and a coach and consultant in private practice. Susan has been in a leadership position in many professional organisations and has published ten books and many articles in books and scholarly journals, is General Editor of the journal Socioanalysis and an Associate Editor with Organisational and Social Dynamics. Susan is a distinguished member of ISPSO. Simon Western is the host of Edgy Ideas Podcast, founder of the Eco-Leadership Institute www.ecoleadershipinstitute.org, and CEO of Analytic-Network Coaching- an advanced coach training company. He is the author of internationally acclaimed leadership and coaching books, and blogs on wider social-political issues. Previously a past president of ISPSO, a family psychotherapist, general and psychiatric nurse, and a factory worker. Simon works with senior leaders in global companies as a leadership consultant with the aim of delivering new eco-leadership cultures that support system-change, and to coach ‘leaders to act in good faith to create the good society’.
42 minutes | Mar 23, 2022
42: Ukraine: Weaving War Reflections with Simon Western and Caroline Bainbridge
In this episode, Simon Western is joined by organisational consultant, certified Analytic Network coach, and Emerita Professor of Psychoanalysis and Culture Caroline Bainbridge to reflect on what is happening in Ukraine, drawing on psychosocial thinking. Their aim is not to provide answers but to stimulate thinking and insights. This horrific, shocking, and unnecessary war is about the Putin regime deepening its own power base, and imagining themselves as Tsarist heroes ‘making Russia great again’ to borrow from their ‘Trumpist’ friends. At the heart of this project is repression; the war can be thought of as a ‘return of the repressed'. Fukuyama proclaimed the End of History when the Soviet Union collapsed, and many swallowed the kool-aid and repressed the clear signs that totalitarianism was returning within China and Russia, while authoritarianism was resurfacing through populist and nationalist politics in the west. The war can also be thought-about as part of the Putin regime's desire to impose a new repressive regime across the old Soviet empire. Simon and Caro reflect on these and other thoughts, hoping to create thinking space for those listening to engage in their own reflections, in order not to fall into the traps of repression. Bios Simon Western is the host of Edgy Ideas Podcast, founder of the Eco-Leadership Institute www.ecoleadershipinstitute.org, and CEO of Analytic-Network Coaching- an advanced coach training company. He is the author of internationally acclaimed leadership and coaching books, and blogs on wider social-political issues. Previously a past president of ISPSO, a family psychotherapist, general and psychiatric nurse, and a factory worker. Simon works with senior leaders in global companies as a leadership consultant with the aim of delivering new eco-leadership cultures that support system-change, and to coach ‘leaders to act in good faith to create the good society’. Caroline Bainbridge is an organizational consultant, accredited Analytic-Network coach, and Emerita Professor of Psychoanalysis and Culture. She specializes in inclusion-focused leadership work and organizational change, and executive coaching that centers on complex experience. After more than 25 years as a university lecturer, published writer, and researcher, Caroline has been recognized as Emerita Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis. She is fascinated with how our networked and mediated milieu shapes experience and behavior. Caroline trained at the Tavistock in London and at the Eco-Leadership Institute. Find out more here.
40 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
41: Large Group Identity and War with Dr Vamik Volkan
In this podcast Dr Vamik Volkan shares his fascinating personal journey, and some of the theories that have gained him an international recognition. Born in 1932, Vamik a Turkish Cypriot lived in Cyprus under British rule, with the second world war and Nazi’s in the shadows as he grew up. His journey took him to study medicine in Turkey, and psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the USA. Experiencing the loss of a dear friend through a Greek terrorist attack back in Cyprus, Vamik in the USA found himself separated from mourning his friend. He went on to study mourning and later trauma, drawing also on his experiences of racism in the USA during the 1950s/60s. His insights led him to work with traumatised countries and nations/peoples in conflict. He has met and worked with former President Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachov, Desmond Tutu and Yasser Arafat. Vamik shares some of his key ideas, such as how large group identities form around ‘chosen trauma’s’ and ‘chosen glories’ and how these are mobilised by leaders. Vamik shows how leaders personal experiences are played out in large group dynamics, and he addresses what drives Vladimir Putin and reflects on the current the war Ukraine. We will be hosting a Clubhouse Discussion Friday 4th 6pm GMT on this podcast content click link to join - a recording of the discussion will be available Bio Dr Vamık Volkan is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia: Emeritus President of the International Dialogue Initiative, he holds Professorships across the world and has many other honorary positions. Dr. Volkan was a member of the International Negotiation Network under the directorship of former President Jimmy Carter. His work on trauma and understanding large groups is internationally renowned and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times Dr. Volkan is the author, coauthor of psychoanalytic and psychopolitical books. His book, Large-Group psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions, Narcissistic Leaders and Who We Are Now, received the Gradiva 2021 Best Book Award.
45 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
40: Leading Change in the Catholic Church with David McCallum
Father David McCallum is at the heart of a very interesting change process taking place in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has called for a 2 year process to advance a synodal church. David discusses how a synodal church embraces leadership from the edges, engaging the laity and being less hierarchical and clerical in its approach. Simon and David share thoughts on how this process might happen, and how synodal leadership symbolises how the Catholic church is responding to our disruptive age. Inspired by early church practices of discernment, accompaniment and spiritual friendship, David is working with others to develop new ways of organising, leading and being in this emergent space that is opening. Enjoy this podcast! Bio Father David McCallum, S.J., Ed.D is a Jesuit priest and leadership educator. He serves as the founding Executive Director of the Program for Discerning Leadership. The Program provides leadership formation for senior Vatican officials and major superiors of religious orders in Rome, Italy, as well as internationally. Born in Buffalo, NY (1968), and raised in Rochester, Fr. McCallum is a proud Upstate New Yorker. He serves as a facilitator for mission driven, personal and organizational development programs, provides developmentally informed executive coaching, and delivers leadership development programs and spiritual retreats internationally. He co-founded the Contemplative Leaders in Action program (CLA), an initiative of the Office for Ignatian Spirituality (USA East Coast Province) Currently, Fr. McCallum lives in Rome and serves as a member of the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops Commission on Methodology, supporting the Synodal process initiative by Pope Francis.
45 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
39: Working with Elite Athletes with Danny Donachie
Danny is a leading practitioner working with elite athletes. In this podcast he shares his reflections on working at a leading premiership football club in the UK. Drawing on his experiences of studying at the Tavistock clinic, Danny discusses the leadership and power dynamics at play in these soccer clubs. He applies Menzies-Lyth theory of social defences against anxiety to his experience, observing how the obsessive focus on diet and nutrition are a social defence against the anxiety of poor performance. Whilst diet is clearly important, the excess of the practices tell a different story. Simon and Danny discuss the 'happiness imperative', how highly paid footballers feel obliged to be upbeat - 'how can you not be happy, with the wealth and glamour' yet this represses the shadow side of their lives, and the anxieties and struggles they face. Discussing mental health issues is not encouraged as they need to be 'at the top of their game' to be selected and successful. Danny ends by discussing his life-long practice of meditation, and how this helps him in his work, and how he uses an embodied approach to help athletes engage more holistically with their bodies, rather than 'stay in their minds'. I hope you enjoy this fascinating podcast. BIO Danny Donachie works with World class athletes and leaders to improve performance through greater presence. He has held several leadership positions in elite sports, most recently working with a leading premiership soccer club in the UK. Danny brings his lifelong practice of meditation from Eastern traditions, alongside a more psychologically informed approach to his work. Through Embodyism he consults with high performing individuals and groups.
45 minutes | Jan 13, 2022
38: Psychoanalysis and Revolution with Ian Parker
Ian Parker is a practising psychoanalyst, an academic and a revolutionary activist. Ian discusses the radical roots of psychoanalysis and how these have changed overtime, to make psychoanalysis fit with contemporary capitalist society. Ian believes that psychoanalysis should be a radical practice than impacts on individuals and society, rather than an elite practice that adapts individuals to conform to social norms. He writes “Our task is to connect social struggle with the kind of unavoidable internal struggle described by psychoanalytic theory.” Ian challenges the standard idea of the unconscious being like an ice-berg where beneath our conscious surface lies a dark abyss of uncivilised, biological and instinctual drives. He works with a Lacanian approach that addresses the unconscious as a social and external phenomena, one that we individually relate to. He is critical of the ‘Psy’ professions such as psychology and psychotherapy as being instrumental to keeping things as they are, rather than offering a past to individual and social transformation. Ian is working towards developing a psychoanalytic practice that has a liberation ethic Enjoy listening to this fascinating and edgy podcast! BIO Ian Parker is a psychoanalyst and a member of the new revolutionary organisation Anti-Capitalist Resistance, and of the Fourth International. His academic work has always been critical of psychology and psychiatry. His most recent book, co-authored with his Mexican comrade David Pavón-Cuéllar, is Psychoanalysis and Revolution: Critical Psychology for Liberation Movements https://psychoanalysisrevolution.com/. Ian is Emeritus Professor at Leicester University and his academic writing is widely published and cited.
42 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
37: 'Promoting Understanding Of Society' with Olya Khaleelee
Olya Khaleelee shares her experiences and thoughts on 'OPUS, An organisation promoting the understanding of society'. OPUS aims to develop a deeper understanding of conscious and unconscious organisational and social dynamics; and to promote reflective citizenship – using this understanding to act authoritatively and responsibly as members of society and organisations within society. Olya shares some of the OPUS early work in the prison sector and workplace settings, and the development and importance of 'listening posts'. Olya and Simon discuss the worrying authoritarianism growing in society, and how more than ever reflective citizenship is needed alongside spaces to help citizens take up their agency and authority in society. Enjoy the listen! Olya Khaleelee is a corporate psychologist and organisational consultant with a particular interest in leadership, and organisational transition and transformation. She was director of OPUS: an Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society from 1980–1994, is a professional partner of the Tavistock Institute and was the first female director of the Leicester Conference on the theme of Authority Leadership and Organisation. She has published extensively in the areas of leadership and system psychodynamics in organisations, and beyond, into society
45 minutes | Nov 18, 2021
36: Unthinkable Evil: Understanding Racism with Stanley Gold
Stanley Gold is concerned with racism, and in his recent book, ‘Unthinkable Evil-Understanding Racism’ he makes the claim that we talk about racism, but not about the cause of racism, because to do so is unthinkable. He takes this phrase from politicians who talk about the ‘unthinkable evil’ when confronted with a racist or terrorist incidents. Stanley shares his edgy idea that racism is caused by neuro-biological and infantile changes in brain structure. Simon challenges this idea as the sole cause of racism. He believes that whilst racism, authoritarianism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of scapegoating can be linked to rigid forms of thinking, anxiety states and perhaps even neuro-biological wiring, it cannot be divorced from social causation. This social causation is the space which can be worked on to mitigate and reduce how anxieties and individual/collective troubled mindsets act out on the stage of life. Simon agrees with Stan that we all have the potential to be racist and authoritarian, and some more than others. Stan believes it is important to face this ‘unthinkable truth’, that racism is caused by infantile and neuro-biological factors. Simon claims our task is to work on the social areas – economic, social equity, education, institutional containment etc, that can reduce the potential of racism being manifested, and utilised by populist and nationalist politicians and other sub-groups. Stan thinks Simon avoids the unthinkable issue, Simon thinks Stan misses the important point that whatever the underlying cause of human behaviour, it is what happens in the social sphere that exacerbates, exploits, the worst of human behaviour or mitigates against it. They both agree that being able to talk openly about differences, and to think about the unthinkable is vitally important today when so many conversations are shut down or cancelled. Enjoy this lively discussion! BIO Stan Gold graduated in Medicine in Melbourne Australia and subsequently Guys Hospital London in Adult and Child Psychiatry where he became the inaugural Research Fellow. studying childhood Psychosis. Returning to Australia as research fellow to the inaugural department of Psychiatry , he was also consultant Psychiatrist at Prince Henry’s Hospital.. He subsequently trained in Psychoanalysis, becoming a training Analyst of the Australian Society and chair of the Centre for Psychodynamic studies Monash University. Returning to London and a position at the Cassell Hospital, he broadened his interests to groups and organisations and became a board member and later, President of ISPSO. More recently he has been appointed as member of the Mental Health Tribunal in his state. He has written over 40 papers ranging from clinical and research studies in childhood to Psychodynamic aspects of Organisational life. He has written two books, “How to Bring up your Parents” and last October, "Unthinkable Evil: Understanding Racism”.
48 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
35: Trans Liberation with Josephine Inkpin
Josephine is Australia’s first out Transgender priest and on this podcast, shares her experiences, and why she believes that trans people can help to shine a light into the world. Simon and Josephine reflect on why transphobia occurs, and how trans, queer and non-binary ways of being create anxieties for those who fear transition in their own lives. Josephine believes that trans liberation is not just about emancipating transgender people, but it offers a vision of a beautiful world, where diversity flourishes. Josephine shares how being transgender doesn’t take away the gender identities of male and female, it expands the limitations of the binary and adds new possibilities. Discussing being in the church, Josephine embraces a theology that embraces mystery, a Christianity that is based on love and a church that embraces transitioning in this life and beyond. BIO Josephine McDonnell Inkpin is the first openly and fully recognised transgender Anglican priest in Australia, now currently working as Minister of Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney. Originally from England, where she studied at Oxford and Durham, she is a feminist church historian and theologian who has taught in various university settings over many years, as well as in a variety of ministry settings, typically ‘on the edge’. Chair of Equal Voices, a peak Australian network of LGBTIQ+ Christians and allies, Jo has also been a prominent leader in Australian inter-faith, multicultural, First Nations Reconciliation, and other justice activities over many years. A former officer of the National Council of Churches in Australia and General Secretary of the NSW Ecumenical Council, and later described as a ‘Dangerous Woman of Queensland’, she was highlighted by Deloittes as one of the 2020 Out50 Outstanding LGBTI Leaders in Australia.
40 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
34: Yarning About First Nation Worldviews with Mishel McMahon
Dr Mishel McMahon, a Yorta Yorta First Nations woman from Australia, draws from 60,000 years of Aboriginal cultural experience to discuss what she terms ‘Relational Ontology’ - ontology meaning how we understand reality, what’s real and what’s not real. She says “Relational ontology is a view of reality that all entities; plants, animals, elements, seasons, skies, waterways, the land, the spirit world and humans are in relationship, like a web. First Nations peoples and many other groups around the globe have held relational worldviews for thousands of years”. The relational worldview contrasts with the European/Westernised mindset which places humans at the centre of knowledge creation. Mishel discusses the importance of equality between all things, and how country, community and Ancestral knowledge are all infused and animated with spirit. This rich discussion raises many questions and hopefully inspires us to see the world, and to live in it differently. BIO Mishel McMahon is a proud Yorta Yorta woman, she grew up in a large family in the Murray river region of Victoria, Australia. Mishel completed her undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Human Services and Honours in Social Work in 2012 at La Trobe. Mishel has worked at various First Nations organisations, including Indigenous Academic Enrichment Advisor at La Trobe organising Sorry Day and NAIDOC events. Mishel began her PhD, undertaking research that revealed principles of First Nations childrearing, using methodology informed from a relational worldview, and Yorta Yorta language. Mishel recently won Premier's Research Awards for Aboriginal Research 2019, Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership 2019 and recently worked as Social Work lecturer at Shepparton La Trobe, campus. Mishel is in the last stages of developing a First Nations Health & Wellbeing mobile app, and shorts films from her Fellowship. Currently Mishel is Victorian Aboriginal Research Accord Co-ordinator at VACCHO and lives in Elmore, Victoria on the Campaspe river.
31 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
33: Thinking About Climate Change with Paul Hoggett
Paul brings deep insights into climate change drawing on psycho-social thinking. This conversation explores climate anxiety, climate denial and climate delay, and how we as ‘moderns’ find it very difficult to escape deeply embedded ideas that entrap us. Paul relates this thinking back to our founding myths from Judeo-Christianity that throws humanity outside of the Edenic garden, and outside of nature, and is always looking for external salvation. He reflects that “Us moderns live in a kind of cocoon, continuing in our everyday routines, of living in our comforts, which means that we are able to live in this world, where because of mass media and now social media we know about all these terrible things going on and yet somehow or other remain unaffected” The conversation moves to how to engage with climate change and the anxieties it raises, and at the same time retain ‘radical hope’. Finally Simon and Paul reflect with caution, on some real changes taking place. Bio: Paul Hoggett is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at UWE, Bristol where, with Simon Clarke, he was a Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. In 2000, with Larry Gould, he was founding editor of the journal Organisational and Social Dynamics, a forum for those working within the Tavistock Group Relations tradition. In 2012, with Adrian Tait, he founded the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) and was its first chair. He recently edited a collection of CPA research papers, Climate Psychology: On Indifference to Disaster (2019, Palgrave Macmillan). Previous books have included Politics, Identity and Emotion (2009, Paradigm) and Partisans in an Uncertain World (1992, Free Association Books).
37 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
32: The Century of the System with James Krantz
This conversation is important for anyone working in organisations, and trying to make sense of systems thinking. Jim has been working with systems for many years and offers insights into how systems thinking evolved, why it is so important, and also why it is problematic and creates resistances. Drawing on psychoanalysis as a ‘moral’ practice, Jim believes that unless we understand the psychodynamics and emotions that are at play when we take a systems approach, it will likely fail. For example, he describes how systems thinking removes the option of blaming the binary ‘bad other’, which is our comfortable fall-back position in so many instances. Applying systems thinking we are all implicated and part of the challenges, and the problems we face are about interactions between things rather than the objects themselves. Jim brings a very humanistic lens to systems thinking and it is a privileged to share this conversation and the wisdom and insights shared. Bio James Krantz, Ph.D. is an organizational consultant and researcher from New York City, where he is a Principal of Worklab Consulting, LLC. Jim has written extensively about the unconscious in work organizations, the dilemmas of leadership and authority in new forms of organization, and the challenges involved in developing one’s leadership voice. His Ph.D. is in Systems Sciences from the Wharton School. In addition to consulting, Jim has been on several faculties, including those of Yale and Wharton. Currently he serves on the faculty of the School of Higher Economics in Moscow. Jim is past President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute, Member of OPUS and Chair of the Management Committee of the Organisational and Social Dynamics journal.
38 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
31: Organisational Ecology with Joan Lurie
This episode explores what it means to shift our mindsets towards ecological thinking and practice in organisations. This shift is away from the dominance of mechanistic and psychological thinking, not to replace these but in addition to them. Joan shares her long experience of working to disrupt organisations and help them to 'liberate' themselves from patterns that entrap them. To achieve this, individuals, teams and organisations have to let go of their attachments to the psychological and technical ways of knowing and thinking and move towards ecological thinking – understanding behaviour in terms of connectivity, interdependencies, patterns, and circularity. Simon and Joan discuss the challenges and aims of co-creating this emergent field of Organisational Ecology and Eco-Leadership that is so urgently needed to address the challenges of technological and environmental disruption. Bio Joan is the CEO of Orgonomix. A company she founded in 2009 with the purpose of enabling systemic change and reshaping leadership and organisations to thrive in complexity. She has spent the past 30 years working both within organisations and as a consultant assisting executive teams to lead complex adaptive change and disentangle and repattern the organisational systems they are part of. Her work and unique methodology (OrgonomicsTM) helps her client systems find flow and coherence It provides the scaffold to enable them to change their cultures, business and operating models with transformational and commercial results. Using these transformations as containers for development she helps leaders grow leaders’ systemic lens, extend their relational intelligence and build their adaptive muscle to be System Leaders. She sees this as an imperative for leaders to help them thrive, for optimising organisational functioning but also as a necessity for the survival of our whole ecology which is under threat. Joan is a Fulbright Scholar and has a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Development from Wits University, South Africa and a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, NYC. She currently lives in Melbourne collaborating and learning with clients and colleagues to discover new ways for all of us to be at our ‘growing edge’.
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