Group Relations Conference

Group Relations Conference

What is a Group Relations Conference?

Unless you have studied, worked or operate within the field of systems-psychodynamic thinking, whole systems approach, or group relations; you’re unlikely to have come across a Group Relations Conference. Despite the name, a Group Relations Conference is not a ‘conference’ in the traditional sense of the term. There are no didactic presentations, no structured workshops and no expert panels. Many who attend a conference will have found it to be a deeply participative learning environment, in which the unconscious dynamics that affect leadership are brought to the surface for the individual to explore and even experiment with.

Providing an intensive experiential development programme, the conference looks to deliver new insights into the unconscious processes that affect the participant’s leadership. This is done through ‘live’ consultation of how the person manages themselves in role and participates in groups.

Group Relations Conferences are designed to replicate the real-world, with inter-group communication and decision making similar to that which is undertaken everyday within and across operational units, functional departments and corporate hierarchies. It does so, however, without all the distracting constraints of the work-day environment, thereby freeing participants to experiment with the exercise of their own power and authority, as well as the development of potential in others.

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 to 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 the way. I feel tangible change on a personal level, which I have taken into my professional life.

 

Previous GRC Participant


Most importantly perhaps, Group Relations Conferences are also intended to mirror the interaction with the wider social, political and economic contexts of organisations, be they a commercial business, a government department, a charity, or a health service provider.

As such, it offers a unique, accelerated learning laboratory in which to explore and enhance leadership capacity, both inside and beyond one’s own organisation. Held over several days, the Tavistock programmes are typically non-residential.

What are the learning outcomes for you and your organisation?

Conferences focus on the underlying dynamics that impact the effectiveness of anyone in an organisational role, irrespective of function or sector. Below are some examples of how a conference may benefit those working within the particular functions highlighted, by bringing the unconscious to the surface.

What’s in it for me? What will I bring back to my organisation?

HR Director,
Chief Learning Officer,
Head of Human Capital

Accountable for:
…development of human capital and organisational capability building.

A new found awareness of your own unconscious processes and functioning in groups, which can:
…shed new light on the wider workforce dynamics that affect employee retention and engagement, enabling you to recalibrate your behavioural strategy and adjust interventions designed to foster organisational health.

You’ll be in a stronger position to take up your authority in tackling the key strategic goals that matter, such as:
…building the employer brand, aligning your talent strategies with the real needs of the business, and transforming talent into a sustainable source of advantage.

You’ll gain new insights about how you take up your role, lead and engage others, and deliver on demanding tasks, such as:
…human capital – the learning instilled by the conference can translate into an enhanced capacity to build a premier HR function.

Government Relations
Director, Chief Public
Affairs Officer,
Head of EU Liaison

Accountable for:
…the complex exchange between business and public policy.

A new found awareness of your own unconscious processes and functioning in groups, which can:
…help you better navigate the group dynamics that affect consensus-building with regulators, complex policy negotiations across institutions and the sustainability of fragile, but business-critical coalitions.

You’ll be in a stronger position to take up your authority in tackling the key strategic goals that matter, such as:
…negotiating access to key public policy circles, wielding influence to shape policy and regulatory outcomes and establishing the legislative frameworks that industry needs.

You’ll gain new insights about how you take up your role, lead and engage others, and deliver on demanding tasks, such as:
…the interface between industry and the political landscape – the learning instilled by the conference can translate into an enhanced capacity to deliver more reflective and authoritative public affairs.

Communications Director,
Stakeholder Relations Lead,
Head of Public Relations

Accountable for:
…ensuring that your business engages and influences key audiences.

A new found awareness of your own unconscious processes and functioning in groups, which can:
…help you see the options open to you for less linear, more systemic communication with the groups you seek to reach – whether your objective is to raise awareness, influence opinion, or inspire action.

You’ll be in a stronger position to take up your authority in tackling the key strategic goals that matter, such as:
…boosting the reputation of the business, winning the support of third-party validators, and building energy for co-creative thinking and action across your stakeholder groups.

You’ll gain new insights about how you take up your role, lead and engage others, and deliver on demanding tasks, such as:
…the engagement of stakeholders in business-critical communities – the learning instilled by the conference can translate into an enhanced capacity to ensure your organisation is heard and valued.

Change Management Leader,
Change and Transformation
Lead, Head of Group Change

Accountable for:
…rolling out transformational change across the business.

A new found awareness of your own unconscious processes and functioning in groups, which can:
…help you find new ways to shift and shape individual and collective behaviour, so that it is better aligned with business imperatives like performance enhancement, cost efficiency and technology adoption.

You’ll be in a stronger position to take up your authority in tackling the key strategic goals that matter, such as:
…generating a high-performing organisational culture, renewing the company mission to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving external environment, and adapting the organisational design to mergers and acquisitions.

You’ll gain new insights about how you take up your role, lead and engage others, and deliver on demanding tasks, such as:
…the design and implementation of large-scale change efforts – the learning instilled by the conference can translate into an enhanced capacity to drive truly transformational change.

Click here for details of upcoming Group Relations Conferences.

The slow-but-deep teaching style and the complementary approaches of the two teachers works well for me. I like the balance of theory and experience, a cycle of thinking-reflecting-doing-reflecting.
- Executive Coaching Development programme member