Leicester Conference 2017

Leicester Conference 2017

The Global Leadership Intensive

The Global Leadership Intensive

2017 in the Chinese Zodiac is the Year of the Fire Rooster. A symbol of hard work, talent, frank speech and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, the Fire Rooster represents an appropriate skillset for organisational leaders in these uncertain times.

2016 was the year of Trump and Brexit, Syrian Refugee situations, continued war in the Middle East, threatened cracks in the African Union, tough challenges in Latin American elections, further banking crisis revelations coupled with extreme volatility in currency, oil and share prices: the onslaught for leaders in every sector of our society has been enormous.

Yesterday saw the swearing in of the next Secretary General of the UN, who starts his job on 1 January 2017, following the UN General Assembly’s 71st Session in September.

With this backdrop, we open the doors for the 71st Leicester Conference which takes place from the 5 – 18 August 2017 at the University of Leicester. The conference is a Leadership Intensive like no other. Firstly it is the Mothership of Group Relations, it provides a space where leaders from all sectors of social, public and private life can come together and learn, wholly by experience, about the key aspects of leadership: Task, Authority and Organisation (the TAO of Tavistock). This is lived leadership in action, learning through rather than learning about.

As our workplaces are increasingly diverse, in terms of identities and geographies, one hypothesis the conference can test is: that RELATEDNESS has now trumped RELATIONSHIPS. Relatedness speaks to the images that we hold in mind about our world, and how that shapes our interactions.

How do we hold in mind, and work collaboratively with people with whom we do not share the same space? When we are in the same space, what aspects of our identities are we transparent about or feel the need to withhold? These dilemmas are pertinent to leaders at all levels in all organisations, and with the increasing complexity and pace of the working world (enhanced by technological innovation) we need to hone our capacity to work skilfully with this level of uncertainty.

Presence in Absence: IN & OUT @ Work, speaks to the issues of succession planning, sexuality, religion/faith/spirituality and gender in matrix with our spatial and physical disruptions. The 2017 Conference promises to be a living organisation where the staff and members can work together to deepen our collective ability to face our sometimes unconscious patterns, in an embodied way.

The conference takes place in a first class setting at the University of Leicester. This is the 70th anniversary celebration of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations’ contribution to our understanding of organisations and social systems.

The image of the Cat was chosen for the conference brochure as it symbolises the primitive instinctual in harmony with the domesticated. Cats can symbolise the capacity to feel deeply and fight tenaciously, to protect and to nurture, and of course the Black Cat has been a guardian of mystery and the space between worlds: material and spiritual, technical and creative, peace and war, for thousands of years. The feminine belongs to both men and women, and if we are to achieve greater female presence at the top of organisations, we need men to find and own their feminine too – not an easy job in a business world still propagating heroic myths while the ships are sinking.

We need leaders able to keep grounded whilst facing swirling uncertainty within ever more complex systems.  The Leicester Conference 2017 offers an opportunity to grasp this learning, we look forward to welcoming you in August – it’s a great Christmas present to yourself, and/or your team.

Leslie Brissett
Conference Director 2017

More information about the conference can be found here.  For a brochure, please contact Rachel Kelly:

e: r.kelly@tavinstitute.org
t: +44 (0)20 7457 3927

Image: Picture by Jane Evans, daughter of A K Rice, Tavistock Institute pioneer of Group Relations conference methodology.

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