Dr. Sadie King
Sadie’s work at the Tavistock Institute included evaluation, organisational and professional development assignments.
Her areas of focus - Children’s Social Care and Mental Health and Wellbeing. Systems psychodynamic principles are core throughout my work and I have recently been working with Gestalt approaches. I am part of the Tavistock Institute’s ‘anthropological thread’ dating back to one of its founding fathers Eric Miller. At the Tavistock Institute, the lens of anthropology is applied to community and organisational problems, alongside the approaches of other disciplines.
Each project presents its own challenges. Creativity and flexibility are essential to understanding and supporting groups of people (whether community, organisation or temporary partnerships) when it seems uncertainty seems to be the only thing we can be certain of. For this to happen we need the safe container of solid methodology. Robust mixed methods approaches can include a wide range of tools from validated clinical measures to benchmark impact, to a social dreaming matrix to access the collective unconscious. For me, the most rewarding projects happen with the opportunity for co-creation with clients and service users, and with the inclusion of reflective methods such as action learning sets, ethnography, and mental well-being impact assessments.
I want to support organisations to build capacity to understand their ‘here and now’ circumstances with evidence and to monitor outcomes in a way that keeps the process fluid. It is important to avoid becoming servants of a system unfit for purpose, or ‘feeding the beast’ as one client recently described the experience of their data system. Along with measures, it is important for organisations to be supported to understand the group dynamics impacting on change and the success of projects. The challenge is often finding the right way to hold a space for a ‘tricky’ conversations and to remain curious and kind in a situation that has become ‘stuck’ and frustrating. I aim to deliver engaging and usable outputs for clients their colleagues, partners and for time-poor practitioners to access.
In addition to my research and evaluation career, I have six years of public service experience as a policy officer in local government and in the NHS in mental health promotion. This has given me first-hand experience of the consultancy support and evaluation practicalities required for service delivery. I am experienced in working with a range of stakeholders from politicians and the police, social workers, and diverse service users. I am a member of the Management Team for the journal Human Relations. This represents my interest in bridging the practitioner/academic divide in social science. I also co-direct the Practitioners Certificate in Organisational Change (P3C) and deliver leadership training.