Rethinking Organisational Dilemmas with Lacan

A Plus-One Process Workshop led by Philip Boxer & Barbara Williams

Dates: Sunday November 12 (Noon – 5pm) & Monday November 13 (9am – 5pm)

Refreshments and light lunch will be provided

Venue: the offices of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Exchange House, Primrose St, London EC2A 2EG

£175 (OPUS Associates/Members)
£190 (non-members)

This 1½ day workshop is for managers and consultants challenged by the changes that networked and increasingly digitalized environments are driving. Its aim will be to establish a place from which to work forensically with organisations. We will draw on Lacanian thinking to develop skills and practices needed to meet these challenges. No prior knowledge of Lacan is needed.

Networked environments demand horizontal collaboration across boundaries and leadership distributed across task networks. While these horizontal dynamics become dominant, we must still work within vertical accountabilities that constrain how we work. Given that networking always takes place across multiple entities that are operationally and managerially independent, the challenges arise from the gaps that keep emerging between these horizontal and vertical sources of authority. These gaps are experienced as dilemmas.

Our goal will be to share experiential learning about these challenges, working with the experiences participants bring. On the first half-day, we will introduce a critical method to uncover the dilemmas underlying gaps. On the second full day we will introduce a Lacanian approach to parallel process through which to examine some of these dilemmas and to consider what would authorise changes to the way they are (or are not) currently being held. We will use time-outs throughout the time to reflect on how we are thinking.

Philip J Boxer BSc MBA PhD brings many years of experience with strategy processes at all levels within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. His practice focuses on clients’ edge-driven capabilities for competing in networked environments. He has published in the fields of Organisational and Social Dynamics, Management Studies and Systems Engineering ( Philip is a member of ISPSO, OPUS and the (Lacanian) Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. The focus of his research is on organisational defences against innovation.

Barbara Williams, EdD, is the Founder & Director of Bureau Kensington, a psychoanalytically oriented organizational consulting practice; she holds MSW, MSC degrees and Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto; the focus of her research and consulting work is on gender, social justice organizations and their networks; she is a Member of ISPSO and OPUS and a Guest of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society; and is an Associate Editor of Organisational and Social Dynamics.