Coming Together || Coming Apart

Authority and Leadership in a Fragmenting World

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CSGSS weekend conference has been postponed until April 2021.

 

Full refunds are in progress. Updates on the 2021 event will be posted here.

A CSGSS Sponsored Group Relations Conference in the Tavistock Tradition

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To dare to be aware of the facts of the universe in which we are existing calls for courage.

 — W.R. Bion

Director's Invitation

 

 

 

Dear Participant,

 

This year the CSGSS Spring conference offers us the extraordinary opportunity to examine the exercise of authority and leadership as the United States and governments around the globe grapple with the task of selecting and electing its leadership. The theme of the conference, Coming Together | Coming Apart: Authority and Leadership in a Fragmenting World, highlights the dilemmas of facing the fragmenting, regressive forces that press us into parties, camps, tribes and identity groups. These constituencies can remain separate and unacquainted, living under conditions that amplify the fragmentation, rarely interfacing, rarely exchanging ideas, and in some cases, not even acknowledging each other.  An urgent search for familiarity can drive us further and further into our echo chambers.  At a time when we most need to come together -- are we instead coming apart?    

 

This conference, happening the last weekend in April, is a deep, experiential dive into this moment in time using the Group Relations conference model. This framework provides a unique opportunity to participate in the collective human agenda and study the exercise of authority and leadership in groups as they unfold in the here-and-now. Through a focus only at the level of the group and on immediate personal experience, the conference enables us to openly and intentionally study ourselves and others in real-time group situations as we work on issues of joining, representation, and dynamics that affect collective meaning and action.

 

The Group Relations conference is a gripping method that has enabled generations of people to learn in an immediate and direct way about conscious and unconscious group processes. Come join us as we pursue first-hand learning that can ripen into wisdom about how leadership and effective impact happen, and about the forces that are bringing us together and pulling us apart.

 

 

 

 

 

Dannielle Kennedy, PhD

Conference Director

The conference is designed to provide members, together with administrative staff and consultants, an opportunity to create and study a temporary institution, giving participants the chance to experience, examine, and understand systemic processes – overt and covert, conscious and unconscious –  encountered in the exercise of authority, leadership and power. The learning method is experiential, and members learn through action and reflection on their experience in the conference.  This method distinguishes this conference from other events where faculty provide didactic information for learners.

The purpose of the conference is educational.  Participants are involved in a program of studying groups at work, in real-time, with structured discussions for review and application of insights.

Conference Participants will have opportunities to:

  • Learn about both covert and overt group processes through participating in groups that vary in size, structure, and task.

  • Discover aspects of group life that create vitality and goal fulfillment and those, which lead to resistance, complacency, inertia, and decline.

  • Identify underlying patterns of group interaction by forming groups, establishing leadership structures, and relating with other groups and the institution as a whole.

  • Recognize personal and collective reactions to well-defined authority and clearly delineated boundaries.

  • Experiment with familiar and unfamiliar roles and with various social behaviors including isolation, autonomy, affiliation, collaboration, and coalition building. 

  • Learn how varied aspects and perceptions of individual identity such as race, class, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and education level are used by groups with and without the conscious awareness of the individuals involved.

  • Understand the difference between the stated task of a group and the task it actually appears to be pursuing.

  • Deepen participant’s awareness of their own capacity and responsibility to lead or advocate in their home organizations and social contexts no matter what their formal authority roles.

  • Apply what has been learned and experienced to choices in back-home work and social contexts.

 
Conference Task and Method 

I have experienced some of my most powerful insights about leadership and group dynamics during Group Relations Conferences. Participating in conferences has really helped me learn about the limits of my leadership effectiveness, about hidden aspects of my own motivations, and about hidden forces that impact groups and organizations...a truly unique learning experience.

 — Hugh O’Doherty

Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government

President of the Leadership and Peacemaking Global Network

Tavistock Systems Learning Model

Attendance


This conference is designed as an integrated experience with each event building on the one previous. Participants should plan to attend all events.




Parking


There is street and meter parking in close proximity to the conference site.




Food


Light refreshments will be made available throughout the conference. Meals will be on your own. A list of nearby restaurants and cafes will be available at the conference.




Continuing Education


This conference is offering 16 continuing education credits/clock hours for psychologists (all levels), social workers and mental health counselors. For additional information and to register: click here.




Fee Reduction


A limited number of reduced-fee registrations will be available. Please contact the conference Administrator, Rosette Cirillo, at ComingTogether2020@gmail.com for details before you register.




Withdrawal Policy


Fees will be refunded for registrations withdrawn prior to April 15, minus a $50 processing fee. Fees are non-refundable on or after April 15th.




Confidentiality


Staff will not report the behavior of any individual member to anyone outside the conference.





Based on the work of psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion, conferences in the Tavistock tradition combine social systems research with psychoanalytic theory and practice.  The conference provides a unique experiential learning opportunity to study one's own behavior as it happens. By holding the contextual factors of task, role, place, and time boundaries constant and observing the emergence of dynamics in the here-and-now, attendees become participant observers whose task it is to make sense of the temporary organization they are co-creating. 

These kinds of conferences can be an extraordinary opportunity to tune into a frequency of group and organizational life that is always operating but virtually never accessible.

 Robin Ely

Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration

Harvard Business School

Who is this Conference for?

Anyone wanting an opportunity to learn through immediate and direct experience about group dynamics and influence and about overt and covert actions involved in the exercise of leadership, authority and power. No particular background or experience is necessary to participate. A wide variety of organizations and industries have participated in CSGSS conference memberships including but not limited to: 

See Past Attendees Here


Anne E Casey Foundation (AECF) Amherst College Austen Riggs Center Brien Center Blue Ridge Wilderness Colorado Fire Fighters Gould Farm The Dallas Foundation INSEAD Harvard Business School Google EY PwC Young Samuel Chambers Princeton University Howard University Graduate School of Education Harvard Kennedy School Harvard Medical School Merrimack Repertory Theater UMass Boston Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute The George Washington University





 

Conference Events

Experiential, Here and Now Events

Small Study Group (SSG)


The Small Study Group is usually composed of 8-12 members and 1-2 consultants. The task of the Small Study Group is to study the exercise of authority and leadership in a group context as they unfold in a setting that allows face-to-face interchange.




The Large Study Group (LSG)


The Large Study Group is composed of all conference members and typically has 2-3 consultants. The task of the Large Study Group is to study the exercise of authority and leadership in a group context as they unfold in a setting that makes face-to-face interaction difficult or impossible.




Institutional Event (IE)


In the Institutional Event the focus shifts to the conference institution itself. Its primary task is to experience, examine and understand the impact of subgroups, how they develop relationships with each other, and what they reveal about the overall institution.





Reflective, There and Then Events 

Small Study Group (SSG)


The Small Study Group is usually composed of 8-12 members and 1-2 consultants. The task of the Small Study Group is to study the exercise of authority and leadership in a group context as they unfold in a setting that allows face-to-face interchange.




The Large Study Group (LSG)


The Large Study Group is composed of all conference members and typically has 2-3 consultants. The task of the Large Study Group is to study the exercise of authority and leadership in a group context as they unfold in a setting that makes face-to-face interaction difficult or impossible.




Institutional Event (IE)


In the Institutional Event the focus shifts to the conference institution itself. Its primary task is to experience, examine and understand the impact of subgroups, how they develop relationships with each other, and what they reveal about the overall institution.





What is a Group Relations Conference?

Conference Schedule

All Conference Events will begin and end precisely at the times scheduled. The conference will begin promptly at 6:00pm on Friday. The registration will open at 5:15pm.

Please note that there will be no dinner break on Friday.

This conference is co-sponsored by the A. K. Rice Institute and is consistent with its educational standards for Group Relations training in the Tavistock tradition.

 
 

Staff

Members of the staff design and manage the conference as a whole.  As collective management, they serve the purpose of the conference by managing the boundaries of conference events, particularly in relation to time, task and territory.  Staff do not manage the participants or their behavior, but instead collectively manage the boundary conditions that allow the participants freedom to engage  the primary task as they choose and as they authorize themselves and each other to do.

Learn more…


As consultants, staff serve the purpose of the conference by linking their own experiences to the conference activity and offering observations, reflections and working hypotheses that explore both the conscious and unconscious aspects of the organizational behavior that is emerging. Their observations and interpretations focus on group level dynamics rather than on the individual. Throughout the conference the role behavior of staff members is open for examination and reflection by participants and the staff together.





Learn more…


As consultants, staff serve the purpose of the conference by linking their own experiences to the conference activity and offering observations, reflections and working hypotheses that explore both the conscious and unconscious aspects of the organizational behavior that is emerging. Their observations and interpretations focus on group level dynamics rather than on the individual. Throughout the conference the role behavior of staff members is open for examination and reflection by participants and the staff together.





 Executive Staff 

  Dannielle Kennedy, PhD, LICSW

Conference Director and Consultant 

Principal, WORKLAB, Organizational and Leadership Consulting; Former President and Board Member, the Center for the Study of Groups and Social System (CSGSS), the Boston affiliate of the A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI). Member, AKRI. Private Practice Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cambridge, MA.

Rosette Cirillo, EdM 

Associate Director for Administration

PhD Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Member, North American Association for Philosophy and Education; Member, Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS); Member, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI).

Axelle Bagot, MPA 

Associate Administration

Adjunct Professor of Leadership for social change at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University; Coach and Consultant in Adaptive Leadership (Independent and partnering with Ace-Up); Member, the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS), the Boston Affiliate of the A. K. Rice Institute.

Consulting Staff

All consulting staff members are certified by the A.K. Rice Institute. 
The consulting staff will be chosen from among those listed below. 

Dannielle Kennedy, PhD, LICSW

Consultant

Principal, WORKLAB, Organizational and Leadership Consulting; Former President and Board Member, the Center for the Study of Groups and Social System (CSGSS), the Boston affiliate of the A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI). Member, AKRI. Private Practice Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cambridge, MA.

James Krantz, PhD

Consultant

Organizational Consultant and Researcher, New York City.  Principal, WORKLAB; Fellow, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI); Former President, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations; Faculty, Dynamics of Consulting, Wharton Center for Applied Research; Visiting Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Mary B. McRae, EdD

Consultant

Retired Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University; Scholarship involves exploring racial and cultural dynamics in group and organizational life; Private practice in individual and group psychotherapy; coaching and group facilitation for groups and organizations; Fellow, A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems; Member of the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems.

Tyler Bean, CPA

Consultant Candidate

Senior Consultant, Forensic & Integrity Services, EY; Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; Board Treasurer, Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS); Consultant Candidate and Associate, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI); Co-Creator, Group Relations International; Mentor, Freshmen League Program, Boston College.

Linda Gelda, LICSW

Consultant Candidate

Psychoanalyst and Past President, Supervisor, Faculty and Board member at The Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis; Supervisor at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Teaching Associate in psychiatry, Harvard Medical school; Member of The Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems, (CSGSS).  AKRI Consultant in Training, private practice  in Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Organizational Coaching, Newton, MA.

Mineko Anne Legendy, PhD

Consultant Candidate

Mineko Anne Legendy is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in New York City. Vice-President of New York Center, the New York affiliate A.K.Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, and has served on the board since 2011. She is adjunct faculty at New York University (NYU) and teaches in the NYU Masters Program for Mental Health and Wellness.

Sheri-Ann Cowie, PhD

Consultant

Adjunct Professor and Lead Faculty, Counseling @NYU, Department of Applied Psychology, New York University; Director and Psychotherapist, Children's Century LLC; Vice President, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI). Member, the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS), the Boston Affiliate of AKRI.

Declan FitzsimonsPhD

Consultant

Senior Affiliated Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD, France. PhD from the School of Management at Cranfield University, UK. Dr. Fitzsimons’ research focus is on post-heroic leadership models such as shared leadership, senior teams, leading in complex environments unconscious processes in groups and organisations, experiential and action learning, and organisational change.

Zachary Gabriel Green, PhD

Consultant

Professor of Practice, Department of Leadership Studies and Nonprofit Institute University of San Diego; Lead Faculty, RISE San Diego, Urban Leadership Fellows Programs; Founder and Principle; Organizational Therapist, Gabriel Alexander Institute. Co-Founder, IMAGO Global Grassroots; Fellow, A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.; Member, IFSI/FIIS; Founding Circle and Director, Group Relations International.

 

Conference FAQs

Attendance


This conference is designed as an integrated experience with each event building on the one previous. Participants should plan to attend all events.




Parking


There is street and meter parking in close proximity to the conference site.




Food


Light refreshments will be made available throughout the conference. Meals will be on your own. A list of nearby restaurants and cafes will be available at the conference.




Continuing Education


This conference is offering 16 continuing education credits/clock hours for psychologists (all levels), social workers and mental health counselors. For additional information and to register: click here.




Fee Reduction


A limited number of reduced-fee registrations will be available. Please contact the conference Administrator, Rosette Cirillo, at ComingTogether2020@gmail.com for details before you register.




Withdrawal Policy


Fees will be refunded for registrations withdrawn prior to April 15, minus a $50 processing fee. Fees are non-refundable on or after April 15th.




Confidentiality


Staff will not report the behavior of any individual member to anyone outside the conference.





 

Fees

One discount per application. A limited number of partial fee-reductions will be available to those for whom the conference is financially out of reach. These grants will be based on number of applications and the overall enrollment of the conference.  To inquire, please contact Associate Director for Administration, Rosette Cirillo at ComingTogether2020@gmail.com before you register.  

Readings

Basic Introduction to Conferences

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A Tavistock Primer - Molenkamp & Hayden

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Intro to Tavistock-Style Group Relations Conferences - Shapiro & Carr

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A Tavistock Primer - Molenkamp & Hayden

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Intro to Tavistock-Style Group Relations Conferences - Shapiro & Carr

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Learning Leadership

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The BART System of Group and Organizational Analysis

History, Theory & Method

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Interpreting Irrationality - Shapiro

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Some Psychodynamics of Large Group - Main

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The Leicester Model Group Relations Training Program

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Interpreting Irrationality - Shapiro

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Some Psychodynamics of Large Group - Main

Application

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Managing the Unconscious at Work - Obholzer

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Learning, Managing & Organizing - French and Vince

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Group Relations and Society - W. Carr

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Participant's report to his partners on the Conference experience

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The unconscious at work in groups and teams - Stokes

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The Psychodynamics of Taking the Role - Hirschhorn

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 Group Relations Conferences as an organisational intervention: the method and its value  - Aram and Sher

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The Denigrated Other: Diversity and Group Relations - Skolnick and Green

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Managing the Unconscious at Work - Obholzer

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Learning, Managing & Organizing - French and Vince

 

Contact

For more information, please contact Rosette Cirillo, 
Associate Director for Administration at 
ComingTogether2020@gmail.com.
 
 
 

Coming Together |
Coming Apart

Authority and Leadership in a Fragmenting World

A CSGSS Group Relations Conference in the Tavistock Tradition

Conference Location: 

1581 Beacon Street

Brookline, MA 02446

Conference Date: 
Friday, April 24 at 6 pm 
to Sunday, April 26 at 3:30 p

For more information, please contact Rosette Cirillo by phone or email:

Tel: 267 640-5872

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© 2019 Coming Together | Coming Apart