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The Courage to Lead

Exploring dynamics of collaboration and dissent - the 9th GR conference

Monday 26th June 2017 - Saturday 1st July 2017

Mumbai, India

Group Relations India
HID Forum

Primary Task
Role of Staff
Info & Fees
Payment Terms
Web Sites

Conference Aims and Primary Task

The term Primary Task refers to the reason for the
existence of any organisation or institution - its most
important task – that defines its nature and core
purpose. If not worked at, the organisation would
lose its meaning. This GRC will work to the following

To study the exercise of authority and
the nature of leadership that emerges
in the taking up of roles - through
the interpersonal, intergroup and
institutional relations that develop
within the conference as an organisation
within its wider context.

Through its title and task, this GRC is an invitation
to explore these dynamics at various levels – the
individual, group, organisation and wider social
systems, recognising that these levels of awareness
are interdependent fractals and are constantly
shaping and co-creating each other.

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Events in India and globally in 2016 are pointing us towards processes where leadership is increasingly
understood to be located in persons rather than being seen as a process. And the leaders we seem to
be collectively veering towards are those that encourage us to disassociate, divide, and simplify, to see
the world in terms of false binaries without allowing for the multiplicity, nuances and contradictions
that make being human worth celebrating . We are being pushed in our organisations and societies to
choose – either you are with us or against us - the middle space for the ‘either-both-and-or’ is shrinking.
Our societies and organisations are becoming more paranoid, more parochial, more anxious, less
tolerant of the other – and any questioning is seen as an attack.

To lead implies, among other things, an ability to influence people towards a goal or objective. It
presumes that one first has the ability to lead oneself. It also implies that one is influencing oneself
and others towards a goal that is worthwhile for the system and for society. This requires courage –
bravery, boldness which has its roots in the Latin ‘cor’ i.e. heart. Therefore, courage seems to be most
needed when we are exploring what we have hitherto held close to our hearts and also when we act
from the new insights that emerge. Heart courage is also about the inner strength and commitment
required for us to speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences - good and

If we are to lead others towards a goal, we need their collaboration i.e. the ability to work with another.
While much of the work in leadership and team building programmes focus on how members of
teams can collaborate better, there seems less focus on how those exercising leadership impact the
possibility, nature, and extent of collaboration in groups and systems. In the need to ensure a buy in,
managers and leaders confuse between fitting in and belonging. Not only are they not the same thing,
fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging and to genuine collaboration. Fitting in is about
assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the
other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we uniquely are and to be
able to bring all of ourselves into work.

To add a twist to the tale, the term collaborate
also has the connotations of ‘collaborator’– a
person who works with the enemy. In times of
great stress and powerful social /political leaders,
one can unconsciously become a collaborator
whilst believing one is collaborating. In fact,
whole groups can unconsciously slip into the
‘collaborator’ state and the leader who draws
attention to this can be treated as a traitor!
A perceptive leader has to be prepared to be a
dissenter – from the latin ‘dissentire’- to be willing
to differ in opinion and sentiment and to express
such difference. But associations with the word
dissent are – ah- that’s a strong word, revolution,
threat, too radical, anarchy, anti-establishment, to
be kept at bay!

We wonder what we have lost in the process
of viewing dissent in a monochromatic and
largely pejorative way. Perhaps the role it plays
in contributing perspective and layers to issues
which are sought to be seen as simple, simply
because complexity cannot be tolerated. While
dissenters are seen as contrary, as a spoke in the
wheel, in reality they may be the ones who really have the organisation’s interests at heart and
therefore take the risks because of their passion,
and because they are willing to pay a price for their
commitment to the issues that they care deeply
about. Dissenters are extremely valuable to the
health, vitality and sustainability of a system.
While dissent requires courage, leaders who
encourage dissent also require courage. And so
some questions that are up for exploration in
this group relations conference – Is collaboration
always welcomed? Is dissent always subversive? Is
subversive always problematic or destructive? Can
there be courage without vulnerability?

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The conference through thoughtful design provides a variety of opportunities to discover how much the experience of the ‘here and now’ is influenced by fantasy, (i.e. unchecked assumptions based on both conscious past experience and experience stored in the unconscious) and can drift away from the task. Each event is designed to offer the possibilities of a varied view from which one perceives oneself and others. The multiple roles one takes up in different events in the GRC invariably reflect the assumptions and roles we deploy in our day to day life.

The stance of the conference is one of developing a spirit of enquiry into one’s experience through attention, exploration, reflection and the capacity to wonder.

There is no preset curriculum or evaluation of performance. Using the theme, task, structure and framework as resources, members generate learning and nsights based on their personal authority. They are therefore, likely to achieve different kinds of learning.

This year we offer two sub-conferences within the conference:

Entry sub-conference: For those experiencing a Group Relations Conference for the first time.

Furthering sub-conference: For those who have had prior experience of a Group Relations Conference and wish to further their learning this time.

Some of the events and plenaries will be common to members of the Entry and Furthering sub-conferences. The Furthering sub-conference will be offered subject to adequate number of members applying for it to be feasible as a learning experience.

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Role of Staff

While staff and members are both participants,
the conference accords them different roles. The
staff of the conference are not in roles typically
attributed to teachers or faculty. They are allocated
to each of the events in the role of consultants and/
or in the role of collective management to work
to the primary task of each event and thus to the
task of the conference as a whole. Consultants
offer working hypotheses by making sense of their
own and members’ experiences, constantly linking
this to the task and theme of the conference. It is
expected that staff hypotheses and interpretations
will create the possibility for members to reflect
on what they represent to the group, what they
are taking in from the group and what they are
contributing to the group, particularly in terms of
what may be happening unconsciously.

In their collective management role, staff also
manage the conference boundaries of task, time
and territory. It is expected that the membership
will also use its managing capacities to manage
these and other boundaries.

Conference Management and Staff:
Conference Directors: Rosemary Viswanath (also
Director of the Entry sub-conference) and Zahid
Hoosein Gangjee (also Director of the Furthering
Sub- Conference)

Conference Administrators: Kartikeyan V (also
pre-conference administrator) and Yash Kaul

The Conference Directors and Administrators form
the Directorate of the Conference. They would also
be consultants in some events.

Consultant staff will also be drawn from among:
Anuradha Prasad
Eliat Aram
Gagandeep Singh
Ganesh Anantharaman
Uma Ravikumar
Vartika Jaini
Vijay Naidoo

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Conference Directors
Zahid Hoosein Gangjee  B.Sc. (Psy. Hons.), M.Sc. (Applied Psy.)
Fellow (IIM, Ahmedabad); Chief Executive, “Zahid Gangjee & Associates, Organisation and HR Consultancy”, Kolkata
helping organisations, groups & individuals manage change. Since 1977, directed/been a staff member at GRCs in India, Israel, France (IFSI) & U.K. (Tavistock Institute). Taught behavioural science at IIM, Calcutta & ASCI, Hyderabad.

Rosemary Viswanath  B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics (Delhi University), P.G.D.M. (IIM, Bengaluru)
consults on organizational strategy and change
processes primarily with social development, social
justice, and human and environmental rights organisations and movements; Involved in group relations work in India and internationally since 1987; Managing Trustee, Group Relations India.

Conference Administrators
Kartikeyan V  B.Com. Madras University, P.G.D.PM & IR (XLRI, Jamshedpur)
Has worked in Human Resources leadership roles in several corporates in India for twenty years. Has been an Organisation Development (OD) & Leadership Development
(LD) Consultant and Executive Coach for over ten years now, and is the Chief Architect of the Transformative Alignment Map ©.

Yash Kaul  B.Pharm (Hons) BITS Pilani, Diploma in Marketing Management (NMIMS) and ExecutiveManagement Program (IIM Kozhikode)
Twenty years experience in leadership roles in Healthcare
Industry and currently working as Managing Director at Smiths Medical (Greater India Region). Passionate about Unconscious and Group Processes and their application in real life industry settings.

Consultant Staff will be drawn from the following
Anuradha Prasad  Ph.D (Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi)
process and institutional development consultant involved in social development for over three decades; life and executive coach; professional member of the Indian society for Applied Behavioural Science; Member, Governing Board, HID Forum; Trustee, Group Relations India.

Eliat Aram  PhD
Chartered Psychologist and UKCP registered Gestalt Psychotherapist and supervisor, is the CEO of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, established as not-for-profit in 1947. Eliat’s work nationally and internationally draws attention to the existential issues of leading and managing in complexity and ambiguity with attention to processes which are hidden, sometimes unconscious.

Gagandeep Singh  PGP IIM Ahmedabad
Consults with organizations on managing change, alignment, transformation, and organization development;
anchors interventions on leadership and coaching;
Executive Director, Sumedhas Academy of Human Context, and Principal Consultant, Flame TAO Knoware Private Limited;

Ganesh Anantharaman  M. Phil. Political Science (Mumbai University)
Professional Member, Indian Society for Applied Behavioural Science (ISABS); Member, NTL Institute of Applied Behavioural Science, USA; Consultant, Leadership Development and Culture Building, working primarily with the corporate sector. He has been on the staff of Group
Relations Conferences in India since 2003

Uma Ravikumar  B.Com, MBA
with 15 years experience in technical and leadership roles in the IT industry. Consultant for organization change initiatives, leadership development and performance assessments. Coach for leaders in for profit
and not-for-profit sectors. Gender diversity professional facilitating women’s leadership in organizations.

Vartika Jaini  B. A (Hons) Economics (Delhi University), P.G.D.R.M (Institute of Rural Management, Anand
Chevening Gurukul Fellow. Expertise in investment and programme design for social and economic impact in
different contexts including institutional framework, stakeholder collaboration and strategic communication. Founder, Vriddhi Rural Prosperity Services.

Vijay Naidoo  M.Com. in Industrial & Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa
Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change, & Diploma in Clinical and Organizational Psychology (INSEAD Business School, France). Registered Psychologist, ExecutiveCoach, MBA Lecturer and Organisational Development Practitioner with 37 years corporate experience in local and global organisations.

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Info and Fees

Conference Venue:
The conference venue is on the outskirts of Mumbai
GCC Hotel and Club
Off. Mira Bhayander Road, Mira Road (E),
Thane, Maharashtra, India. 401107.

Participants will be accommodated at this venue as well as at the adjacent GCC Northside which is about
a 2 minute walk away. Detailed information on how to reach the venue and other joining information will
be sent to members on confirmation of their applications.

Timings / Registration
Registration of members to the conference is from 12:00 - 13:30 hours on June 26, 2017.

The conference will open with a Plenary at 14:00 hours on June 26, 2017.
The conference ends at 16:30 hours on July 1, 2017.

(In order to plan your travel, you may like to know that members are expected to arrive at the venue and
check in to their rooms at noon on June 26th and check out of the rooms by July 1st mid morning. You can
leave at the close of the conference at 16:30 hours. It would be wise to assume around 90 minutes of travel
time between the airport and venue given monsoon and traffic conditions.)

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Payment Terms

The conference fee is INR 68,000/- plus 15%
service tax* (i.e. INR 78,200 is payable) . For
international participants it is USD 1,500 plus
15% service tax (i.e. USD 1,725 is payable)
• The Early Bird Fee is INR 65,000/- plus 15%
service tax (i.e. INR 74,750 is payable). The Early
Bird Fee for international participants is USD
1,300 plus 15% service tax. (i.e. USD 1,495 is

The conference fee is the same for Entry and
Furthering members. This is a residential
programme and the fee includes accommodation
and board on a twin sharing basis which is booked
from noon of 26th June 2017 until 1st July mid
morning. Any extra stay needs to be negotiated
separately with the preconference administrator
and cannot be assumed as available.

*Note: service tax rates prevailing at the time of
payment will be applicable.

Single room accommodation is available at an
extra cost of INR 7,500 plus 15% ST which amounts
to INR 8,625.

For international participants this would be 120 USD plus 15% ST which amounts
to 138 USD extra. You need to mention this
requirement at the time of applying and payment.

GRI and HIDF are organisations committed
to ensuring that group relations work is accessible
to a wide membership – which has enabled people
from a range of economic and work sectors and
representing many other important diversities
and regions to attend. The diversity of members is
the hallmark of our conferences, contributing in
no small measure to the depth and richness of the

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We are committed to make group relations
opportunities available to those in the social
justice and development sectors. A few partial
bursaries are particularly available for participants
from small under-resourced NGOs or community
based organisations and movements. Those
seeking bursary are required to write to us giving
the reason for and the amount of bursary they
seek. We will revert to you on the amount we can
offer based on the total number of requests made
and the relative merits of the case.

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Web Sites

Application form: http://
HID Forum:
GCC Hotel and Club:

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