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The Leicester conference 2017: Task Authority Organisation

Absence in Presence: IN & OUT @ Work

Saturday 5th August 2017 - Friday 18th August 2017

College Court, University of Leicester, UK

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations

Primary Task
Role of Staff
Info & Fees
Web Sites



The UK BREXIT decision has demonstrated the global, interconnected nature of our political, economic and social systems, creating ripples in markets and policy development world-wide.

To be IN or OUT of the European Union impacts those who are left IN as much as those who are OUT. Likewise, the USA election of Donald Trump IN to the White House and Hillary Clinton OUT of office will have global repercussions. We really are living in a volatile, uncertain,complex and ambiguous (VUCA) time.

As more mergers and acquisitions happen within private and public sectors, we are living in increasingly complex supply chains with uncertain futures. Organisations are out-sourcing more and more of their functions, CEOs and Executive Directors are spending more time on the move or in the air; office-based staff are often faced with empty desks as more colleagues work remotely or from home or in other parts of the globe. Coping with the IN and OUT of organisational life is needed now more than ever.

Do you wonder how to work with feelings about:

• leading a team not IN the same location?
• following a leader who is OUT much of the time?
• being OUT about your religious beliefs, sexuality, gender or racial identities?
• loss or ambition in succession planning?
• the Art of Role in uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity?

The learning in this 71st Leicester Conference is for those wishing to make change, live courageously and have lasting impact. There are no textbooks or lectures to hide behind,
this learning is rigorous and challenges you to find the meaning in your actions and test your ability to hold on to a Task, find your Authority and intelligently engage with your Organisation.

Since 1957 the Leicester Conference has been getting beneath the surface of leadership and followership in organisations. Working in a systemic way, the complexity of organisational life is brought into sharp focus, opening up choices about how you behave in your role. As you uncover the ability to work with previously hidden thoughts, you will return to your workplace better able to lead, and effectively follow, others.

The TAO of Tavistock has endured because the impact of its learning is sustainable.

Come, work together and experience it for yourself and transform your leadership trajectory.

Leslie Brissett
71st Conference Director

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Conference Aims and Primary Task

To study the exercise of authority in the taking up of roles through the interpersonal, inter-group and institutional relations that develop within the conference as an organisation in its context.

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Group Relations conferences are educational events which are based on learning through experience – the design for these has been developed by pioneers from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) for over 60 years.

We believe that strategic and structural dynamics of organisations can be studied and understood and the knowledge acquired and applied by working through the conscious and unconscious dynamics of leadership and management in organisations. We believe that our conference promotes the integration of intellectual capacity and emotional intelligence so producing leaders who have creative visionary potential, enabling them to work more effectively at helping their employees and themselves to adapt to and take on future roles.

Alumni of the Leicester Conference have said

“ In our two weeks of intense proximity, I saw patterns of interactions playing out that echoed with what I have seen happen over weeks and months in the working world.”
Andrew Jones, Executive Coach, Accadence, Singapore

“ For me, [the conference] surfaced some very profound identity-related issues that impact the way that I engage my work roles... As a ‘professional educator’ I will mull over the role and treatment of ‘fun’ in learning for the rest of my life.”
Dr Leighton Jay, Human Services Consultant, Sotica, Australia

“ I found the conference a very powerful experience that has affected me both at home and at work. At work it has led me to being much more aware and vigilant in picking up on things I do and what is happening around me and of my role in groups.“
Dr Angela Devon, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS, UK

“ I am living in the impact of the Leicester conference on daily basis, yet it has immersed into me, and become more subtle and deeper part of me, to such a degree... I joined a CEO program in Shanghai with CEIBs business school as the coach/facilitator there...”
Qi Zhang, Owner, Bridge & Enrich, The Netherlands

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This conference is for leaders, managers, educators, researchers, consultants, clergy, activists, clinicians, administrators, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, service providers, professional and technical workers, academics.

From the worlds of business, government and local authorities, the arts, consultancy, law, media, emergency services, armed forces, education, finance, politics, NGOs; health services and social care, justice, religious orders, lobby groups, agenda-based activisms, associations, trade unions and environmental organisations.

Any change agent who wishes to better understand how their organisation functions, how they can deepen their understanding of what makes effective and sustainable change and how a local initiative impacts and is impacted by the broader context.

Participants come from all sectors, levels, career stages and backgrounds and from all over the world - up to 2/3 of participants are non-UK based.

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Role of Staff

Staff are informed by their own experiences of the events and work to the primary task of the event and the conference overall. They will offer working hypotheses based on their understanding of what is happening. Conference staff are not observers of the process but are actively involved in it.

They will be examining, interpreting, reflecting and making sense of their own as well as of members’ experiences, including those which are hidden and sometimes unconscious. Conference staff will be as explicit as possible about their task and roles throughout the conference. The ways in which they take up their roles are always open to examination. They work together as collective management to hold and maintain the boundaries of the conference institution.

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Conference Director
Leslie Brissett   JP, PHD
Principal Consultant & Company Secretary,
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR); UK

Associate / Sub-conference Director
Tim Dartington  PhD
Social scientist; Professional Partner, TIHR; UK.

Associate / Sub-conference Director
Olya Khaleelee  MA
Corporate Psychologist, Organisational Consultant,
Professional Partner, TIHR; UK

Associate / Sub-conference Director
Rosemary Viswanath  PGDM
Organisation Change Consultant; Managing Trustee,
Group Relations India (GRI); India

Consultants will be drawn from the following
Daphna Bahat  MA
Clinical Psychologist; Organisational Consultant; Teaches at various institutions; Leads workshops for women through dance; Member, OPUS; Chairwoman, OFEK; Israel

William Crouch  MSc, DClinPsych, TQAP
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist; UK

Saliem Khliefi  BA
Social Worker; Organizational Consultant; Group Therapist;
Member, OFEK; Israel

Martha Mens  (Psy), MPC
Psychologist; Senior Consultant, Ministry of Internal Affairs; Supervisor and Consultant, Executive program, Utrecht University; The Netherlands

Allan Shafer   MA (Clin Psych) D Litt et Phil
Clinical Psychologist; Psychotherapist & Socioanalyst;
Past President, Group Relations Australia; Australia

Edward R Shapiro   MD
Former Medical Director/CEO, Austen Riggs Center; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center; Fellow, A K Rice Institute; USA

Ellen L Short  PhD
Associate Professor, Counseling and School Psychology Dept, School of Education, Long Island University; Counseling Psychologist; USA

Conference Administrator
Rachel Kelly  BA, MSTAT
Professional Development Coordinator, TIHR; Teacher,
The Alexander Technique; UK

Associate Administrator
Matthew Gieve  MSc
Researcher and Consultant; TIHR; UK

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Info and Fees

A and B sub-conferences: £5,200
Training Group: £5,750
The fee includes all accommodation and meals

£700 discount before 31 March 2017
£500 discount before 29 May 2017

are available for joint applicants from the same organisation:
£250 each for 2 people
£400 each for 3+ people

BURSARIES: Partial bursaries to help you on your way, for those unable to obtain sponsorship from their organisation, are available on request - please ask for details

DATES: 5 - 18 August 2017

PLACE: College Court, University of Leicester

MID-CONFERENCE BREAK: from 4.45pm on Thursday, 10 August to 10.30am on Saturday, 12 August

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For a brochure, more information about Group Relations or if you'd like an application form, please contact:

Rachel Kelly
Pre-conference Administrator

T: +44 7904 549 989

Applications: All applications for the reservation of a place at the conference should be accompanied by the booking fee of £700. Acceptance to the conference is not automatic and places are limited.

For online application and deposit payment see below.

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Web Sites

The Tavistock Institute:
The Leicester conference:
What is a Group Relations conference?:
Application form: http://
College Court:

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