Olya Khaleelee trained as a social scientist and began her career at the London Business School in the field of organisational behaviour research. She moved into organisational consultancy with BOC focusing on acquisitions and mergers and later became the manager of an internal consulting resource group. It was while engaged in this work that Olya met and worked with Eric Miller in his role as external consultant. This was the start of an enduring working relationship and, later, a happy marriage which sadly came to an end with Eric's death in April 2002.
During the late 1970s, Olya trained as a psychotherapist and developed a private practice working with adults. She was Chairwoman of the Council of the London Centre for Psychotherapy, her training organisation, from 1995-7.
In 1980 she became self employed and began to develop a portfolio of roles. This included being Director of OPUS: an Organisation for Promoting the Understanding of Society, of which Eric Miller had been a founder member and continued to support strongly. She led OPUS from 1980-95, bringing together a group of colleagues interested in the idea of unconscious processes operating at the societal level. With them, she set up Listening Posts focussing on the role of the citizen. She and Eric wrote and published quarterly Bulletins on the ensuing discussions.
Her interest in group dynamics and group relations continued and Olya was regularly on the staff of the ‘Leicester Conference', a two-week residential experiential learning event, sponsored by the Tavistock Institute. The focus was on the themes of authority, leadership and organisation. In 1995 she was the first female director of this conference and she successfully directed it for a second time in 1998. During this period she was appointed Programme Adviser to the Group Relations Training Programme of the Tavistock Institute. She has regularly taken up staff roles on similar conferences in Germany and Israel and was the first director of a new venture sponsored in Autumn 2004 by the Institute, a six day conference on the theme of ‘Leaders in Changing Organisations'.
Her other roles have included teaching and designing workshops, working as a consultant in the field of organisational development, as a partner in The Coaching Practice, which offers executive coaching to a range of commercial and voluntary organisations and as a corporate psychologist carrying out assessment of senior managers with Pintab Associates for the purposes of selection, development and career strategy. She embodies a broad range of training and experience with individuals, groups and organisations, takes a systemic approach and operates in most business sectors.
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