Attended an interesting talk yesterday over on the Whiteknights campus, where John Hendry introduced Prof Keith Grint of Warwick University, who spoke around his paper “Leadership and the Sacred: Separation, Sacrifice and Silence” to an audience of faculty from the Business School. Yiannis Gabriel, of the School of Management at Bath, provided commentary as response.
The paper explored our ideas of leadership, between ‘heroic’ and ‘distributed’ poles, and via the etymology of the concept he expanded on three aspects of the sacred (seperation, sacrifice and silencing opposition and/or anxiety) as they refer to the concept of leadership. Keith’s presentation was generously dotted with examples old and new from literature, culture and history, and it made me think of some of the later work of Gregory Bateson, who was also interested in the importance of the concept of the sacred in our understanding of the nature of living systems.
Food for thought.
As an aside, it’s been a long while since I went from the Greenlands campus in Henley to Whiteknights at Reading , and the first time I’ve used the library there. The students all seem so young! Or do I just feel old?
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Attended a really interesting half-day session on Systemic Constellation Coaching today as part of the Henley Coaching Forum. John Whittington was the facilitator, and not only was he really good, the concept shone through as being a way of reaching something very fundamental about the relationship of (invisible) patterns within organisational systems. There were some memorable one-liners from the session, which was suitably experiential. “There’s only what feels true”, for example, rang nice-sounding bells for me.
This was on my mind anyway this week, following the preliminary recommendations of the mysterious “Reshaping” project that the School of Management has been the subject of by the powers that be at the University of Reading and the Business School.
I see the use of the principles of the idea of systems constellations (which I have covered in various ways in some previous posts) as being a really exciting opportunity to improve my practice, so I’m eager to know more. Exploring “stuckness” is close to my heart.
Other highlights of the day included spending time with some of the lovely Exec MBA students, who are in for their Managing Financial Resources module. This has been a bit of a stressful time for (many of) them, with their first graded assignments only recently submitted, and the pressure of the MBA hitting home. On the other hand, I hope that they feel that this whole experience really does work on several levels.
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