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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Contemporary Methodologies to Surface and Act on Unconscious Dynamics in Organisations: an Exploration of Design, Facilitation Capacities, Consultant Paradigm and Ultimate Value

Organisational Role Analysis, Social Dreaming, Social Photo-Matrix, and Social Dream-Drawing are four examples of a growing number of methodologies that are being developed and used internationally. While used in different ways in different contexts, what they all have in common is the intent to access a group's unconscious thinking, whether related to a preidentified theme or a particular organisational or social issue. This body of methodologies makes use of a third object created by participants, such as a drawing, a dream, or a photo. In this paper, I am presenting three conceptual frames: 1. An overreaching way of thinking about the design of these methodologies and the role of those who host or lead them. My main question is: what are the necessary and appropriate design elements and facilitation capacities for methodologies that seek to uncover and make sense of unconscious processes in organisations? 2. A theoretical argument for the fundamental value of these methodologies to organisations. 3. A suggested new paradigm for the role of consultant in bringing these methodologies to organisations. In order to familiarise the reader who has not yet experienced any of these methodologies, I will first briefly describe four of them and give an example of their use in a system. I will follow that by an explication of the theoretical underpinnings of my suggestions for their facilitation and structure, which will be illuminated in a series of charts. I conclude by describing how I think these methodologies can help organisations.