Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Thoughtful leadership: Lessons from Bion

In the competing discourses within organisations, primacy tends to be given to decisive, action oriented, knowing leadership in contrast to more reflective, patient, thoughtful leadership. This paper argues that there is an important place for 'thoughtful leadership' as one of the necessary responses to the challenge of liquid modernity and the danger of organisations going 'off task'. Thoughtful leaders are first of all concerned with keeping their organisation 'on task'. It pursuit of this, thoughtful leadership provides containment, is available for thought, and mobilises others in the organisation to be thoughtful. Throughout the paper lessons are drawn from the work of the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion on the development of the capacity for thought.