Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Touching the Softness of the Israeli National Defense College

There are between thirty and forty students in the Israeli National Defense College (NDC). The students are colonels and lieutenant colonels of the Israeli Defense Force, and their equivalents in the government service. The staff of the college consists of five to seven instructors, some are military officers, the others come from different government agencies. The NDC focuses on the study of national defense: the relationship between economical strength, military power, social strength, and international status of the country. The NDC staff plans and executes the program in cooperation with Haifa university.Most students are satisfied with the program, but on occasions, they complain about not being able to concentrate on any specific subject due to heavy workload. Until a year ago, the NDC program did not deal with leadership and management. The paper describes the process of adding a course titled 'Organizational Culture - the Leaders' Point of View' to the NDC program. The description focuses on the point of view of the team that initiated the course, developed the theoretical concept and did the actual teaching.The idea of adding a course that deals with organizational culture, evoked anxiety and resistance in the NDC staff.The paper describes the anxiety and resistance and offers a hypothesis as to the sources of the anxiety and resistance. The dynamics of the team and the dynamics between the team and the staff, as well as the parallel processes: the team - staff relationship and the team - students relationship, are deduced and analyzed.The team's leader has started a two year program of Organizational Consulting and Development (OCD), where he currently studying the psychoanalytic approach to organization. The article describes how the materials studied in the OCD program have helped him in leading the process and containing the anxiety.