IIMA offers this group relations conference on 'Authority, Organisation, Strategies and Politics of Relatedness' (AOSPOR) as a temporary institution for learning co-created with participants to develop skills for understanding covert dynamics in groups and teamwork. This is an opportunity for accelerated, immersive and experiential learning to harvest insights into management and to develop leadership skills for change that cannot be taught through lectures, case-studies or simulations.
To co-create a ‘temporary institution’ where staff and members take up roles to study the development and exercise of authority, evolution of organisational logic and the discovery and invention of strategies from their lived experience in roles within the Conference institution.
To enable the study of intra-group and inter-group dynamics and institutional relations that develop within the Conference as an organisation and understand connections of organisations to their social, political and economic environments.
To facilitate opportunities for exploring the foundational processes of linking, connecting, relating, and networking as members of work groups concerned with influencing others and being influenced in the course of formulating and implementing strategies.
To discover underlying groups, organisational and social dynamics and the interplay between tradition and change, stability and innovation, creativity and harmony that may, at times, be beyond immediate awareness and to formulate “working hypotheses” about covert processes beyond awareness.
To reflect on insights and learning that arise from the perspective of building bridges with organisational roles to which members return after the Working Conference with a view to applying roles taken up within the conference to one’s own organisations and networks.
The nature and core purpose of an organisation can be designed, discovered or located in a primary task. The Primary Task of this Working Conference is: To explore the lived experience of roles through inter-personal, intra-group, inter-group and institutional relations that develop and shape the possibilities of transformation, pursuit of strategies and politics of relatedness within the organisational life of this conference as an institution.
Concepts Fundamental to the Working Conference
The word “conference” is used to emphasize the process of “conferring” in direct experience through conversations, dialogues and explorations that can bring together strands of thinking or give rise to new thoughts, or articulate unthought thoughts or express unthought knowns.
Authority is the source of choices we make (or do not make), actions we take (or do not take), people we relate with, directions we give ourselves, and roles taken up. Authority is the springboard for leadership and its exercise legitimises roles in intra-group and inter-group relations
Organisation enables roles to enmesh and collectively engage with valued tasks with reference to boundaries of task, technology, time, space, sentience and understanding. Organisations are structures of convenience designed to contain systems and processes.
Strategies may be regarded as grand designs and patterns we create, discover or influence through our thinking, feeling and actions - consciously and unconsciously. The Working Conference provides spaces in which strategies may be formulated and tested in intra-group and inter-group interactions, and also in the institution as a whole.
‘Politics of relatedness’ arises from how we work with organisational boundary conditions such as task, technology, time, space, sentience and understanding for linkages within, and regulating flows of resources and responses across such boundaries. Understanding politics of relatedness (‘relatedness’ connotes togetherness as a group or other collectivity beyond relationships) enables us to function more effectively in complex systems where there are several stakeholders trying to influence each other. The notion “pictures of relatedness” was developed by Pierre Turquet as an institutional stepping-stone to portray the behavioural characteristic of cementing that groups exhibit beyond inter-personal relationships.
This Working Conference is for anyone interested in developing deeper understanding of managerial and leadership processes in organisations and developing skills to cope with covert processes. There is no requirement of any particular previous experience or knowledge. Willingness to learn from one’s experience by participating in the events and processes of the conference is expected. Participants may come from business, professions, public systems, finance, politics, diplomacy, sports, mass media, government, local authorities, NGOs, health services, social care, education, consultancy, justice, systems, religious orders, agenda-based activisms, and environmental organisations. Previous IIMA Conferences have drawn participation from all sectors, levels, career stages, and from across many countries in the world. The participant profile has included business leaders and team leaders of profit centres, HR professionals, government officials from IAS, IPS, etc. public sector managers, family business entrepreneurs, administrators, activists, educators, researchers, consultants, clinicians, professional service providers, scientists, health care professionals, bankers, IT practitioners, NGO leaders, etc.