5-Day Executive Leadership Course
“The Psychology of Leadership and Organisational Life“
This course covers leaders’ personal development, team dynamics and organisational issues from a psychological and systemic perspective. Participants are going to learn about leadership, power and authority; about what drives individual behaviour, what happens to decision-making when we are under pressure, how to deal with stress, and how to build inner strength and resilience. Zooming out to the level of teams and groups we are going to tackle the problems of destructive competition, silo-thinking, mergers and organisational paralysis. Zooming out even further we will reflect on organisational dynamics, tasks and purpose of organisations, and organisational culture. Participants will learn how organisational change works, how and why resistance to change arises, and how it can be minimised.
Throughout the course we are going to be mindful of what happens under the surface: the irrational side of human behaviour, the unspoken assumptions, the unconscious processes that have a massive impact on what we like to think is purely rational thinking and decision-making. We are dealing here with a dimension of leadership that is seldom taught, but crucial for managing people who are ‘difficult’, teams that are not working together productively, and organisations that are undergoing change and need to become more unified and effective.
The course draws on a wide range of teaching methods. Much of the learning is experiential. Participants will write two reflective essays and read a number of papers in preparation. Teaching happens through lectures, group discussions, peer-coaching, simulations, 1:1 personal coaching and through experiential groups of various sizes. Alongside engaging with the content of the course, participants will have regular opportunities to improve their communication skills and practise giving feedback to, and coaching, others. Included in this course are three personal leadership coaching sessions for each participant. Because of the intensity of the work there is a high participant-staff ratio and overall numbers are capped at 20 participants.
5-day Research Methods Course
This course introduces participants to the theories, skills and mindsets necessary to research, analyse and understand a wide range of organisations thoroughly and effectively. They are going to learn about different types of organisations – formal and informal ones, including social movements, virtual organisations and mobs –, how to identify an organisation’s (actual) purpose or goal, and how to understand an organisation within its context (boundaries, membership). Because organisations are often highly complex and many dynamics crucial to their functioning are not obvious, we are going to focus especially on the informal and hidden aspects that can be found in an organisation’s culture and sub-cultures.
We are going to think about questions such as: How does leadership and followership work in different types of organisation? What is power, and who has it? How do we understand informal hierarchies? Silo-thinking? Peoples’ real intentions? Split loyalties? Internal conflict and dissent? Processes of change and resistance to change? Participants will become familiar with a range of relevant research methods to answer these and similar questions; more importantly, they will gain an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each method. They will learn how to efficiently analyse (large amounts) of data, and how to assess the quality of data they may not have obtained themselves.
Learning takes place through a series of short lectures in connection with participatory work in small groups. Participants will have regular opportunities to integrate what they have learned into areas of their own work. Finally, there is an experiential component to this course, in which participants practice researching organisations by studying the course group as a temporary organisation.
5-day Research Methods Course
“Ethnographic Research Today”
This 5-day course trains up to 16 participants in ethnography as a contemporary research method to study in depth communities, groups or organisations in terms of their culture, ways of thinking and experiences. We are going to cover project design, fieldwork, data collection (participant observation, interviews, focus groups), data analysis, and presentation of findings. The learning is based on approximately 50% teaching and 50% application and practical work.
An important focus will be on self-awareness of the researcher (reflexivity), the avoidance of bias, and transparency. Participants will learn about the applicability of the method; how to design a research project and carry out fieldwork effectively, efficiently and ethically; how to analyse the data gathered through observation, informal conversations, and interviews; and how to write up and present their findings. By the end of the course they will have completed an actual ethnographic research project.