Discovering leadership in organisations: a four day immersive learning conference for developing organisational effectiveness

07 September 2015 to 10 September 2015
Tavistock Centre
£650 or £580 for Tavistock Students and Trainees. Group discount available to groups of 3.
What is a Group Relations conference?

Leadership? Energy? Empowerment? Creativity? Co-operative endeavour? Infighting? Destructive competition? Lethargy? Cynicism?

How many of these describe your organisation, or the organisations you work with?

How does leadership emerge in an organisation?

Do you understand how organisations works below the surface, and what you might do to make them work more effectively?

Whether your pre occupation is culture change at a macro level in the private sector, working more effectively with your team in the NHS, or a wish to help promote creativity, this Group Relations Conference could help you take up your role differently, be a better leader, and develop an unfolding sense of organisations, and the part you, and we all, play.

A group relations conference is a personal development programme which aims to increase personal effectiveness in any organisational role.

This particular conference will offer participants an opportunity to discover what may underpin leadership effectiveness at personal, group and organisational levels. The method is not one of conventional conferences. The conference is designed to be a miniature organisation in which a range of events take place that mirror typical organisational situations and in which you will experience leadership and followership in unrehearsed ways in different group configurations.

The primary task of these activities is to study organisational behaviour as it happens. This creates a continuous process of feedback about organisational behaviour from staff and other participants. Issues are explored in relation to awareness of the impact of self on others and the impact of others on self, leadership, followership, group membership, lateral and vertical collaboration, delegation and representative roles.



The programme consists of a series of events that build on each other to allow members the space for exploration and cumulative learning. For example:

The Intergroup Event starts with an opportunity to explore personal effectiveness in an interpersonal face-to-face group and goes on to explore dynamics arising between groups and also within groups when linked to a wider system.  The event allows exploration of the experience of crossing group boundaries and the issues for an individual in representing one group to another group.

Whole System Meetings explore the organisational dynamics of the conference itself as an organisation and the problems of individual effectiveness in a large group.

The Staff Management Event explores the boundary and dynamics between members and conference staff in a management role. This facilitates learning about issues that arise between those in authority and those who may perceive themselves as less powerful. The exercise of authority, leadership and creativity by both staff and members may also be studied.

Resource Management Event explores the dynamics of delegated authority, leadership and followership, and the management of resources.

Marketplace Event explores the dynamics between suppliers and customers in an unmanaged environment.

Personal Development Groups are provided to review the progress of members’ learning towards the end of the conference, with a focus on making links with members' own work environment in order that the learning may be applied after the conference.

The programme is designed as a whole. Applicants who cannot attend the whole programme should contact the Conference Administrator at the time of application.

This is a rewarding but demanding programme for developing ‘soft’ skills and applicants currently experiencing stressful circumstances such as divorce, bereavement or serious illness, are advised to attend at another time.

Please note the conference is non-residential.

What participants say

It’s learning through experience –sometimes leadership conferences/courses can feel like you get lots of ‘stuff’ and models which then back at work you can’t quite work out how to apply.  Group Relations Conferences mirror a real organisation -  as a result the dynamics and experiences feel very real and the learning felt immediately applicable."

Participant at September conference 2012





"I thought a lot about taking up my own authority and how empowering this is. These seem fundamental issues both personally but also professionally. Throughout the conference I was so impressed by how the consultants and leaders thought about the group. The thoughtful interpretations were deeply moving and helpful throughout. The attention to detail in how the group was managed and offered containment was striking and this gave me lots of ideas for my own practice,"

Participant at December conference 2012


"It’s real life, real working life, close up. This experience had an immediate effect on my working life. It was as if I had been given – for the very first time, perhaps – the space to reflect on my role in the workplace, my relationship with authority, my inner conflicts when leading – or following."

Participant at December conference 2012


Applications are welcome from anyone who is interested in understanding more about groups and organisations, working as leaders and managers or consultants in the public, private or independent sectors. It is particularly relevant for anyone with an interest in exploring the nature of leadership.

A proportion of the conference places are reserved for members of the Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (D10).

Conference fees and booking a place

Independent Applicants - £650

Tavistock Students and Trainees - £580, unless the fee is included in your course fee. Please consult your course director.

A group discount is available to groups of 3 or more from the same organisation. Please contact the Conference Administrator for details


Cancellation charges

Less than 2 weeks in advance of first day: 100%

Between 2-8 weeks in advance of first day: 50%

Between 8-12 weeks in advance of first day: 25%