14 Chapters
Medium 9781782200413

Chapter One - Potential Space

Izod, Karen; Whittle, Susan Rosina Karnac Books ePub

Susan Rosina Whittle

We start this chapter by describing the importance of Winnicott's term “potential space” to our work. We explore the significance of play to creative consulting and change and the anxiety that can arise in developing both the true and the false self. The chapter ends with a brief summary of how these ideas influenced the design of The Tavistock Institute Practitioner Certificate in Consulting and Change (P3C), for those interested in the design of professional development programmes.

1.1 Potential space

Taking an experiential approach to change, we embrace Winnicott's concept of “potential space” to inform our thinking and the design of our professional development programmes.

Potential space “refers to an intermediate area of experiencing that lies between fantasy and reality” (Ogden, 1990, p. 203). Potential space originates in the “space between” infant and mother; in the “to and fro” (Winnicott, 1951, p. 55) of the mother as the infant learns what is “me” and what is “not me”; what is the internal world and what the external world. The infant's separation from mother both depends on and requires the child to move between the internal world of fantasy and external reality.

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CHAPTER FIVE Practice

Izod, Karen; Whittle, Susan Rosina Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER FIVE

Practice

Susan Rosina Whittle and Karen Izod

I

n this chapter, we look at the preoccupations in practice of some of the consultants we have worked with. This is designed to help you to think about your own preoccupations by identifying:

I. What you do usually, those learned routines and safe, tried, and tested practices.

II. What you don’t do usually, because you dare not or cannot and want to.

We use a well known model, the consulting cycle, to explore dilemmas involving identity, authorisation, and presence that tend to occur at different stages of consulting work. These are illustrated by practice vignettes and discussed in relation to some of the thinking and theories we have developed over our professional careers and put to work on the Tavistock Institute

Practitioner in Consulting and Change Programme. First, let’s remind ourselves of why we are preoccupied with preoccupations!

5.1 Preoccupations

Do I use my identity and presence as resources in my work? Am I mind-ful of or mindless about my presence and identity? For those of us working with change, identity and presence need to be assets. They shape the way I consult by bounding my practice, that potential space in which consultant and client meet to work creatively on tasks, address problems, and realise development. As such, identity and presence comprise foundation resources for consultants tasked with developing clients and changing their organisations.

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Medium 9781782200413

Chapter Five - Practice

Izod, Karen; Whittle, Susan Rosina Karnac Books ePub

Susan Rosina Whittle and Karen Izod

In this chapter, we look at the preoccupations in practice of some of the consultants we have worked with. This is designed to help you to think about your own preoccupations by identifying:

 I. What you do usually, those learned routines and safe, tried, and tested practices.

II. What you don't do usually, because you dare not or cannot and want to.

We use a well known model, the consulting cycle, to explore dilemmas involving identity, authorisation, and presence that tend to occur at different stages of consulting work. These are illustrated by practice vignettes and discussed in relation to some of the thinking and theories we have developed over our professional careers and put to work on the Tavistock Institute Practitioner in Consulting and Change Programme. First, let's remind ourselves of why we are preoccupied with preoccupations!

5.1 Preoccupations

Do I use my identity and presence as resources in my work? Am I mind-ful of or mindless about my presence and identity? For those of us working with change, identity and presence need to be assets. They shape the way I consult by bounding my practice, that potential space in which consultant and client meet to work creatively on tasks, address problems, and realise development. As such, identity and presence comprise foundation resources for consultants tasked with developing clients and changing their organisations.

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Medium 9781782200413

CHAPTER SIX Change: developing resource-ful practice

Izod, Karen; Whittle, Susan Rosina Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER SIX

Change: developing resource-ful practice

Karen Izod and Susan Rosina Whittle

6.1 Mind the gap between knowing and doing

There is a huge gap between knowing what to do and knowing how to do it. As a result, many organisational change initiatives fail after a short time. The good intentions formulated in training and development programmes are not sustained. Reading this book will not make you a more resourceful consultant. You need to act; run some experiments; risk doing different things and doings things differently; evaluate the impact and act again.

This chapter focusses on how we can reorganise ourselves for work. Much as we might decide to makeover a room, bringing in new furniture, restyling, and reorienting the room for a different look or feel, then this is about how you can make some changes to the way that you combine aspects of your identity and presence to reorganise and change your practice.

In this chapter you will find:

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Chapter Four - Role Space

Izod, Karen; Whittle, Susan Rosina Karnac Books ePub

Karen Izod

Many of the practice dilemmas that we are recounting arise from a sense of being trapped in identities that feel constraining, and grappling with a level of authority that doesn't fit well with the presence that we are trying to bring. As we listen to these stories of practice, then we are in touch with a need for working on an improved sense of space, in ourselves and for our clients, in order to distinguish between:

Working to enlarge and enrich the spaces in which I can operate draws upon my capacities to make sense of my thoughts and feelings, and to regulate them in relation to the behaviours and actions I then attempt. This work which goes on in our inner worlds is a forerunner to working on role.

Role space concerns itself with professional and organisational role, both as an asset to our practice and as a mediator between individual, group, and organisation functioning. Roles can act as the movers of our identities, and the shapers of our presence, and at the same time can impose expectations—the shoulds and oughts of what we do and how we do it. We work with the idea of roles “in the wings” of our practice, there to be taken up and crafted in bringing ourselves to work with the resources afforded by identity and presence.

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