Saturday, 9 February 2008

Healthy and sick organisations

Led today by Jim Christie the course I'm attending in Rome on management and spirituality
looked at marks of healthy and unhealthy organisations. Jim based some of what he said on one of the books by Robin Skynner and John Cleese Life and How to Survive It.
He encouraged us to have a psychodynamic approach to analysing our organisations. However hard organisations try, staying still is just not possible, things are simply always changing. Treating organisations as psychological entitities and linking that to the systemic analysis and wider understanding of context and culture that we're trying to develop on the course, is a fascinating process. Applying it in small group work to some tricky situations people had encountered was really helpful.
Reading the article we received beforehand about healthy and unhealthy organisations was however a warning to all who complain about the organisation they work for. Often unhealthy organisations attract unhealthy people - so it may not be the organisation it may be you! (Of course I don't really beleive that about myself!)
I've lent the notes I've been taking in French to some of the francophone participants overnight, maybe sometime over the next few days I'll have time to give set out the seven markers of a healthy organisation.
The two that stick with me for the moment were affilliative attitude (about which more some other time) and open communication, which is personal and not just administrative. It sounds so simple and straightforward yet I know all too well just how difficult it can be - even in Parish ministry. Communication requires effort and creativity.
Anyway this evening I shall ponder all of this over some food at the wonderful Sardinian restaurant just around the corner.