Monday, 10 March 2008

The unconcious agenda

We have a meeting coming up next Monday. The meeting will last most of the day and everyone who works in the department is expected to attend. Lunch is provided but this is not really an incentive and I have tried to come up with a reason as to why I can't go without any luck so it looks like I will have to sit through it. To put the meeting in context, I work for a fairly large department within a University. The head of department left last week and the advertisement for her replacement went out on the day she left. The department is currently under 'temporary' leadership and while we await a permanent appointment, the many conflicting agendas and politics within the department have been left to roam wild! Freud's theory of the unconscious mind argued that most of what motivates us is the result of hidden and unconscious desires. He also argued that we unconsciously strive to protect our egos from damage and use a variety of defense mechanisms to protect ourselves. Thus without consciously meaning to, we might 'forget' to do things that are psychologically difficult. Others have argued that these psychological theories can also be applied within organisations. So, have a look at the agenda below and see if you can work out what topic is the one that those organising the meeting want to talk about the least and is the most important!

9-45am Introduction and review of progress
10am Curriculum
10-45am COFFEE
11am Economic and social engagement
12 noon Staff and Student experience -
12-45pm LUNCH
2pm Research
3pm TEA
3-15pm Physical environment
Management and relationships

(Not only does it come at the end of the day (almost as an afterthought); there is no time allocated to talk about it!) On second thoughts the day might be more entertaining than I thought!

I have just been reading about the psychology of leadership. One of my colleagues complained that none of the 'leaders' in our organisation were capable of making a decision about anything and likened it to 'leadership by marshmallow'!

1 comment:

Michael House said...

now who's been busy?

Leadership by marshmallow sounds quite delicious.