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07/12/2011

Is your organization neurotic? Maybe it needs therapy.

Freud's Sofa Anybody who’s worked for an organization knows it can be … well … neurotic.

Organizations have tics, and blind spots, and habits, just like people do.  So maybe it’s not surprising, in fact it’s brilliant, to apply psychological processes to organizations. 

At the blog Rethinking Complexity, Jorge Taborga examines a Depth Psychology model of organizations, based on the work of Carl Jung.

“The organizational unconscious,” he writes, “is the unique array of ‘energies, contents and truths’ that operate beyond the conscious control of the organization.  It is the bridge between the conscious organization and the collective unconscious.  It provides the psychodynamic environment for these two forces to interplay.”

All of which is to say that organizations have complexes of which they’re not aware;  things that they channel their energies into, without realizing it, that might be neurotic or actively hurtful. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking a traditional organizational approach to these things – when it works.  But it’s fascinating to think that a psychological approach to organizational life can be the most productive approach some times.

That’s an area that may be new to some of us, but Saybrook’s Organizational Systems faculty has members who have been doing that for years, many of whom are trained as both therapists and organizational consultants. 

Check out more of what they have to say at Rethinking Complexity.  And leave a comment telling us what you think.

Posted at 03:30 PM in

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