Medication, Meditation and other Analogies

Medication, Meditation and other Analogies

As you may know by now, I generally describe myself as an Organisational Therapist. That is, someone who applies the principles and techniques of (psycho)therapy to the collective psyche of an organisation. (This, in itself, is not intended as a metaphor).

I think it fair to say that most organisations, looked at as a whole, have some kind of neuroses, if not actual psychoses. Of course, having organisations realise this, let alone wanting to do something about it, is another matter (for which, see e.g. Rightshifting).

Therapies and Other Analogies

Over the years, folks have come up with a multitude of different approaches, or therapies, to try to help individuals with their psychological “problems”.

As an Organisational Therapist, I take such therapies, developed with the individual in mind, and apply them with a view to improving the well-being and effectiveness of knowledge-work organisations as a whole. In this, I concur with Patrick Lencioni’s perspective:

“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to everyone who wants it.”

~ Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

I believe when he says “health”, he has the mental health of a company in mind.

Borrowing from the World of Psychiatry

The field of organisational therapy is in its infancy (although I’m not the only one working in this space). Few are the organisational therapies that have been studied, and proven, with the kind of scientific scrutiny now commonplace in the world of therapies for the individual.

Nevertheless, I posit that many of the concepts and therapeutic approaches now known to have positive outcomes for individuals can be applied, analogously, to the therapy of organisations.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be exploring some of these analogies in more detail.

This post serves as an introduction to the series, as well as as an invitation to join in the ongoing conversation.

Types of Therapy

Here’s just a sample of articles, posts, etc. describing the cornucopia of therapeutic techniques available to the individual:

Posts in the Series

Further Reading

Mapping the Organizational Psyche ~ Corlett and Pearson
The Advantage ~ Patrick Lencioni

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