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Organisational Dreaming

Sharing dreams (night time), and associations to dreams, with fellow members of an organisation, together with a socio-analytic consultant, frequently illuminates the “unexpressed known” about the the organisation.

In organisational dreaming the dreaming is generated, and held, within three containers:

  1. The Task of the Matrix : “To offer dreams, make associations to the dreams, and to make connections between the dreams”.
  2. The Task of the Project.
  3. The Task of the Organisation.

These three containers help shape the dreams that are offered, and provide a vertex for the associations that are made to the dreams, and for exploring the meanings of the dream. The focus in organisational dreaming is not on the meaning of the dream for the individual dreamer (that is left to the dreamer), but on what may illuminate organisational realities. Through the work and imaginative play with others the Group uncovers, develops and makes shared organisational meaning.

As the sharing is from a night time dream, not a direct experience at work, thts provides an unconflicted space for imaginatively exploring organisational realities, which otherwise are likely to be buried in the “unexpressed known” part of organisational consciousness.

The task of Consultant is to draw attention to possible connections between dreams, links to the task of the consultancy, and offer hypotheses about dynamics.

When the “unexpressed known” is made manifest this can lead to a new understanding of differences within an organisation, a healing of splits for the members of the Organisational Dreaming Matrix, and the possibility of a new culture emerging. Organisational Dreaming offers the chance of recombining, and becoming whole in a new way i.e. conscious and unconscious becoming linked in a healthy way to the task of the organisation.

Organisational Dreaming, as part of a consultancy project, started in Australia in 1994 at the Wasley Institute, where 6 members of the Executive Goup, with Alastair Bain as Consultant, shared dreams, associations, and connections within a project task. (See Alastair Bain, “Organisational Dreaming”).

Organisational dreaming can be for a Leadership Team, or a cross section of an organisation, as with a recent consultancy project carried out by the Australian Institute of Socio-Analysis with staff from a large welfare organisation in Victoria. In this case 16 staff took part in an Organisational Dreaming Project that met fortnightly initially for eight 1.5 hour sesssions, and later with a changed membership for a further 6 sessions. The Organisational Dreaming took place within a project that had the Task: “To develop social entrepreneurial ways of working within [the organisation]”. (See Alastair Bain, “The Organisation Containing and Being Contained by Dreams”).

 

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The word Matrix is used to describe the nature of the work, and the seating arrangement, which is in the form of a snowflake. The word “matrix” comes from the Latin for “uterus”, “out of which something grows”.

 

 

 
© Centre for Socio-Analysis 2007