Hearts as well as Minds

Filmed reflections from participants on the FETL commissioned Working Well Programme ‘How can psychoanalysis and systems theory contribute to the leadership of thinking in the Further Education and Skills Sector?’

A publication from the programme was created on its completion : this can be downloaded here.

The short films shown here leave little doubt that the colleagues who participated in the programme of nine strategic seminars with workshops were taken to new ways of thinking, gaining new perspectives on themselves as people, and as leaders in their roles. For some, it was a highly personal, often quite challenging, experience. Most emerged with a strong sense that their own thinking had changed and with an enhanced sensitivity to, and curiosity about, the relationship between their own internal lives, their organisation, and the wider system.

In order to capture the reflections of the participants, in 2019 a filming series was commissioned by FETL. The FETL films about the Working Well programme came directly from the experiences of those on the programme and can be viewed below. Our thanks to Larry Shulman for carrying out the interviews. 

The trailer

The full series of interviews

A discussion around the commissioning of the project, with Dame Ruth Silver

An interview with programme designer, Gabriella Braun

An interview with Matt Atkinson

An interview with Charlotte Blant

An interview with Pat Carvalho

An interview with Ashley McCaul

An interview with Graham Razey

An interview with Paul Wakeling

The programme

When FETL first considered the commissioning of this work, it was hoped that not only would the project be a perfect fit with our aim of enabling the leadership of thinking in FE and skills but also it promised to be among our most stretching and meaningful pieces of work to date: and so it has turned out.

The authors, Gabriella Braun, Project Director and Director of Working Well, and David Armstrong, Project Consultant and Associate of Working Well, drew together a set of vibrant and very useful think pieces, inspired by the themed seminars with the programme’s sector leaders. These serve as provocations to encounter concepts from other disciplines, stimulants to thinking about leadership and, crucially, portals to further learning.

The publication itself offers a welcome contribution to the creation of a literacy of leadership of thinking that is not just about the technical, operational dimension of leading in FE and skills. It is also an invitation to learn: about the self, in role, in the system and in society, and what impact these can have on the internal world of leaders. Each one of these think pieces has a library of theoretical frameworks and training behind it and my hope is that those who read them will be encouraged to dip into the reading that underpins them. They represent, in a way, a provocation to insight; insight about the self and the journey it undertakes to the self in role and the self in a role of authority and responsibility.

Working Well

Working Well is a specialist consultancy company, developing leaders, teams and organisations. We use our expertise in applying thinking from  psychoanalysis and systems theory, alongside a practical focus on business needs to support the people side of organisations. Clients find our approach helps them to work well and create a reflective, humane, environment in which  staff can thrive and performance improves.