On the 6th December 2017, the BLCC hosted a practical workshop from Delta 7 – an innovative Organisational Development Consultancy. In their practice, Elinor Rebeiro and Julian Burton engage with organisations to explore their problems and employ novel methods to help resolve issues. Most notably they make use of ‘rich pictures’ – visual representations – to invoke discussion and dialogue. A short introduction to this can be seen here.
Whilst there were discussions regarding this method during the workshop, the primary aim was the explore the ethos and heart behind Delta 7’s work: relationship building. Throughout the two-hour session the significance of emotions, vulnerability and trust were explored in great detail. Eli and Julian drew on their own tales to express how current organisational practice seems to be ‘stuck’ in mechanistic and individualistic modes where work is done in a mostly transactional and depersonalised manner.
They pushed for a deeper understanding of relational leadership approaches to make for more ‘meaningful and productive’ workplaces. Here, they argued, we must be able to challenge our basic assumptions about working patterns and learn to develop a language that allows for relationships to develop more freely. Leadership therefore moves away from more traditional command and control styles and toward a more flexible, pluralistic, dynamic and human(e) process. This concept has received increasing attention from academics in recent years – including UWE researchers – yet Delta 7 offered actual embodied insights to ask why these approaches are not being operationalized, and how we might be able to integrate further in the future.
For more information on Delta 7, please visit their website.