Work is complicated: It can be fulfilling and exciting, or disappointing and disruptive. We spend most of our adult lives at work; it shapes our identities and provides a context for our creativity and talents. It can be the source of great pleasure – and of profound distress.
In Work Matters, organizational consultant and Tavistock lecturer Francesca Cardona examines our changing relationship with work today. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of individuals and organizations, she considers the dynamics at play in our working lives. Cardona examines how to navigate times of transition, and the balance of power in the work place, while also addressing latent issues such as the effects of shame, the cost of ill-conceived organizational structures and tasks, the interface between the personal and the professional, and the manager’s most precious skill: the ability to be psychologically present. Finally, Cardona casts an eye on the consultant’s role in helping organizations move forwards in ways that are professionally and personally rewarding.
Whether you are a business leader, manager, consultant or student, or simply interested in how your work affects you, Work Matters offers essential insights into an area that occupies so much of our lives.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Context of Work: A love affair – the meaning of work in a changing world Part II: Organizational Consultancy in the Tavistock Tradition 1. The Team as a Sponge: how the nature of the task affects the behaviour and mental life of a team 2. Vulnerable Leadership: consultancy to management in transition 3. Organizational and Personal Shame: the devastating effect of feeling a failure or being exposed as one 4. The Grey Area: consulting at the interface between the personal and the professional 5. The Challenge of Succession: leadership dynamics and conflicts in different contexts 6. The Manager’s Most Precious Skill: the capacity to be ‘psychologically present’ 7. Consulting to the Boss: leadership beyond the textbooks Part III: The Consultant's Role: an antrhopologist at work 8. The Complexity of Entry: seduction and potential collusion in negotiating a contract with a new client 9. The Consultancy Stage: the ‘third’ dimension in the engagement between client and consultant 10. Who is the Boss? Balancing power and vulnerability in the client–consultant relationship 11. Ending and Regeneration: reflections on the emotional experience of ending a consultancy assignment Conclusion
Francesca Cardona is an organizational consultant and teacher of consultancy and coaching in the Tavistock tradition. Italian by birth, she has been based in London since the mid-eighties. She works in a variety of organizational and cultural contexts, helping leaders and organizations to face issues of change, transition and the emotional dimension of organizational life.