Working with the Mental Maps of Groups

Organisation in the Mind is a simple and powerful facilitation technique for working with people in many settings.

The technique is based in two particular understandings of organisational dynamics:

  • We all, when operating in organisations and indeed in any organised group, have a “mental world” of feelings, thoughts, imaginations and beliefs. This “mental world” operates consciously and unconsciously – significantly influencing all that we do;


  • If we are able to tap this “mental world” in a reflective way this can form a powerful source of organizational / group intelligence which can help us understand the dilemmas, challenges, and tensions of organisational / group life in ways that may not be so accessible via standard exploratory facilitation techniques.

In this interactive and experiential session Ian Smith will demonstrate Organisation in the Mind in action – working with those attending the group to explore “mental maps.

In a deliberate reversal of the “tell/explain, then do” model, this session first introduces participants to the Organisation in the Mind by doing.  This will be followed by an explanation of the thinking which informs this facilitation method, and reflection on the many and varied applications of the Organisation in the Mind technique.

The Presenter

Ian Smith facilitates mainly in the education, health, local government and NFP sectors. He has particular interests in working with complexity, working with people and organisations to achieve change, and in working to resolve conflict. Ian likes working collaboratively, and he values humility, openness and an interest in wondering.  Ian tries to avoid working with people who are pompous and/or bombastic.