Books and Synopses
Burnout and the mobilisation of energy
Published by Austin Macauley. 2020/2021.
The main objective of this book is to help individuals, jobs or organisations get out of burnout and keep out of it. Further, it helps them to activate or mobilise energy. There is a strong psychological bias to all the chapters.
It is based on research, theory and consulting practice. It clearly describes what burnout is and what it is not. It is not depression, stress, depersonalisation, anxiety, for example. It is, however, based on a key form of energy depletion.
I use Gestalt theory to interpret themes from research. First is the phenomenon of strong or weak boundaries; second is the idea of appropriate closure or not; third is the idea of self-investment. These three themes lead to the overarching idea of an ‘introject’ being implicated in burnout. This occurs when an individual has absorbed wholesale an idea or ‘should’ from someone else and has not assimilated or digested it properly as ‘theirs’.
I move onto Jungian theory to use the concept of ‘enantiadromia’ to explain the presence of burnout. Enantiadromia arises when there has been over-reliance on one way of being in the world.
In Parts Two and Three we look at the importance of mobilisation of energy in a job or organisation. We explore also how to create it. We start by comparing two organisations drawing out what job features make psychological sense (and low burnout) and what features make psychological nonsense (and high burnout).
The final two chapters explore organisations. We look at a concept called a crossover to explain how energy gets blocked in an organisation. It occurs when organisations get psychologically mixed up.
Overall, the book is a radically new one for the burnout field.
Oscar Garden: A tale of one man’s love of flying
Published by Mary Egan, NZ. 2020.
A tale of one man's love of flying. This book is not part of my consulting genre as it is about my father.
One day in 1930, a man walked into a department store in London and bought an aeroplane. Having just learned to fly, Oscar Garden dreamed of flying to Australia. In his newly purchased aeroplane, he did just that. This adventure and myriad others this risk-taker embarked on are recounted in this book.
Oscar’s love of flying saw him joy riding to many places in the world, including New Zealand, South Africa, up through Africa to Palestine. While based in London, he joined British Airways and Imperial Airways flying flying boats across the Empire. Finally, he came to rest in Auckland, New Zealand, after delivering the Awarua, the second of New Zealand’s flying boats, used during World War II for communication and travel, reducing New Zealand’s isolation. He became Chief Pilot of TEAL, the New Zealand airline, and eventually resigned due to serious disagreement over management and political agendas.
The biography describes Oscar Garden’s fascinating journey through these episodes.
Burnout: The effect of Jungian type
Publisher: Freedom Press, Scholar Select, UK. 2018.
This book is in the form of research paper I wrote for my PhD. It has, therefore, an academic agenda. It explored the contribution psychological type can make to understanding the symptoms and core of burnout.
How to resolve conflict in organizations
Published by Routledge, UK. 2018.
This is a comprehensive guide to understand and resolve conflict at different levels of the organization. It starts at the inter-organizational level explaining conflict between organizations that are involved in mergers and acquisitions. I look at this kind of conflict not from the point of view of a business or economic rationale but from the point of view of there being a relationship between the two organizations. Here, this relationship is described by a People Model which outlines three different relationship types.
In the subsequent chapters we look at structural conflict in the organisation as well as team conflict. In each chapter there is a different People Model to explain and resolve conflict. Structural conflict is explained by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and team conflict is explained by the Schutz model of Inclusion, Control, Openness. Following that we look at interpersonal conflict in terms of Gestalt psychology followed by a chapter on life conflict exploring conflict in terms of how you live a life.
Organizational change in practice: The eight deadly sins preventing effective change
Published by Routledge, UK. 2017.
This book challenges the practice of organizational change programmes. It uses two case studies in depth to illustrate that consultant companies can often get it wrong. Senior managers do not often know much about managing change.
The text is arranged around eight deadly sins to avoid in the practice of change: self-deception of the change agents rather than self-awareness; destruction of the identity of the organization caused by arrogance; destruction of cohesion; gobbledygook language; concentrating on structural change rather than behavioural change; making the organization worse not better; the intelligence in resistance and the deep trauma of redundancy.
The roles of organization development
Published by Gower UK. 2015.
With a foreword by Professor Edgar Schein.
This book provides a radically new and original framework to explain organizational development work and how it is done. The origin of the book came out of a question asked by a woman OD practitioner: “How do you do what you do”? This book is my answer to that question. I found that I did not think in terms of formal roles or roles as typically described in the OD or management literature. Instead, I described what I did in terms of: The Seer, the Translator, Cultivator, Catalyst, Navigator, Teacher, Guardian. These are presented primarily as roles for OD people but managers would be wise to adopt them also.
I was trained in my PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston) by two or the founding fathers of OD: Professor Ed Schein and Professor Dick Beckhard. The book refers, in places, to their teaching and interaction with myself.
Reading the mind of the organization:
Connecting the strategy with the psychology of the business.
Published by Gower, UK. 2000.
This ground-breaking book will transform the way organizations are perceived. It applies the fundamental principles of psychology to the modern organization. It provides a clear understanding of how to ‘read’ an organization.