OD: Bion on groups

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PopTech 2009 presenters, day 3 - 354Primer on Bion’s group experiences

Robert B French and Peter Simpson have just published a primer on Bion’s group experiences in Human Relations.

Central to Bion’s ideas, in my words, is group procrastination or the illusion of busy-ness.

What is the essential difference between working and just pretending to work?

  • Action is dependent on thought and thought on action.  Behavior or activity is always accompanied by reflexivity (p.1868)
  • Behavior is never so deadened that we “are unable to think or find a new thought in the moment” (p.1868)

What is the solution to deadened groups?

If I read the article correctly

  • New connections or interactions that are positive and work-oriented
  • Upping the positive to negative ratios by any means possible

My best guess is that had French and Simpson looked for this behavior, their positive groups would also have been more questioning.

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