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Table of Contents (click link)

Articles

1 Mentoring
2 Startups
3 Psychodynamics
Mentoring

Why Boards Need Mentoring?

Writing an article about two words (Boards, Mentoring) that are so ambiguous and widely misunderstood is a real challenge. However, I hope to shed some light on both and highlight the possibility for them to be brought together productively .

The key point is that the dynamics of effective communication and decision making place great pressure on Directors, as human beings, who either do not know each other well, or know each other all too well. The demands of governance are changing rapidly and the people who take on Director roles need help but are frequently the last people to admit they need it.

Board mentoring is a hybrid role, drawing upon elements of coaching, learning facilitation and “pure” mentoring, and is designed to meet the needs of Boards for high impact interventions that enhance critical thinking and decision-making.

Boards in disguise

Much of the problem stems from the ambiguity in what we mean by Boards and the human behaviours that often flow from this.

Boards are chameleon-like entities. In much of Europe and Asia, they show up as two bodies in the form of either a supervisory and management board. The supervisory board is constituted by appointees from the shareholders, whilst the management board comprises senior leaders in an organisation. This latter body often doesn’t call itself a Board, even though it is technically part of the formal governance structure of the company. Terms like “executive team”, “executive committee” or even “leadership team” add camouflage and a bit of confusion as to what their real purpose is.

Unitary boards, common in the US and UK, show up as a supposedly single body. And this where the confusion deepens. As with “leadership teams” in a two-tier structure, unitary boards seemingly jump on any fad to avoid making clear what they actually do. Words like “Board”, or worse, “Committee”, are deeply unfashionable. I merely point out that the decline in the standards of governance across the western world coincides with the invention of the flip chart.

Further confusion ensues. Shareholders, such as VC firms, often negotiate the right with fellow investors to appoint certain Director-roles, such as the CEO or CFO, potentially undermining the “one-team” approach and creating misalignment between the interests of investors and employees in the venture. For example, if a VC wants a quick exit, this might lead to an exaggerated concern for growth rather than brand-building or concern for sustainability.

Family firms take ambiguity to a whole new level and are generally a field I’ve avoided ever since I was asked to coach a scion of a wealthy family, a 2nd cousin, banished to the outer reaches of the firm to look after the investment portfolio. He whiled away his days drinking in coffee shops and wine bars, unable to get a single decision through what passed for a Board.

Another area of ambiguity is the “startup team” who often don’t realise they are a Board of Directors until too late. Allocating equity, raising finance and negotiating a suitable Board protocol, voting writes etc requires engineering every bit as complex as an NPT-3 algorithm. Startup founders all too often simply outsource these decisions and fail to anticipate that not only do these governance issues directly impact the survival of the firm, but they can also only be made by referencing the values and goal-systems of the founders. I see this as a very common blind-spot, and lawyers and accountants are all too happy to muddy the waters between “best practice” and “value decision”.

For example, the allocation of equity between founders looks very different depending on whether you are addressing risk practices advised by lawyers, or whether you are weighing it according to contribution to the development of the venture.

The distinctive role for Mentors

This is where mentoring places a role. As a Board Mentor, I can use a mix of coaching skills (contextual listening; discovery questioning, etc), mentoring techniques (story-telling, truth-saying) and learning interventions (grounded perspectives on the climate emergency; inequality, etc), to bring to the Directors their true role: The long term health and well-being of the venture, in the midst of rapidly changing legal, social and political norms.

Simple Voting vs Critical Thinking

In this respect, I remind them that whatever else they might be doing as a “team” in terms of off-site discussion, when they come together as a Board there are things that MUST happen, and HAVE to go well. Options need to be identified and researched, and an appropriate method of decision-making chosen. For example, a simple majority voting is not always the best way. I have helped Boards develop weighting-tools and selection grids that can create more clarity and transparency about what is driving the Board to a certain decision, and ensure that all the key factors are properly thought through. This process prompts dialogue and critical thinking.

Death by Flip-chart vs Goldfish Moments

Rather than rely on superficial brainstorming, and generating reams of flip-chart paper, I will ask the Board to go deeper. For example, I use a gold-fish method where I coach each member for 2 minutes, in front of the Board. The other members write down keywords or phrases which catch their attention. These are then stuck on the wall using sticky cards and arranged into themes and commonalities. Overlaps and duplicates are removed. We then establish a hierarchy of themes, grouping the major headings into categories. Finally, we try to establish the relationship between the categories, such as competing or contradictory values, or threshold factors (things that must be achieved for other ideas to work). What emerges is not a list to be typed up in the following few days, but a dynamic model that triggers in-the-moment dialogue, debate, argument, and critical thinking.

The Meaning of Mentoring

As I mentioned above, Mentoring is also a term fraught with ambiguity. In this respect. The above example might be described by some as Board Facilitation, and it is true there is some overlap with Board Mentoring, but also significant differences. Principally, this is about a relationship through time. As a Board Mentor, I work with the Board and each individual members, racially over months. This often involves executive coaching delivered by myself or associates working as part of a team, with a contract to enable “note sharing” on common themes.

Not More Consultancy

Board Mentoring might also be described as Board Consultancy. Again, a consultant might do some of what I’ve described above but often puts the emphasis on their own diagnosis and solution to the problem. The key distinction with Board Mentoring is that the outcome is not a specific decision or recommendation, but the development of the capacity of the Board to identify and resolve complex problems on its own.

To a much greater extent, Board Mentors develop a trusted relationship with each individual and also demonstrate the ability to read-the-room and pick up the subtleties of group dynamics. For example, I recall mentoring a Board with a fairly even distribution of men and women. However, despite the apparent equality, the suggestions from the women were frequently overlooked and only recognised when offered a few minutes later by one of the men. When I fed back this tacit bias at a pause just before the break, there was a general shock, except for the women who had noticed this pattern but felt unable to surface it. Along with tacit behaviours, this self-censoring was also part of the conversation.

Noticing Patterns

In another example, a Chair began an agenda item of sustainability by saying “This item shouldn’t take very long, we’ll probably only need 15 minutes or so”. This had a chilling effect on the room and signalled that anyone raising awkward or difficult issues about sustainability would not be looked on too kindly, as lunch was approaching. I pointed out this noticeable shift in energy, and then asked the Chair what the difference it would have made if he had begun by saying “I know people feel passionate about this, and so I’m expecting a vivid and energetic debate. I’m wondering if we need to work through lunch to get through it?” This is a good example of conditioning, and how the Chair especially can set the tone, and turn the temperature up or down, as needed.

Mentors Disrupt

This ability to work in-the-moment is closely connected with coaching (and also facilitation) to be fair but is unlike the more presenting and directive style of consultants. One reason why I don’t simply use the term Board Coaching (which is also a thing), is because in the examples above I am drawing upon the knowledge and resources I have as a Mentor to catalyse or disrupt the flow of a Board meeting, that can often lapse into routine bureaucracy or avoidant stand-offs. In contrast, the coaching ethic is allowing the client, the Board in this case, to set the agenda.

Mentors bring resources Directors want, but are too shy to ask

As a Board Mentor, I recognise that no matter how experienced might be in terms of running a business, technology and finance operations, many boards lack the resources to self manage the human dynamics effectively, and in some cases can be quite naive. Having the ability to hit pause, and intervene at critical moments, is key to reminding them who they are, why they are there, and what they want to achieve.

Mentors work with Data

To illustrate the point of how Board Mentoring can make an impact I will describe Audio-Playback. I draw upon action research methods to support my Board work, and surprisingly one of the most popular interventions is to audio record the board meetings and have them professionally transcribed. I highlight key phrases and passages, and then play-back sections and use this to analyse patterns in the group. As in the example above, we “code” keywords and then categorise them, revealing the inner workings of a conversation that they were part, but not fully conscious, of,

For example, a member who believed they have support in the room due to a voting outcome might be confronted with the awkward silence that they might not have noticed during the discussion. We can then identify a lack of enthusiasm and commitment to the follow through on this decision, that would typically derail any execution. All of this can be identified upfront.

Recording confidential conversations might seem odd in an era of concerns about privacy and intrusive technology. But Boards should be minuted in any case. And most of all, Directors like the data-oriented approach. Conversations are turned into a resource for group learning. The ability to draw upon research tools as a form of learning intervention sets mentoring apart from coaching.

Summary

In summary, the distinctive features of Board Mentoring are as follows:

  • Based on a sustained relationship with the whole Board over months, even years
  • Works on the decision processes and team dynamics, not a specific outcome or recommendation
  • Board Mentors draw upon coaching skills to generate changing conversations
  • Works in-the-moment, like facilitators, intervening to catalyse Board discussion, often about unseen patterns impeding the performance of the Board
  • Board Mentors can draw upon a wide variety of methods, such as research techniques and other learning interventions
  • Board Mentors redress the lack of competence in the Board and bring insight and learning resources to bear.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Board Mentoring can play a pivotal role in Board effectiveness and performance but is not yet widely understood or practised often. I think this needs to change. Post-pandemic and hearing into the climate emergency, and facing unprecedented demands for greater inclusion and social justice, Boards will need to be on top of their game. Board Mentoring provides a distinct form of support that neither consulting, facilitation nor coaching can provide.

Dr Andrew Atter 

Startups

Ego: Time we talked about it

Strangely, the role of ego in startups is barely ever discussed, but it has a profound effect on success or failure of any new venture

The dynamics of ego – and how egos clash, compete or complement one another – is key to understanding why so many startups fail. In this article, I will offer a way to identify and harness our primal “drives” as entrepreneurs and hopefully reduce the frequency of startup failure and the pain this causes. It starts with learning to harness our ego-state and better reading the ego-states of others, and by having authentic, adult-to-adult conversations

Facing Reality 

The stats don’t look reassuring in the discussion about how startups survive in this VUCA, covid-damaged world. The stark facts are clear:

  • 20% of startups will fail in year 1
  • 50% will fail in year 5  
  • 65% will fail in year 10 

(Investopedia; Startup Playbook)

In the UK, these numbers are lower because of the stigma (and costs) associated with bankrupting a company. So the UK has a much longer tail of “zombie businesses”, unable to generate sufficient income nor able to grow. 

Neither universities keen to maximise employability, nor politicians keen to shift the onus of economic growth on to young founders, tend to mention these things. The stark reality is that even in the UK, the ratio of business births to deaths has deteriorated in recent years, despite the hype around startups.

As a former founder myself and later coach and mentor to many startups over 20+ years, I don’t believe that we’ve ever really got to grips with the underlying reasons for these patterns. Moreover, I think we’ve normed that high levels of business failure are just a “reality” and an acceptable cost to pay. I don’t believe this is the case, and we can do more to increase the frequency of success and mitigate the consequences of failure. 

Failure sucks!

The startup stats are not a reason not to start a business or social enterprise. It is a reason, though, to be very attentive to why so many smart, promising companies break up, often with high personal and professional costs. The “fail fast” mantra of the (now rich) startup gurus glosses over the painful reality: Failure sucks! Closing a business means high anxiety, broken friendships, debt, repetitional damage, and a loss of productivity to the economy. Even worse, the truth is that we don’t learn from failure. Some research suggests that failure might even reinforce negative or unproductive patterns in some situations by making us more defensive. 

It’s all about people

The reasons offered are surprisingly vague and superficial, with everyone agreeing that more research is needed. Global consultancy CB Insights researched this and produced a “laundry list”, rather unhelpfully headed with “Ran out of cash”. A middling factor was “Not the right team”, and trailing at the rear was “Lack of passion”, almost as if there was a parallel process. 

In my view, this is where such quantified research is flawed. It is self-evident that in a new business, the reasons for failure relate entirely – 100% – to the quality and functioning of the founder team. Unlike legacy corporations operating in complex, competitive markets, startups are by definition the product of the founder team’s skills, decision-making effectiveness, drive and agility. For example, if the startup was “outcompeted”, the third factor listed, the founder team chose to enter a crowded market and failed to build differentiating features into their proposition. 

This direct personal accountability suggests that all startup failure relates in some way to the dynamics of the startup team and what’s happening beneath the surface. 

Never showing vulnerability and having to be “continuously awesome” can create anxiety and team conflict

Starting up is primal 

The modern startup industry premise is that entrepreneurship is a rational act governed by principally economic motives, “the scientific method”, lean startup, market research, A/B testing, and validated learning. While this approach has some efficacy, it completely ignores the power of the unconscious mind. This relationship was described by psychologist Jonathan Haidt as like a child rider atop an elephant, trying to steer the beast in a direction it doesn’t want to go. Nobel-prizewinner economist Daniel Kahneman used a different metaphor, that of the monkey mind, to highlight the dangers of distractability and attention deficit. 

Being more rational in one aspect of running a business won’t offset irrationality in another. It doesn’t matter how smart or well educated you are; your mind comprises both a rational, conscious part and an unconscious part governed by emotion, intuition and psychic drivers. Without realising it, what seems to us logical and objective can turn out to be misguided energy from the unconscious.

Indeed, anecdotally, founders use terms like grit, passion, drives, and so on to describe what fuels them and keeps them going. While these drivers can be overwhelmingly positive, they can also generate strong adverse effects in team settings, such as…

  • a reduced capacity to listen, 
  • Distractability
  • Emotional volatility and anger management
  • being excessively competitive, 
  • continually outsmarting coworkers, and 
  • being “locked-on” to specific outcomes rather than being open to options. 

These micro-behaviours are the tiny fractures that can appear in the shaky fuselage of rapidly built startup machines. 

Understanding Our Unconscious Minds

The unconscious mind has long been a subject associated with the work of Freud and Jung and the realms of psychoanalysis and mental health pathology. Freud and Jung are such giants in the field that few people could name any other psychologist. This is like trying to understand contemporary biology by referencing Darwin. 

Fortunately, more accessible and scientifically validated ways exist to understand and work with the unconscious mind. One of the most accessible and best integrated is the field of Transactional Analysis (TA), developed by Eric Berne in the 1950s and ’60s following his experience as an army psychologist during WWII. Berne developed Freud’s thesis that the mind functions according to three distinct elements: the id, ego and superego. Berne reformulated this model and linked it to contemporary theories of developmental and cognitive psychology, and described how our unconscious minds were driven by three dynamic components, each trying to ensure its needs are met:

  • The child ego-state: Our creative, playful and energetic aspect, but also our vulnerability and fears
  • The adult ego-state: Our mature, capable, free-associating aspect, but also our wandering and restless spirit 
  • The parent ego-state: The commanding and controlling aspect, with our memories, warnings, and tendency to interfere and sometimes derail our best endeavours. 

Our unconscious minds are a function of the interaction of these elements and the extent to which they are in concert with one another or in conflict. Berne further realised that the dynamics within our own unconscious mind were impacted reflexively by the social relations surrounding us, and we, in turn, impacted others. Understanding this psychodynamic interaction is what transactional analysis is all about. 

Games, strokes, ruses, ruptures and rackets

Unlike Freud, Berne showed the practical everyday effect of these psychodynamics in a famous book, ‘Games People Play”, published in 1965. Research in this field has now gone global and spawned an industry of identifying and researching unconscious psychological games played unwittingly by people to get what they want without seeming to get what they want. In everyday behaviours, our unconscious minds communicate with each other via all sorts of means:

  • Social cues and “personal chemistry”, chit-chat
  • Games, power “plays” and manoeuvres, rackets and ruses
  • Cold-shouldering and avoidance
  • alliances, cabals and schemes
  • Gossip, back-chat, innuendo and jokes
  • inclusion/exclusion
  • body language
  • voice tone
  • word repetition
  • emotionally-laden 
  • metaphors 

For Berne, the key is strokes: Those units of recognition and affirmation we give each other to say, “you’re ok, I’m ok, we’re ok”. I’ll write more on this in future posts (here’s one post I’ve written already on games: link), but I’ll mention here, under the intense pressures of the startup, with its continual anxiety about “run rates” and “burn rates”, the scope for game-playing is virtually endless. Games that go wrong, “ruses” that are exposed and “rackets” that get busted lead to ruptured relationships and team breakups.  

We need social intelligence, not just smarter machines 

It is ironic that in an age when we seem obsessed with the intelligence of machines, we have almost given up on exploring the enormous potential of our own minds. Partly this results from pathologising the unconscious and seeing it only as a dangerous and unknowable place. Jung always disagreed with Freud, seeing our unconscious minds as a source of creativity, renewal, inspiration and passion. Eric Berne showed us this even more clearly, and in pragmatic everyday ways. Using TA, we can start to listen for and manage our unconscious minds at work. 

Growing our social intelligence, self-awareness and attunement with others will help us establish greater self-control and emotional maturity. For young tech founders, this growth is at least as necessary as their scalp in their social media or financial results if they want to build a sustainable business. 

There are several methods to grow social intelligence, as we’ll explore in other posts, but here’s a quick checklist:

  • Reflective journaling 
  • Mindfulness and labelling feelings
  • Creative activities, like drawing and music
  • Psychometrics
  • “Body keeps the score” metrics
  • Observation (of ourselves and others)
  • Contextual listening (of ourselves and others)
  • Powerful questioning (of ourselves and others)
  • Dialogue, both 1-2-1 and in groups (the “triad” method is highly effective in respect)
  • Deep reading
  • Feedback and feedforward
  • Being coached and mentored

Critical Incident Exercise: 

One of the best ways to understand how our unconscious mind is acting upon our everyday behaviours is to reflect on the recent past and recall specific instances or events in detail – called critical incidents

You can do this as a stand-alone or as part of an ongoing journal. You can also do this as a purely personal activity or as a team activity in which you share your reflections. But always with kindness. 

Q1: Think about a time in the past 90 days when you experienced strong positive or negative emotions whilst working on your startup. 

  • What caused the emotion? 
  • How did it impact your behaviour? 
  • What was the effect on others? 

Q2 Think about a time in the past 90 days when you acted in a totally unexpected way. 

  • What do you think caused this unexpected behaviour? 
  • What impact did this have on you and the rest of the team? 
  • How might this affect your team’s behaviour from now on? 

Q3 Think about a time in the past 90 days when a member of your startup team acted unexpectedly. 

  • What do you think caused this unexpected behaviour? 
  • What impact did this have on you and the rest of the team? 
  • How might this affect your team’s behaviour from now on? 

Simply, write down your answers in either short or long form, and think about ways you can share this in discussion with others. Repeating the activity often will train your mind to observe and listen to the unconscious mind at work. 

Conclusion 

By challenging our assumptions about startup failure and not accepting the current norms as acceptable or “normal”, we can create space to think about the deeper repetitive patterns that sometimes cause promising businesses to fail. 

As a former founder, coach and mentor, I observed that the powerful primal emotions that drive founders on are also the forces that create dissonance and conflict within teams, generating a combustible mix. 

We have the tools and methods to understand and manage our unconscious minds better than we’re doing now, with obvious benefits to our economic and mental health. 

Transactional analysis is a pragmatic and intuitive framework for working 1-2-1, in small groups or with whole teams. It’s one way we can learn to be more intelligent than the machines we’re building. 

Dr Andrew Atter

Psychodynamics

Book Review: Groups in Transactional Analysis, Object Relations, and Family Systems

Book Review

Groups in Transactional Analysis, Object Relations, and Family Systems

By N. Michel Landaiche, III

This review will shortly be published in the The Transactional Analyst, published by UK Association for Transactional Analysis (https://www.uka4ta.co.uk/transactional-analyst)

“Berne’s central focus in transactional analysis was to wake us up to the delusional aspects of our decision-making in order to place ourselves more securely in the world we actually inhabit.”

I confess that I bought Landaiche’s book on impulse, enticed by the 3-in-1 offer implied in the title and ever keep to fast-track my reading, finding the route of least resistance.

As ever, the laws of physics take over, and I found myself reading a book as densely packed as a neutron star.

For example, as early as p5, we’re treated to this incoming meteorite:

“human neurophysiology can be described as interdependent and cross-regulating, a collaboration and conflict between physiological and neurological processes (between body and mind), and a collaboration and conflict between individual and group (between forces for togetherness and forces for individuality).”

My Grammarly says helpfully: “A knowledgeable audience might find this sentence hard to read”.

Incoming giant boulders full of rare minerals keep coming, making it hard to skim at pace for slackers like me. It’s worth the effort though, and the book mostly delivers the goods inside the tin.

The book is a broad survey of three major components of psychodynamic theory:

  • Transactional analysis
  • Objects relations
  • Family systems

The book is packed with references and should get many students’ citations. There are times when it reads as one long book review. As an introduction to the material, it’s a helpful start, but it inevitably gets thin in parts and needs to move briskly. As in a complex crime drama, we are left wondering, “wait, how did we get here?” More staging and summarisation would make it easier to absorb.

It’s quite heavy and, in my view, could have done with more comparison and explanation of the theories and how they each measured up. That said, the book is very good on Bion and Berne. But less so on Bowen. I was left wanting more on IFS and would like Bowen to have been examined in similar detail.

The book begins with a detailed explanation of Bion and delivers a good synthesis, such as this gem:

“Bion’s insight that the psychoanalyst or other helping professional first processes the client’s unconscious material at a bodily, felt level, and then essentially works up from the body into the mind, where that experience can be symbolised even as it remains bodily rooted.”

After reviewing the key theories in the initial chapters, the book moves on to focus on Landaiches’s practitioner experience as a consultant and educator. There are some useful sections that show how the theories are being applied in context. The practitioner focus in the book almost brings in Kurt Kevin’s field theory as a fourth dimension.

“We modify how we work in accordance with the continuous feedback we receive in the form of our research data. We engage in an iterative process of action, evaluation, and modification that ideally fine-tunes our practice as it achieves our work. We learn from experience.”

As I said, it’s quite packed.

In Chapter 2, Landaiche explores the “Body/Mind” problem. And we find amongst the heavy rock some real glints of precious jewels, like this in Berne:

“Berne’s central focus in transactional analysis was to wake us up to the delusional aspects of our decision-making in order to place ourselves more securely in the world we actually inhabit.”

Chapter 2 offers a very good explanation of the central problem of working in groups, as Bion emphasised):

“The individual has to live in his own body, and his body has to put up with having a mind living in it” (p. 10).

Bowen is introduced to put this individual body/mind dilemma into the social context. Landaiche summarises Bowen as follows:

“Bowen believed that individual behavior could not be understood in isolation from the family emotional systems into which individuals are born and of which they remain an inextricable part throughout life.”

In chapter 2 we’re also introduced to Bion’s ontological concept of the “container”, that relational space shared between the therapist and the patient.

In Chapter 3, Landaiche explores learning and hating on groups. After introducing Berne, we start to get more practitioner examples of Landaiche’s own work in a subsection called “My Group Psychology”

Towards the end of the chapter there’s a quote from Berne highlighting the role of groups (Berne, 1963):

“One purpose of forming, joining, and adjusting to groups is to prevent biologic, psychological and also moral deterioration. Few people are able to “recharge their own batteries,” lift themselves up by their own psychological bootstraps, and keep their own morals trimmed without outside assistance.”

Chapters 4, 5 & 6 dwell on Landsiche’s own consultancy work. I confess to becoming a bit lost at certain points as these cases became anecdotal, and it was a real challenge to follow ALL the theoretical threads. Many were quite contextual, and as often with this type of fieldwork, certain cases will be more valuable than others.

In chapter 7, Landaiche delivers a useful insight summering these experiences:

“the intelligence of the group can function like a distributed network or system of processors, with problems broken down into components to be solved by the different processors—by the individuals with more complex brains—and then reintegrated at the system level.”

And, “something happens to our individual intellectual capacities when we bring our minds together in collaborative ways, something that a single human brain cannot achieve alone.”

This insight moves the work towards more contemporary thinking about mental networks, such as James Surowiecki’s “Wisdom of Crowds” and Geoff Mulgan’s “Big Mind”.

The pathology of groups unable to learn is explored, and Bowen is brought back into the picture:

“When this balance between the emotional and intellectual systems was absent, what predominated was what he called chronic anxiety. This reactivity no longer correlated with actual environmental cues and could spread throughout the system like a wildfire; it was a heightened panic that overwhelms the ability for thoughtfulness.”

However, along the way, we’ve had references to Kolb, Janis, Schein & Kuhn, and many others, contributing to this over-packed feel, rather like an overfilled burger. Tasty, but hard to digest.

In chapter 8, we look at a broader community perspective, such as professional associations, sports clubs and spiritual organisations, etc and yet more references in the form of Senge, Stacey etc, etc.

In chapter 9, we move to “Principles and practices of group work”, addressing leadership and followership and how we can encourage this transmissive learning.

Landaiche issues a call to action:

“Reproducing life requires the transfer of information—everything from DNA to instruction sets for sheltering, feeding, child-rearing, and warring. And in any species for which the transferred information and relevant behavioural sequences cannot simply be activated automatically via genetic or epigenetic expression, some form of instructing is key to preparing the next generation. …

And,

“since that instructing and training must meet acceptable minimum standards for survival over time—not only of the immediate young but of succeeding generations—such training is an activity of urgent interest to the community, sometimes even an activity of the whole community. …

To what extent can we influence that succession? When does that influence serve our principles more than our reactivity?”

(Landaiche, 2015)

In the concluding chapter, Landaiche offers a fair and well-balanced reflection on his own work:

“What I have written in this book represents, at best, an intuitive synthesis of these three frames of reference, even though articulating a clear and actual integration of these theories is, regrettably, outside the scope of this book”

There’s no doubt the book is a bit of a slog, but rather like a yomp throw rain-soaked landscape, where the light breaks through and makes it all worthwhile.

This will be one of those well-thumbed books, with a forest of post-its sticking out, with those strange hard-to-remember symbols written in the margins. Not an easy way out of psycho-theory overload, sadly. But Landaiche is a good ally to have on your professional journey.

Dr Andrew Atter

Video Library