Sex and Power - A workshop in the Here-and-Now

Drawing on the methodologies of Adaptive Leadership and Group Relations, this workshop will be an experiential opportunity to surface and examine our explicit and implicit assumptions about sex and powerWe will create the conditions for a deep dive into understanding the adaptive processes of social structures, the here-and now dynamics of power across gender identities, and the challenging and candid conversations that can lead us to personal insights about our own exercise of leadership.

In contrast to our large general conferences – which you can look forward to attending in October 2019 – this will be a smaller gathering using a powerful kind of holding environment technique -- the here-and-now method of Tavistock/A.K. Rice/Group Relations Conferences,

This will not be a traditional conference with speakers and panels, but a fully immersive experience that will help us surface and learn by examining our group dynamics and how that reveals the assumptions we hold about Sex and Power, particularly as they relate to the exercise of leadership and authority.

This gathering is a unique opportunity for our members and guests to participate in a workshop that draws both on the Group Relations methodology and the Adaptive Leadership framework to explore critical dynamics that may lie just outside of our awareness. Paying close attention to in-the-moment personal and collective experience and the exchanges occurring in our groups we can forge new insights about things like, boundary management, authority, and the process of damage and repair of trust in relationships within and across gender lines.

Note that our gathering will be limited to 60 people in order to explore this method, so places will fill up fast.

Click here to read some of Ron Heifetz's thoughts on the importance of the theme of this workshop!

The workshop will be lead by two eminent experts: Dannielle Kennedy, directing the Group Relations approach and Hugh O’Doherty, directing the Adaptive Leadership approach. Read their interview on why they are engaging in this workshop and with this topic here!

Questions that may come up include: What is exploding in front of us? Why has it caught fire? Can we make this a cultural shift rather than another pressure cooker valve just letting off steam? What does it mean for our own lives and practice of leadership? What is the role for anger and shame? How does this affect the covert game of sexual exchange where conquests signal power and prestige? What does masculinity mean? What does femininity mean? What is the essence of our gendered selves and what connects us to this sense of who we are, our sexual identity?

Draft Agenda

The team:

Dannielle Kennedy, Ph.D., co-founder and principal of WorkLab, is a former President of the Board of Directors of the Boston Center of the A.K. Rice Institute and has frequently directed conferences on authority and leadership in the Tavistock tradition. As both an organizational consultant and licensed clinician, she works with people and organizations to develop a deep understanding of themselves and the contexts in which they seek to have impact. 

The daughter of a union organizer and a mother born before women were permitted to vote, Dannielle grew up acutely attuned to the conditions that create oppression and privilege.  She considers the current shifts in gender identity and roles perhaps the least understood and most personally and profoundly relevant dynamics defining the well-being of individuals and groups today.  Dr. Kennedy holds a Ph.D. from Simmons School of Social Work and is currently a candidate for certification as a Psychoanalyst at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.  

Hugh O’Doherty, Adjunct Lecturer, was raised in Northern Ireland.  He has taught leadership and conflict resolution at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the University of Maryland, and the John F Kennedy School of Government. At the University of Maryland, he directed the Ireland-US Public Leadership Program for “emerging” leaders from all the political parties in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, he directed the Inter-Group Relations Project, an initiative bringing together political and community leaders in Ireland to establish protocols for political dialogue. Hugh has consulted extensively with a wide variety of clients including the Irish Civil Service, the American Leadership Forum, the Episcopalian Clergy Leadership Program, and the Mohawk Community Leadership Program in Canada. He has also consulted in Bosnia, Croatia, and Cyprus and has addressed the United Nations Global Forum on Re-Inventing Government. Hugh earned an M.Ed and Ed.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Other facilitators include:

Candice A. Crawford-Zakian, Psy.D., is a consulting psychologist specializing in system psychodynamics, leadership development and innovation. Dr. Crawford-Zakian works with a variety of boutique consulting firms and academic institutions. She is a leadership consultant and executive coach at INSEAD (France), a globally recognized international business school, and an executive coach in the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), Doctorate of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program. She also holds faculty appointments at HGSE and William James College where she teaches courses on group dynamics and team development. In addition, Dr. Crawford-Zakian is an affiliate consultant for Konu, LLC., a boutique consultancy specializing in Adaptive Leadership and Immunity to Change. She is also a consultant at Subculture, a firm that leverages design thinking and leadership, founded by former IDEO practitioners.

Dr. Crawford-Zakian is a certified consultant of the AK Rice Institute and Director of the 2019 – 2021 residential group relations conference series, sponsored by the Boston the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS), an affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute. This conference series is conducted in the Tavistock tradition.

Heather Churchill, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Austen Riggs Center (ARC) in Stockbridge, MA. At the ARC, she works as a clinician and is the Associate Director of the Therapeutic Community Program, as well as the Health and Wellness Coordinator. She is a certified consultant of the AK Rice Institute is current president of the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems (CSGSS), a non-profit group that develops events in the group relations tradition of open systems and psychodynamic theory.

Suma Jacob, M.D., Ph.D, is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. As neuroscientist and a licensed clinician with a background in human development, she directs autism research and interdisciplinary teams. She also works with non-profits and companies that serve the region and conduct international projects. With expertise in cross-species social neuroscience, she subsequently discovered group relations during her adult psychiatry training in California. In addition to her scientific studies of sex-differences and implicit bias, she explores psychoanalytic models and older eastern theories about latent mental tendencies that shed light on the unconscious processes that influence group behaviors. Dr. Jacob became a certified consultant of the AK Rice Institute after she completed her child psychiatry training in Chicago. Motivated by her experiences of growing up as an immigrant in black-white Chicago and a women of color in our current global context, she 1) directs and consults to group relations conferences studying authority and leadership, and 2) employs innovative methods to catalyze learning about dynamics related to power differentials with cultural and historical minorities, as with this conference focused on Sex and Power.

Jim Krantz, a Principal of Worklab Consulting, is an organizational consultant and researcher from New York City.  Jim has consulted widely, in both the for profit and not for profit sectors, primarily in the area of strategy implementation.  Jim received his Ph.D. in Systems Sciences from the Wharton School and has taught on the faculties of Wharton, Yale, and the Universidad de Chile.  He is past president of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations and the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems in Boston.  He has served on the staff and directed Group Relations Conferences around the world and is a Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute.  Jim’s writing centers on the unconscious background of work organizations, the socio-psychological challenges of emerging forms of organizations, and the nature of leadership development. 


Member Workshop Fee
·         $590 (after August 31)
Non-Member Workshop Fee
·         $990 (after August 31)

Scholarship Rate for ALN Members: $199

To apply for the Scholarship Rate, please fill out this application.

10 ALN members will be selected for the Scholarship Rate. If you have already purchased a ticket and are selected for the Scholarship Rate, you will be refunded the difference.


  • October 26, 2018 at 5pm – October 28, 2018
  • Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA


$790.00 Early Bird Workshop Fee (Non-Members) NM6