More Podcasts & Show Notes

Dr Simon Western

Simon moved from the bustling centre of London to live in Galway on the edge of Europe and be inspired from the margins. Founder and CEO Analytic-Network Coaching Ltd, Adjunct Professor UCD, Past President of International psychoanalytic society and activist.  As an internationally renowned coach and academic Simon utilizes critical theory, psychoanalysis and social movement theory but most importantly draws on his psychotherapist past, social activism, faith and his current leadership work with global business to locate his thinking in lived experience.


Introducing Edgy Ideas

Leadership, Activism, Coaching & Citizenship


This first series engages world class coaches, leaders and academics, in conversations about the psycho-social dynamics playing out in relation to this pandemic. Our guests will explore the specific cultural and social anxieties that are emerging in their country. We will discuss leadership, politics, work, diversity, living and citizenship, bringing to the fore the conscious and unconscious dynamics experienced. We will conclude each podcast by exploring the possibilities of living a 'good life' in the face of this trauma, and the potential to develop a ‘good society’ as we exit from this pandemic.


Ep 29. Faith in Leadership with Krish Raval OBE

Krish Raval is the Founder and Director of Faith in Leadership (FiL), Britain’s main leadership development organisation working with inter-faith communities. As a practicing Hindu he works with senior leaders and clerics from Muslim, Christian and Jewish faith communities.  In this conversation Krish shares his work and experiences of leading this inter-faith community.  Simon and Krish share their thoughts on how Eco-Leadership expresses the inter-dependencies and rich learning potential not only between faith communities but also between faith and secular organisations. Krish explains that the most powerful learning and development he observes, comes from leaders being with others, and learning how to work with and learn from differences, rather than being taught leadership skills.  This aligns with Simon's theory of Leadership formation, which was inspired by his stay in a monastic hermitage. Simon noticed that monks were not taught 'monk skills' but were formed by the monastic life; the prayer, liturgy, rituals, work, spiritual direction, community life, self reflection and service to others. Krish's FiL work recognises this and he creates spaces for leadership formation to happen. He is currently developing the idea of ‘radical hospitality’, sharing his personal experience that inviting others into your home or place of worship to eat together, can be a transformative act.  In this wide-ranging conversation Krish recalls his conversation with Nelson Mandela and  he shares why he believes faith leadership in our communities is so important, to all society.



Krish Raval is the Founder and Director of Faith in Leadership (FiL), Britain’s main leadership development organisation to work with senior and emerging clerical and lay leaders from the main faith communities.  Based at St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford, Krish supports and mentors FiL’s extraordinary alumni network. Whether addressing refugee and human trafficking matters, running foodbanks, contending with right-wing agitators outside Mosques or Synagogues, addressing the fallout from the murders of servicemen or dealing with Covid-19, FiL alumni are the nexus of intelligent faith in the public square in Britain today.


Krish read law at Cambridge and Sheffield Universities, started a leadership development programme for young people when he was in his twenties, and has interviewed icons of leadership including Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Nelson Mandela and HH The Dalai Lama.  He’s the only person to have been award an OBE for services to leadership education and inter-faith cohesion

Ep 28. Psychoanalysis & Culture with Caroline Bainbridge


Caroline is Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis and in this podcast she shares her thoughts on a wide range of topics. She shares reflections on how our engagement with social media shapes our emotional and relational lives, and how psychoanalysis can help us untangle ourselves from the pervasive media and culture that we can't escape. Our cell phones are not only objects and tools that we use, but they are both intimately close to our bodies, and they are objects we internalise, taking emotional, affective space in our lives.


Caroline discusses how 'not being able to breathe' has become a metaphor for our time. George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, "I cant breath",  climate crisis with pollution and fires choking cities, the Covid pandemic and millions of respiratory deaths, and the suffocating ideology of neo-liberalism that closes down other spaces, are all part of our emotional, cognitive and physical experience of living today.  Simon and Caroline discuss cinema and much more in this fascinating podcast.



Caroline is Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis at Roehampton University, where she is based until the end of July 2021. She's also a practising member of the Analytic Coaching Network. She trained as an organisational consultant at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust. Underlying all her endeavours is a profound fascination with psychoanalysis, which she first encountered as an undergraduate studying languages. Caroline established and co-directed the Media and the Inner World research network between 2009-13, and now co-edits a book series on the theme of popular culture and psychoanalysis for Routledge. She is a widely published author of books and journal articles, a Founding Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council, and a former editor of the journal, Free Associations. Outside work she cheers on Liverpool FC through their highs and lows, and makes the most of living close to a beach with an art installation called Another Place. This conjuncture of art on the border between land and sea fuels the imagination and soothes the soul. For more information, see

Ep 27. Neuropsychoanalysis with Mark Solms


Mark is a pioneer in the field of neuroscience founding the term Neuropsychoanalysis.  In this very rich discussion Mark shares his insights into ‘where the brain meets the mind’. Previously the neuroscience focus was to study the brain in terms of cognition and behaviour, yet Mark saw that this missed out on what is really astonishing about the brain, that it is an organ of feeling, emotion and subjectivity.  Marks research is extensive, and the application to organisations and leadership is discussed in this podcast.  For example, through his research he shares his findings of how our brains are conditioned towards play in groups, as well as competition.  Play and hierarchy are both part of the same behavioural pattern, where an essential part of play is to act out group dominance.  However Mark describes the 60-40 rule, if an individual dominates play for more than 60% of the time, the play ends- it’s not fun anymore! If we look at leadership through this lens, we see how leaders who are too dominant and too controlling soon lose their followership. Mark’s latest book with excellent reviews is  Hidden Spring A journey to the source of consciousness



Mark Solms is a South African psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist.  He pioneers psychoanalytic methods in contemporary neuroscience founding the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000.  He holds many roles including the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town , Founding President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. and Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York.  In his free time Mark is a passionate wine maker, co-owning a vineyard cooperative.


Ep 26. Psychoanalysis and Organisations

with David Armstrong


David Armstrong is a thought leader and inspiration to many working in the field of psychoanalysis and organisations. In this podcast David shares his experiences of working with pioneers in the field after joining the Tavistock Institute in 1959. David describes how alive the Tavistock project was in its early days.  Innovations coming from the Tavistock Clinic through infant observation, attachment theory and the work of Menzies-Lythe and Ronnie Laing among many others. And from the Tavistock Institute through Eric Miller, Eric Trist and A.K. Rice and colleagues. David shares his experience of attending Wilfred Bion’s study group and how he became engaged in psychoanalytic work led by the Tavistock Clinic.  He shares how the work in the Institute had a radical and political edge.  ‘Democratising the workplace’ was and is, one of David’s inspirations in this field, and remains vital today. David discusses the question, ‘what is a psychoanalytic approach to organisations’, and highlights the importance of the action-research approach, which he feels has become marginalised, as a drift towards external consultancy now dominates the psychoanalytic-systems approach.  David discusses the mutual interaction between the external and internal world as key to his work, and how there has been a shift from working with the Organisation-in-the-mind, to Networks-in-the-mind.  In this wide-ranging discussion, David shares his interest in how religious dissenting traditions such as Methodism also influenced the psychoanalytic-organisational field, bringing  social change and the group to the fore.



David studied philosophy at Oxford University then trained as a psychologist in Cambridge University and has worked in action research and organisational consultancy for over 60 years. He joined the Tavistock Institute working alongside some of the pioneers in the field.  David went on to work in the Grubb Institute and Tavistock Consultancy Service.  David has worked in this field with senior executives and executive teams in business, government, health and education in the UK and worldwide.  His experience includes working with executives in pharmaceuticals, investment banking, NHS trusts, local government, higher education, prison governors and for senior civil servants. He is a leading thinker in the domain of psychoanalysis and organisations, bringing insights and sharing experiences that have inspired the wider field. David is a distinguished member of ISPSO. David is author of Organization in the Mind: Psychoanalysis,Group Relations and Organizational Consultancy, edited by Robert French.

Ep 25. Whistleblowing with Professor Kate Kenny


Professor Kate Kenny is a leading expert in the field of Whistleblowing.  In this podcast Kate draws on psychosocial approaches to take a fresh look at Whistleblowing. Whistle-blowers are consistently treated by the media and public as traitors or hero’s. Take Edward Snowden, for some he is a courageous hero who sacrificed his career and put himself in danger for ‘truth-telling’, for others he is a traitor for giving away secrets to enemies of the state.  Kate builds a broader case that situates whistle-blowers in their organisational and social context. In this fascinating conversation Kate discusses how whistleblowing is an organisational phenomenon and how group and social dynamics influence how whistle-blowers act, and how they are responded to.  Many organisations respond positively to whistle-blowers yet some continue to enact 'whistleblower retaliation'. Kate also discusses the importance of organisations more generally, and how they impact on our psychic and emotional lives, individually and collectively.



Kate Kenny is Professor of Business and Society at NUI Galway.  She has held research fellowships at the Edmond J. Safra Lab at Harvard University and Cambridge's Judge Business School.  Her research focuses on organization studies, specifically political and psychosocial approaches. She has researched whistleblowing in organisations since 2010. Along with numerous articles in peer review journals on this topic, she has published two books on whistleblowing: Whistleblowing: Toward a new theory (Harvard University Press, 2019) and  The Whistleblowing Guide’ (Wiley Business, 2019, with Wim Vandekerckhove and Marianna Fotaki). She has written and contributed to articles in the Financial Times, the Irish Times, the Guardian among others.  Her work has been cited in the UK House of Commons, Ireland’s parliament and in policy documents at EU level.  Kate’s recent book 'Whistleblowing: Toward a new theory' (Harvard University Press, 2019)  adopts a psychosocial framing to whistleblowing. Her book The 'Whistleblowing Guide' (Wiley, 2019) with Professors Wim Vandekerckhove and Professor Marianna Fotaki is aimed at practicing managers, coaches and others working in this space. The Psychosocial and Organization Studies (Palgrave, 2014 with Professor Marianna Fotaki) is an edited collection of contributions from experts in this field. Watch an interview with Kate and Chris Smalls, Amazon whistleblower mentioned in the discussion.  Short pieces on Covid-19, healthcare and whistleblowing (as mentioned), featured in the The Conversation and RTE Brainstorm  Reports, videos and research from Professor Kenny are all on

Ep 24. Does accreditation undermine coaching quality?

With Daniel Doherty


In this episode Daniel shares his research and experience of credentialing and accreditation in coaching.  His findings ask many questions about the credibility of practices, often delivered by self-appointed regulation bodies, some that make a lot of money from the process.  Daniel identifies eight consumer types of coaches in relation to accreditation and credentialing:  The Enthusiast, Complier, Susceptible, Pragmatist, Procrastinator, Agnostic, Ideologue and Inquirer; each seeking or resisting accreditation and credential for different reasons.  Daniel and Simon discuss the importance of critical thinking to question these credentialing norms, and how the practice of attaining accreditation is often a process more aligned with audit culture and collecting a number of hours in training and practice with very little quality control on what happens in those hours.  An important podcast for coaches, trainers and HR and managers purchasing coaching.



After thirty years experience of coaching and business consulting that became increasingly  globalised in nature, Daniel returned to the UK from South Africa in 2005, to complete a PhD and to teach and research in a variety of Higher Education Institutions.  In 2006 Daniel founded the Critical Coaching Research Group, which he continues to lead to this day. His preferred research idiom is narrative practice; in the past two years he has authored two satirical novels set in the coaching world, and is in the process of writing a series of ‘plays for voices.’

Ep 23. Lynne Sedgmore CBE -

Women's Leadership: My Journey


In this episode Lynne shares her personal leadership journey and  thoughts on women's leadership. Lynne was born into a working-class community, and travelled a long and fascinating journey to the top of the educational establishment.  Lynne draws on two defining influences that have shaped her work, feminism and spirituality.  Lynne now runs her own leadership programme based on Goddess spirituality.  She believes that creating a separate and sacred space outside of mainstream leadership development allows for counter-cultural innovations to emerge that can challenge the patriarchal thinking that continues to define leadership practice.  Lynne is an inspirational leader and speaker and I hope you enjoy this podcast.



Lynne was born into a working-class mining community, and had a successful mainstream career in FE as a lecturer and college Principal. She has been a national education influencer, becoming CEO of a national  institute and working at Prime ministerial level with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Lynne has received many awards and was given a CBE in 2002.  Throughout her journey spirituality has been core to her being.  Lynne is now a Priestess and Founder of the Goddess Luminary Wheel leadership development programme. She is an elder who coaches individuals and teams in a range of organisations, especially charities. Her work on spirituality in the workplace received international recognition with books and articles written on her unusual contribution.  Lynne has a Doctorate in spiritual leadership, has published 3 poetry collections and her new book Leading through the Goddess will be published later this year.

Ep 22. Work is Absurd with Richard Claydon


Richard is a thought leader who looks at organisational life through the lens of irony and absurdity. In this discussion with Simon, he shares his thoughts on the need to support those ironists who bring something special and vitally important to organisational life. He shares his research that revealed 4 types of ironist, the Apollonion ironist who sits like a God looking down, commenting from a distance, the Sarcastic ironist, who retreats to the sidelines to poke fun at the absurd enthusiasms of others, the Trickster ironist who intervenes with humour, wit and thought to make things happen and to reveal and bridge gaps, and the Wise ironist who pulls the strings from the background and predicts what will happen. These ironists and liminal thinkers can be either a force for dysfunction or for development. Richard believes it is our task to find these organisational people,  and make the space to guide their work towards well-being and development. Enjoy the listen!



Richard’s work focuses on the dimensions of high performance during long-term organisational transformations, in which volatility, uncertainty complexity and ambiguity are inherent to the business environment. Described as “full of daring and imagination” and “touchstone for the future of management and organisation”, his research examines ways in which plural and diverse ideas emerge in individuals, teams and cultures; how criticality and creativity are communicated to more powerful others; and how you can develop the capacity for this across an organisation.

Ep 21. Queer Culture with Lauren Levy


Lauren identifies as a queer creative.  Growing  up as straight female, Lauren embraced her Queerness at the age of 27.  Since then professionally and in her personal life she is devoted to exploring life outside the Eurocentric norm and how this impacts on herself and others.  In this discussion Simon and Lauren explore how queer and non-binary ideas and practices meet resistance and why this is.  They also discuss how Queer culture provides new hope, offering liberation for those adopting queer and non-binary ways-of-being and also for wider society. Breaking the binaries that entrap us, emancipates all of us from the bondage of conformity.  It breaks through us and them dynamics enabling difference and diversity to flourish ..... enjoy this exploration of Queerness!



Lauren has a Bachelor's degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution and a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She grew up in Southern California and currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works in mental health.  For the past five years, she has actively been pursuing the study of group dynamics doing work as a Co-Creator for Group Relations International and as a member of the A.K. Rice Institute.  Lauren loves riding and competing on American Quarter Horses and is currently a World Finalist (Top 15 in the World) in multiple events.

Ep 20. Humanising Organisations with Gianpiero Petriglieri


Gianpiero is an internationally renowned thinker in the field of leadership and learning in the workplace. He brings a clinical lens to his research and teaching, which he begun acquiring while training as a medical doctor and a psychiatrist, and refined in two decades of coaching, consulting, teaching, and researching people’s working lives.


At the heart of this conversation is the idea that humanising organisations requires revisiting our conceptions of leadership. ‘Caring,’ Gianpiero argues, needs to be put at the core of leadership thinking and practice, rather than kept at its periphery. He shares the idea that ‘"we often make an instrumental argument for making humanistic organisations, and every time we do that, humanism dies from 100 cuts”.


Gianpiero invites us to consider how the current challenges that many organizations experience, such as a struggle with innovation or inclusion, might be side effects of our devotion to dehumanized models of organizing.  The notion of alignment, for example, often serves as a cover for the pursuit of conformity, which in turn undermines the desire for diversity. Among other wide-ranging topics, our conversation reflects on identity and what it means to be cosmopolitan in world that is struggling with helping people belong to a place and also be engaged world citizens. Enjoy this wonderful podcast!



Gianpiero is associate professor of organizational behaviour at INSEAD. His award-winning research and teaching focus on what it means, and what it takes, to become a leader. He is particularly interested in the development and exercise of leadership in the age of "nomadic professionalism," in which people have deep bonds to work but loose affiliations to institutions, and authenticity and mobility have replaced loyalty and advancement as hallmarks of virtue and success.  Gianpiero's research has appeared in leading academic journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Learning & Education.  He also writes essays regularly for the Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review. His work has been featured in a range of media including the BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Quartz, Vox, Le Figaro and El Pais, and he is listed among the 50 most influential management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 .

Ep 19. Teams:

The Heartbeat of Organisations with guest Tara Nolan


Tara Nolan is fascinated by teams and has worked extensively with teams as a coach.  In this episode, Tara reflects on her work and her insights from interviewing experts and team leaders in her podcast ‘A Game of Teams’. Teams are the heartbeat of organisational success and this episode Tara and Simon discuss team dynamics, team leadership and the changing nature of how teams are working in more fluid and virtual ways, and what this means in terms of containment, trust, leadership and performance.  Tara Nolan is the host of The Game of Teams Podcast, a podcast that was born out of her fascination with teams, her work with teams as a Team Coach and her interest in exploring the thoughts and thinking of others who have a role in making teams great.


Bio: Tara is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) and Systemic Team Coach and she uses systems thinking, team essentials, team structure, diagnostics, dialogue, group dynamics, emotional and social intelligences, mindfulness and reflective practices to inform her thinking and approach with teams. She is a facilitator and regular contributor to various publications and respected thought leader on teams.  Tara started her career as an Investment Banker working for Morgan Stanley in the City of London. She now lives in Dublin and has her own company called Tara Nolan LTD. and

Ep 18. From the Barricades to the Boardroom with Chris Yates Chief Talent Officer at Ford Motor Company


Chris Yates has travelled a big journey, coming from the West Indies to London as a child, brought up by a single parent, he has held some of the biggest 'people jobs' in the business world. Currently Chief Talent Officer at Ford Motor Company, previously General Manager of Learning & Development at Microsoft, Chief Learning Officer and Head of People and Organizational Development for Caterpillar Inc. and he served in senior roles at HSBC bank and American Express.  Chris is also co-author of two books titled Share and Rewire.


In this podcast Chris reflects on this journey, sharing how being in a football gang as a teenager gave him support and identity and what it means to carry a black body into all white boardrooms.  Chris's insights reveal how important it is to hold on to a very human identity in workplaces that consciously and unconsciously pressurise employees to conform to the norm, through dress and behavioral codes. Chris shares his view that employee's need to be given permission to bring their individuality and their deepest human selves back into the workplace, if we are to create the 'good society'.

Ep 17. Diversity and Inclusion:

Are you performing or reforming with Pooja Sachdev


Pooja Sachdev is a leading practitioner in the diversity and inclusion space. Pooja discusses with Simon the real challenges faced by organisations when working on diversity and inclusion. This conversation reveals how language can be used to silence people rather than open up discussions, and how we need to 'decriminalise bias' if we are to acknowledge our conscious and unconscious biases.


Pooja and Simon discuss their personal experiences of working with diversity; Pooja from a perspective of her 'hyphenated' Indian-UK identity,  and Simon as a white UK male. They discuss shame and guilt, and how racism is often repressed but returns in different ways in each generation, the latest wave being the Black Lives Matter movement.


Organisations are often performative in the way they use woke-slogans to cover up hidden toxic cultures. A shift is needed from woke and blame cultures towards creating safe spaces that encourage curious conversations, which can reveal what's really going on, and enable positive reform and changes to be made.  Enjoy this podcast.


Note: Pooja and Simon will be leading a Webinar titled 'Diversity and Inclusion: Are you performing or reforming' on January 28th 2021 3-5pm UK time.  For more information contact



Pooja is a business psychologist, organisational consultant and founder of Rewire Consulting (  Pooja is co-author of 'Rewire: A Radical Approach to Tackling Diversity and Difference', which was published by Bloomsbury in 2015 and described by the FT as "the most refreshing approach to diversity I have read" (Nov 4, 2015).

Prior to setting up her own practice, she served as Senior Policy Officer at the (then) Commission for Racial Equality in the UK and as a Consultant in the Human Capital division at Towers Watson. In recent years, she has consulted with organisations such as Microsoft, Caterpillar, HSBC, Universal, Annapurna Pictures, Vice Media and Red Bull to help embed inclusive leadership and practices.  She has lived in three countries and is raising two feisty and fabulous daughters in London

Ep 16. A Voice from Egypt with Dina Hassan


Dina Hassan lives in Egypt and works as a clinical forensic psychoanalyst. In a wide ranging conversation, Dina shares her experience of life in Egypt and her time spent studying in Ireland.  Dina is 30 years old and a few years ago chose to wear a veil. Dina shares her experience of how this played out with her peers and challenges our perceptions of what it means to wear a veil.  Dina discusses her love of psychoanalysis and how it sits culturally in Egypt.  She identifies as half Egyptian and half Scottish and is passionate about her country and the food of the country.  Enjoy the listen.

Ep 15. Why coaching needs to change

with Professor Tatiana Bachkirova


Professor Tatiana Bachkirova shares her deep knowledge of coaching and in conversation with Simon they explore some of the limitations of coaching practice today, and what can be done to change this. Tatiana and Simon are both advocates for coaching and believe coaching to be a hugely important developmental practice, yet they see problems in how coaching is practiced today.  The mainstream coaching focus on positivity and positive psychology and the lack of criticality are central concerns.  The conversation explores how to develop a more critical-reflective approach to coaching that supports clients and workplaces to become more developmental, rather than simply develop resilience and try to promote positive thinking.



Tatiana Bachkirova is Professor of Coaching Psychology and Co-Director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University, UK.  She is a recognised author, international speaker and an active researcher.  Her books include Developmental Coaching: Working with the Self (2011) and The SAGE Handbook of Coaching (2017).

Ep 14. Technology and Culture  with Jeff de Klein


Jeff is a sinologist and has spent many years working and living in China. He works as a leader in the world of technology and has worked in global tech companies and now is CEO /owner of a mid size tech company. In 2018 Simon and Jeff presented together at a conference exploring how new technologies pull us in two competing directions, towards centralisation and to decentralisation. Techno utopians led us to believe that the internet and other technologies would lead to a greater democratization and egalitarian society, whilst techno-dystopians claim these new technologies increasingly centralise power and limit individual freedom.  Jeff discusses these issues and shares insights on how Chinese culture adapts to these pulls and compares his experience of how western culture addresses these issues.



Prior to becoming Dilaco's CEO in August 2019, Jeff served as a Senior Director for HP in Asia-Pacific and Greater China, the company's fastest growing region and one of its largest country markets. Before joining HP in 2011, Jeff was country director Greater China for Canon and Oce. He cultivates leadership through benevolence, righteousness, propriety, learning, and trustworthiness throughout his work.  Placing prime importance on inspiring and connecting people to take care of themselves and encouraging dynamic and positive collaboration within and across teams. Jeff is also very involved in growing the understanding between China and the West, comparing chinese and western societies from a historical perspective of human consciousness. Here he has a special focus on leadership, based on the belief that Chinese and Western principles and practice of leadership are largely complementary, and an understanding of both is required to be a complete leader.

Jeff is a trained Analytic-Network Coach and co-wrote a chapter on Chinese leadership in Global Leadership Perspectives: Insights and Analysis (Western and Garcia Sage 2018)

Ep 13. In Praise of the Flask - The Art of Living the Good Life


In this podcast I read a short essay that explores the art of living the good life through the lens of the thermos flask. Internalised as a childhood ‘good object’ that represented happy times- family holidays and mountain walks- and it produced ‘good things’ that comforted me; warm nourishing soup and hot coffee. It acted as a transitional object when I travelled, bridging home and my place of arrival, and it became a lost symbol when consumerism and the cappuccino cult seduced me and millions of others to abandon the flask. Covid19 lockdown closed the cafes I frequented and a ‘return of the repressed’ occurred. The flask re-emerged and ‘flask-time’ has once again become an important part of my life, in unexpected ways. Flask-time is a special time, a transcendent time beyond ‘ordinary time’. Flask-time by-passes consumerism, connects me to the past, present and future, and emancipates me from patterns I was previously entrapped in. I praise the flask, because it engages me in a slower and freer experience, it inspires a micro-resistance to consumer society, and it re-connects me to nature, home produced food and to what it means to live the good-life.  A print version of this essay can be found here: In Praise of the Flask

Ep 12.  The Pleasures of Power with Jonathan Gosling


Professor Jonathan Gosling has been working in leadership development across the globe and in diverse settings for many years.


In this podcast he discusses with Simon the pleasures of power. They reflect on their own relationships to power, those of leaders they have coached and the tangled collusions around domination and submission. Many leaders who seem powerful to others feel themselves to be trapped in organisational cultures that render them quite powerless in these totalising corporate systems. Power can be harnessed for the benefit of others, and can give individuals meaning and a sense of agency and identity, and it can also feed ego and be coercive.


Jonathan offers the novel idea of "powering" turning power into a verb that opens up how power is used tactically in situations.


The discussion ends with reflecting on how power may or may not support the good life and good society.


Bio  Jonathan Gosling is a sailor, emeritus professor and consultant to OD projects in primary health services in southern Africa. He is also lead faculty with the Forward Institute ( to promote responsible leadership. He is director, Pelumbra Ltd (, and was previously Professor of Leadership at the Universities of Lancaster and Exeter. His own troubled relatedness to power and the people who wield it has drawn him into most of his career-defining predicaments - in universities, community mediation, private equity firms, electronics companies, governments, emergency response agencies and more.

Ep 11.  The Whiteness Paradigm with Michael Lindsay


Michael and Simon, two white men, discuss whiteness as a paradigm. Their conversation draws on their personal experiences and addresses the wider systemic issues that are at play. They reflect on how white fragility plays out, and what it will take to enable people to move from being defensive, to engage with the vulnerable curiosity that is required to lead to change.   Whiteness is often referred to as a place of privilege and entitlement, as clearly it is in many social settings. Yet ‘whiteness’ is not homogenous, and there are millions of white underclass in the USA (referred to as 'white trash') and across Europe,  economically impoverished who have lost the dignity of work and class solidarity, and don’t feel privileged and entitled at all.  What can we do to address this aspect of ‘whiteness’ who’s rage can lead to supporting populist and xenophobic right-wing leaders?  Acknowledging complexity, this conversation explores what can be done to challenge centuries of racial domination and abuse, and the endemic racism that still exists in society today. Questioning the whiteness paradigm is an important part of this process.


Bio Michael Lindsay is a consulting and clinical psychologist practicing in San Diego, CA. He is interested in supporting the development of consciousness and courage in leaders, organizational cultures, and in society, using Systems Psychodynamic and Integral frameworks. Michael is serving as an Internal Director on the Board of the AK Rice Institute. He is a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. In addition to his clinical and consulting practices, Michael is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of San Diego in the Leadership Studies Dept. He has also been a yoga instructor for over 10 years and together with his husband, Michael is raising two boys, one 7 and the other 3, in a bi-lingual household.

Ep 10.  Anarchism, Management and Social Change with Professor Martin Parker


Edgy ideas are a speciality from my guest Martin Parker.  As Professor of Organization Studies at Bristol University, Martin challenges mainstream ideas about how we think about organisations, leadership and management.  His recent books ‘Shut down the Business school’ and 'Anarchism, Organization and Management' are discussed in this vibrant conversation. Martin draws on his sociology, anthropology and cultural studies training to inform his thinking.  Martin and Simon discuss how anarchism and social movements can help inform the radical rethink that is urgently needed if we are to #buildbackbetter after Covid19.   His latest book title is 'Life after COVID19',  other publications focus on utopianism, conspiracy theory, business ethics, pirates and outlaws and other alternative organizations.  Martin is the lead for the Inclusive Economy Initiative in Bristol.

Ep 9.  From Martin Luther King to Black Lives Matter

with Dr Kathy White


This very special episode of Edgy Ideas addresses issues of race from MLK to BLM, on a journey experienced by my esteemed guest Dr Kathleen Pogue White. Kathy met Dr King as a student and shares her unique experience of living and working through periods of hope and despair in relation to racism in the USA and beyond. As BLM puts racism back at the top of an international agenda, Kathy shares her experience of working in organisations to address ‘white supremacy’ and structural racism.  Kathy brings immense depth of wisdom to share, drawing on psychoanalytic insights and a lifetime experience of working with leaders from all sectors.


BIO Notes

Dr Kathleen Pogue White, is a psychoanalyst who applies the profession's core knowledge and skills in her multi-sectored work in organizational consulting, executive coaching and leadership development. Dr. White’s practice is based in Manhattan and she has vast experience in consulting to multi-cultural, multi-national, and diverse groups and organizations; her work ranges from Goldman Sachs to the Jewish Board of family and children’s services. Dr White also has many professional affiliations, to name a few,  she is a founding member and past Director of the Program in Organizational Development and Consultation Program at the William Alanson White Institute for Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Distinguished Member of ISPSO, the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations and is an Associate of the Tavistock Institute.

Ep 8  Developing Leaders with Manfred Kets de Vries


World-renowned author, academic and award-winning teacher,  Manfred Kets de Vries joins Simon to share his invaluable insights on working with leaders and organisations.  Manfred discusses his work with CEOs,  family business leaders, and his work in Russia.  In his new e-book 'Journeys into Coronavirus Land'  Manfred sets out the five fundamentals that guide good leadership - Belonging, Purpose, Self Competence, Self-Control and Transcendence. Manfred's long term focus has been to use psychological insights to make leaders more self-aware, in order to make organisations more humane,  therefore making a real difference in the world of work.  We end with his thoughts on what it takes to live a good life and create a good society.


Manfred Kets de Vries holds the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD, he is Program Director of INSEAD’s top management program, “The Challenge of Leadership: Creating Reflective Leaders,” and the Founder of INSEAD’s Executive Master Program in Change Management.  Kets de Vries is a prolific and best selling author having authored, co-authored or edited 52 books and published more than 400 academic papers/articles.  His work has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Business Week, The Economist, The Financial Times and The Harvard Business Review.  He has won awards too many to mention.  He is a member of New York’s Explorers Club and in his spare time can be found in the rainforests or savannas of Central and Southern Africa or within the Arctic Circle.

Ep7 Part 2. Race and Society with Leslie Brissett


In Part 2 Simon continues his conversation with Leslie Brisset and they explore faith, belonging, monastic calling and the beauty of trees amongst other issues relating to identity. Leslie is from the UK with a Carribean heritage, and recently relocated to live in Arkansaw USA. Leslie is Director of Group Relations at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and has studied human dynamics in experiential settings in many countries; he is also the company secretary at TIHR. Enjoy Listening!

Ep 6 Part 1. Identity, Race and Society with Leslie Brissett


In this episode Simon invites special guest Leslie Brissett to share his personal experience of race and identity.  This delightful and deeply human conversation meanders through race and identity exploring otherness and drawing on psychoanalytic insights. Leslie shares his reflections and insights on these big issues bringing his unique perspectives on what it means to live a good life and create the good society.  Leslie is from the UK with a Carribean heritage, and recently relocated to live in Arkansas USA. Leslie is Director of Group Relations at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and has studied human dynamics in experiential settings in many countries; he is also the Company Secretary at TIHR.  Enjoy Listening!

S1. Ep 5. Pandemic Psychodynamics Russia


Our special guest today is Irena Izotova from Moscow, who will be sharing her thoughts and experience from a Russian perspective. Our conversation meanders through our experiences of the pandemic and we touch on how the 'Discourse of the Master' returns to impose prohibitions on us during the lockdown.


 This is something new to many in the west, but Irena points to this being historically familiar to Russians. Irena relates how her elderly relative trangresses this prohibition as a refusal to submit once again to the prohibitions she experienced in her earlier life.  She also identifies the importance of arranging reflexive spaces both for leaders and for professionals who support them,  to keep their resilience and capacity to think and act maturely. We end the conversation by exploring how to live rather than survive, and how 'not to give up on our desire'.


Irena is an Executive &Team Coach and Organizational Consultant oriented by a psychodynamic approach.  She is President of Association of Psychoanalytic Coaching and Business Consulting, an Analytic-Network Registered Coach, Lecturer at HSE and a Lacanian psychoanalyst. Enjoy this podcast!

S1. Ep 4. Pandemic Psychodynamics India


In episode 4, Simon converses with special guest and internationally renowned Professor  Ajeet N. Mathur from Ahmedabad India.  Ajeet is a fountain of knowledge and wisdom, and their conversation traverses a range of issues in relation to these disruptive times.  In search of how to live a good life and create the good society, Ajeet highlights dignity and the loss of humanity as central concerns.  They observe how the return of the repressed is taking place referencing racism and colonialism playing out in different ways pending on the context and country.


Ajeet N. Mathur PhD, is a Professor at IIM Ahmedabad with many years of consulting experience for transformative leadership and organisational change with businesses, governments, international institutions and not-for-profit organisations. He is an affiliate life member of the Indian Psychoanalytic Society, and Yoga Shikshak and Karma Sannyasin of the Bihar School of Yoga. Ajeet has been the EU-Tempus Professor of European Integration and Internationalisation and teaches courses in strategy, international business, action research methodologies, mysteries in management, directs group relations conferences.  His publications include 29 books and over 160 papers in scientific journals

S1. Ep 3. Pandemic Psychodynamics UK


This episode Pandemic Psychodynamics UK opens up a wide-ranging and deeply engaging conversation with award winning author Steven D' Souza.  We reflect on how people react to the anxiety produced when we get to a place of not-knowing. We explore how Covid-19 amplifies previous social-political trends such as the rise in authoritarianism and conformism.  Also how the critical and creative thinking that is so urgently needed can be unconsciously repressed in pandemic time. People can be silenced if they question the dominant discourse such as 'we follow the science' or the workplace equivalent this is 'evidenced-based', people often act as if these are neutral and apolitical,  yet power always plays out in how science, knowledge and data are used. We end by focusing on social cohesion, and how pandemic time also increases community, how people are deeply touched.. when touching is physically prohibited.  Steven D'Souza is author/co-author of four books. Most recently Not Knowing, with Diana Renner, which won the UK Management Book of the Year, and Not Doing. He has been an Associate Fellow at Said Business School, the University of Oxford, and currently heads Executive Development for a global organisation.  Enjoy!

S1. Ep 2. Pandemic Psychodynamics Australia

with Brigid Nossal


Simon is joined by Brigid Nossal to discuss pandemic psychodynamics in Australia Brigid Nossal is a co-founder and co-Director of the National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia that delivers a fabulous Masters of Leadership and Management taking a psychodynamic-systems approach.


Brigid combines academic teaching and research with organisational consulting. She recently served on the Board of ISPSO, and is a Registered Analytic-Network Coach.


In this podcast Brigid insightfully reflects on the unconscious impacts the pandemic is having on the Australian psyche.


The discussion with Simon reflects emergent psycho-social influences on leadership and citizenship and they discuss the tightrope between localism and globalisation, nationalism and progressive opportunities. Enjoy!

S1. Ep 1. Pandemic Psychodynamics USA

with Zachary Green


Simon is joined by Professor Zachary Green to discuss pandemic psychodynamics in the USA.  Zachary is Professor in Leadership Studies at University of San Diego, co-founder and director of Group Relations International. Zachary has three decades of experience studying, coaching and consulting to unconscious and systemic dynamics of global organizations, most notably through the World Bank.  Zachary discusses how projections and splitting are creating a secondary wave of challenges for the US that are particularly influenced by political polarization and exacerbated by culture wars. The pandemic is also exposing pronounced racial divides in health and welfare provision like never before. Simon and Zachary reflect on these gaps, and how psychoanalysis teaches us that lack creates desire….  could Covid-19 provoke a new push for greater social cohesion?  Faith, psychoanalysis and leadership are in the mix, enjoy this podcast!

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