Jan 17 - 21, 2024
Connors Center, MA | Lodging & Food Included

Top leadership conferences 2024, GRC Dover, Massachusetts

A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) study found a significant increase in the number of meetings employees attended, with 70% being deemed “ineffective and a waste of time” and resulting in fatigue (Laker et al., 2022). This research confirms what many of us already know, that we spend much of our life in meetings that leave us frustrated and wondering, “What’s going on here?” HBR also reported that newly promoted managers used meetings as a platform to gain visibility and to garner “buy in.” 

 The HBR researchers offered concrete suggestions to managers to reduce meeting frequency and to implement cost-effective productivity measures. However, the researchers overlooked the deeper emotional and group dynamics at play when authority – those in charge – exercise leadership with workers. Subordinates’ complaints of fatigue may mask buried anger and dissatisfaction with leadership. Managers’ use of meetings to gain visibility might stem from a desire for recognition and promotion from their superiors.  Seeking “buy in” could also reflect the managers’ attempts to gain authority and allegiance from their teams. As a remedy, the researchers offer practical solutions without examining the dynamics underlying fatigue and dissatisfaction. Left unexplored, these dynamics become entrenched silent patterns that influence authority, leadership, meetings, and the organizations’ ability to accomplish their purpose. This oversight, and its potential for disrupting organizations, suggests a need for understanding authority-related dynamics in meetings.

One way to gain a deeper knowledge of authority dynamics is to attend a “group relations conference” (“GRC”). The purpose or primary task of a GRC, and this Conference, is to provide opportunities for participants to learn about the exercise of authority and leadership in groups and social systems. These conferences focus on the confer aspect of meetings by examining the dynamics that occur when a group of people confer – “come together to have discussions and exchange opinions”; and studying the authority dynamics when we confer – “grant or bestow on oneself or others.” These conferences have existed for over 70 years and their purpose is to create opportunities for you to learn – as it is happening – how you confer authority and exercise leadership by examining the dynamics that appear in plain sight and those that hide out of sight as you work on a task. In this conference, you can learn the script you follow when you exercise leadership or confer authority in a group but find yourself feeling fatigued, stuck, powerless, unsettled, or conflicted. You can explore what happens to your authority in a group when your individual identities including age, political affiliation, religion, race, gender, class, are celebrated, challenged, or denigrated. You can study the narratives you tell yourself about authority when you attend a meeting or lead an organization. 

On behalf of the Conference Staff, I invite you to register to explore how you can better author your authority in your own life which can often feel like one big meeting.

The Conference Staff are responsible for creating and maintaining the conditions that support learning. Some Staff work as executive management and others who work as middle managers leading the small, large, and review and application group events. All Staff work collectively as managers to take authority and accountability to administer, maintain, and contain the time or schedule, basic task, and territory or space boundaries of the Conference institution.

TIME boundaries generate an opportunity to learn how clearly defined schedules or meeting agendas can create a sense of safety and predictability in organizations. The time boundaries create learning about our acknowledgment or rejection of time constraints and pressures in organizations such as missing or making deadlines.

TASK boundaries exist to fulfill the purpose of the Conference institution. When managers do not link the task to purpose of an institution, difficulties arise such as divisiveness, disruption, and disengagement in organizations. You have an opportunity to study, from a systems perspective, how you engage with or disengage from the assigned task as you interact within and across different levels of relationships and organizations – individual, interpersonal, group, and intergroup.

TERRITORY boundaries create an opportunity for learning about our overt and hidden responses to physical and psychological territory or spaces. These include the change in organizational or societal climate with: 1) the absence or presence of a formally designated person in an authority role to manage the territory or department; 2) the mental territories we carve out about which groups or departments we exclude or include based on shared identities or worldviews; 3) the conflict that emanates from a territorial dispute between two groups, states, or nations that share a border; and 4) the establishment or defiance of power and authority by having access to certain resources, meeting in designated or undesignated work spaces, or choosing or refusing a particular seating arrangement.

SELF-STUDY – In the Consultant role, Consultants share their observations and hypotheses about how authority and leadership are being exercised – as they unfold in the moment – to advance opportunities for self-study, reflection, and learning. These observations include unseen patterns or dynamics that the group may not recognize.

GROUP LEVEL DYNAMICS – Consultants’ observations and hypotheses are based on the dynamics that are occurring in real time on the group level rather than at an individual level. When an individual is activated to take on a group dynamic on behalf of the whole group, the Consultant will make this dynamic available for the group to study.

Consultants are focused on advancing opportunities for learning. They do not manage the participants or participants’ behavior except in cases where the safety of members or Staff may be compromised.

The way that the Conference Staff exercises authority and leadership is available for study and learning by Conference participants.




Day 3 Schedule– Friday, January 19, 2024


7:00 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:45 – 10:00 AM: Large Study Group (LSG)

10:00 – 10:30 AM: Break

10:30 – 11:45 AM: Small Study Group (SSG)

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 PM: Institutional Event (IE)

2:15 – 2:45 PM: Break
2:45 – 4:00 PM: Institutional Event (IE)

4:00 – 4:30 PM: Break

4:30 – 5:45 PM: Large Study Group (LSG)
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner
7:15 – 8:30 PM: Small Study Group (SSG)
Day 4 Schedule– Saturday, January 20, 2024


7:00 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:45 – 10:00 AM: Large Study Group (LSG)

10:00 – 10:30 AM: Break

10:30 – 11:45 AM: Small Study Group (SSG)

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 PM: Institutional Event (IE)

2:15 – 2:45 PM: Break
2:45 – 4:00 PM: Institutional Event (IE) Plenary Review

4:00 – 4:30 PM: Break

4:30 – 4:50 PM: Role Review & Application Group Opening (RRAG)
5:00 – 6:00 PM: Role Review & Application Group (RRAG)
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Role Review & Application Group (RRAG)
Day 5 Schedule– Sunday, January 21, 2024


7:30 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 AM: Role Review & Application Group (RRAG)

10:00 – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 – 11:30 AM: Conference Review

11:30 – 12:30 PM: Lunch

12:30 – 2:00 PM: Role Review & Application Group (RRAG)

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Conference Close

This outstanding value includes lodging, meals, refreshments as well as the consultancy and management of leaders in the field of organizational dynamics, consulting, coaching, and systems psychodynamics.

We offer tiered pricing and financial assistance across various organizational sectors to accommodate your financial needs and to make this Conference accessible to a broad and diverse audience.

The Conference uses experiential learning which can be stimulating, intensive and enriching. At times, experiential learning can be confrontational and elicit strong emotions which can feel stressful. Thus, participants who are ill, going through a period of significant personal difficulties or challenging events, or are emotionally triggered by views that do not align with their own, should forgo participating at this time. Registration may be refused and participation in the Conference may be rescinded at the discretion of the Conference Staff.  

Registration fees can only be refunded if a written notice of cancellation or withdrawal is sent via email and is received by the administrators by 6 PM ET on December 17, 2023. An administration fee of $100 will be deducted.

Our Conference takes place during the peak of flu season. As a safety precaution, we ask that you adhere to our Covid-19 Protocol, which may change due to Covid-19 updates.

  • A negative Covid-19 test, taken within 48 hours before the Conference, is mandatory for all Staff and participants.
  • Those exposed to Covid-19 but testing negative must wear a N95 mask. Staff will have N95 masks available.
  • Conference Staff and participants who become ill will suspend further participation in Conference events and report symptoms immediately to the Conference Administrators.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Registration Opens: 11:30 am

Conference Opens: 1:30 pm

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Conference Ends: 2:30 pm

Social (optional)

Ends: 2:45 pm