July 7, 2012
Apologies for the radio silence the past few months. I put blogging on hold while I completed my doctoral thesis. My PhD was awarded at the end of May after a really engaging and interesting viva voce (defense). The title of my thesis was ‘the organization of disappointment’ and my research concerned the creative potential of disappointment in organisations. So often, disappointment is lumped under the heading of ‘negative emotion’; relegated to the sidelines as unhelpful or destructive and located within ‘troublesome’ or ‘under-performing’ individuals. I suggest that this is only part of the story and disappointment can be understood as a useful and productive insight into how fantasy is sustained and managed in organisations. Re-imagining disappointment as loss (of expectations fantasy and what we thought the world ‘should’ be, allows for a more realistic view of the future: one that is different and potentially realizable. Over the coming months I will begin to post some of the findings from my research with a view to developing workshops for organisations and leaders about how this sadly neglected emotion can be uncovered for the gem it really is.