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"Knowledge is got by experience, all the rest is information" (Einstein)

Rob Farrands

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Figure Ground Consulting
Figure Ground Consulting

Experience of managerial worlds has been combined with academic achievement and teaching skills to offer consulting & coaching immersed in the practicalities & possibilities of organisational life.

Work Experience


1973-1976: Barrister

1976-79: Industrial Relations Negotiator, Engineering Employers Federation

1979-82: Industrial Relations policy development and disputes resolution, British Leyland

1982-87: Industrial Relations Manager, BL Cowley Plants,

1987-1995: Employee Relations Manager Prudential

1995-present: Consulting: Director of Figure Ground Consulting

2009-12: Non Executive Director, Board of Gestalt International Study Centre (GISC), USA

2015: Visiting Fellow of Roffey Park


Consulting priorities


Developing strategy and direction through handling systemic and personal dilemmas

Bringing the organisation to light as the essential context for leadership

Grounding coaching and personal development in an understanding of managerial work

Researching the fundamental basis for organising in the 21st Century


Consulting Experience (selection)


British Gas: cultural and leadership development on a large Anglo Italian Gas project in Kazakhstan, 2006-9

Bank of Canada: re-designing the Currency Department following the introduction of a polymer substrate; creating new partnerships with the printer of notes and other stakeholders, 2010-13

Ecology and Environment: supporting the transition from founders to new leadership; creating new business relationships with international subsidiaries: 2014 - present

Education


Lancaster University, 1970
Bachelor of Arts: Upper Second Honours in History

Inner Temple, 1973
Called to the Bar of England and Wales

Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, 1994
Gestalt Approach to Organisation and System Development (two year programme)

Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, 1998
Intensive Couple/Family Training Program

Bath University, 2001
Master of Science in Business Responsibility

Bath University, 2007
Doctor of Philosophy: Excitement, bewilderment and emergence: exploring a life world through writing as first person inquiry


Selected Conference Papers


21st EGOS Colloquium, Bergen 2006
Gestalt Organisation and Validity

25th EGOS Colloquium, Barcelona 2009
Dialectics of Thought and Feeling

26th EGOS Colloquium, Lisbon 2010
Space in Interorganizational Relations: Place, Proximity and Localisation

27th EGOS Colloquium, Gothenburg 2011
Body of Practice: Merleau-Ponty’s Vision


Selected Publications


British Gestalt Journal 2001,10(1)
Sustaining dynamic tension when consulting to complex systems

Gestalt Review 2007,11(2)
Choice, habit and context in organisational life

International Journal of Action Research 2009, 5(1)
Opening to the world through the lived body: Relating theory and practice in organisation consulting

Gestalt Review 2010, 14(3)
A Poetics of Practice: Organisation consulting from a Gestalt Perspective

A Chapter in Contact and Context: New Directions in Organisational Coaching
Breakdown and Possibility in Managerial Work: Reflections for Coaches (to be published in 2015)