Magical Thinking in Organizations: How to Break An Illusion That Drains People's Energy

  • 08 Apr 2021
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom - Registration link will follow
  • 67


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Often when employees feel less productive or ineffective, they see the problem as not having enough time or resources to do all the work they need to do. However, the source of the problem is often created by their thinking, which we call “Magical thinking.” Magical thinking is a delusional belief that one can do the impossible. For example, pretending that doing more tasks with less resources will not hurt the work quality. Or, promoting a good hard-working employee to a supervisory role without any management training and expecting the person to be as a good manager.

Magical thinking is very common in the modern workplace.  At the same time, people are not aware when magical thinking highjacks their common sense and how they get caught in its trap. In long run, magical thinking is harmful both to individual employees and the organization. This session will help attendees to differentiate between doing their best and magical thinking, and to understand the causes and consequences of their magical thinking. The facilitators will offer various instruments and management tools to help people avoid the trap of magical thinking.

This session will enable you to: 

  • Understand the concept of Magical thinking
  • Recognize Magical thinking in your organization and yourself
  • Discover what causes Magical thinking and why people are not aware of their own Magical thinking
  • Discuss and dissect examples of Magical thinking in organizations
  • Learn management tools to combat Magical thinking in the workplace

About the Facilitators

John Conbere MDiv, EdD and Alla Heorhiadi, PhD, EdD, are scholar-practitioners, who practice, research, and teach about the Socio-Economic Approach to Management (SEAM). Experienced OD consultants and university professors who have taught OD to doctoral students in the past, shifted their focus primarily to SEAM. They founded the national association of socio-economic scholar-practitioners, SEAM Institute (, and annually organize conferences of European and North American scholar-practitioners. John and Alla have taught, consulted and conducted research in the US, France, and Ukraine, and currently consulting with organizations in the US.

Area of focus from the OD Global Competency Framework addressed in this program:  Systems Change Expert

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