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Papers and Presentations

All articles and papers listed below are authored or co-authored by me and visitors to this website are permitted to read, download, and share them with others as desired. Please cite the source if you are quoting or distributing an article or paper.

The articles are grouped by topic, although some cover more than one category. I will add items periodically. Stay tuned.

Feedback is most welcome. Please do let me know if you have found an article helpful for your own use or for your team, colleague, or group.  Thank you. - Marisa Guerin

Religious Leadership

Holding Steady: The Psycho-Social Service of Leadership in Times of Change

Published in The Occasional Papers, Summer 2016, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Silver Spring MD

Special Dynamics of Religious Communities as Planning Entities

Religious congregations are hybrids - part community, part organization. Most formal planning methods only apply well to part of their reality. Written for Cranaleith Master Seminars, 2011; updated 2018

Mending Impairments to Authority in Religious Congregations

Powerpoint presentation from 2014 National Conference for Resource Center for Religious Institutes; minor revisions 2018.

Decision Making for Faith Based Groups

An outlined of definitions and description of decision making and discernment processes often used in religious congregations, including short review of Shape of a Deliberation.

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Flowers in Armor: The Crisis of Spirit and Authenticity in a Corporate Career --- An Unpublished Essay

A highly personal reflection on the experience of being a woman in executive leadership in a global corporation, with the internal tensions and stresses that I ultimately resolved by deciding to resign the position. Musings on values, betrayals, emotion, gender, and spirit. Not at all a complete telling, but sharing what seems most important.  Updated 2021

Consulting Note on Succession Planning and Talent Management for Religious Organizations

Written to relay advice from corporate business settings for application to religious congregations, health care and education systems. Updated 2017

Founder Succession: Impact on Strategic Planning

Founders carry the strategic intention of an organization in their heads; founder transition has implications for producing more explicit strategic guidance. Written for Cranaleith Master Seminars, updated 2017

The King is Dead -- Long Live the King! Exploring the Psychodynamics of Corporate Succession Planning
Presented by Birge D. (Ric) Reichard, PhD and Marisa Guerin, PhD at the 2003 Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations

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List of Recommended Books - Organizational Psychodynamics 
Some suggested books in a valuable domain not especially available to many leaders. (The first three are my go-to recommendations for busy leaders.)

Leadership Development

More Than Meets the Eye: Factors Impacting Strategic Planning

Exploration of underlying, often unconscious, motivations for organizations that seek help via strategic planning;
written for Cranaleith Master Seminars, updated 2017

Reflections on Strategy - For Religious and Nonprofit Organizations

Five key concepts to understand about the over-used word, "strategy"; written for Cranaleith Master Seminars, updated 2017

Strategic Planning

Building Board Excellence:
Chief Executive Performance Review

Powerpoint presentation for Board members on their role in executive goal setting and review; why this is difficult; and how to address the challenges. updated 2017

Basics to Best:
Best Practices for Board Members

Presentation given at annual conference of RCRI 2014 (Resource Center for Religious Institutes); includes Board responsibilities, attributes of effective boards, pitfalls to avoid, additional resources, etc. 

Board Development

The Repair of the Container: Honoring the Client-Consultant Relationship and Resisting Seduction

The consultant is presented with the need, sometimes, to engage in a “double task” in their consultation – both working with the clients on the management problems of concern to them, and providing respectful, appropriate support to increase the client’s own capacity for critical leadership containment. This paper is an edited version of a longer one presented in June 2012 at ISPSO in California. Updated and revised, 2018

Consulting Skills
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