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The People Dividend Podcast

Sep 5, 2023

"If you think of an organization as a machine, you're going to try to engineer your way out of the problems." says Marty Goldberg.

In this episode, host Mike Horn interviews Martin Goldberg, a leader in the field of organization development, about his new book "Out of the Workplace Trap: A Theory and Therapy of Organizations Based on the Work of Wilhelm Reich." Goldberg shares his insights on what it means to truly understand and intervene in organizations. He challenges traditional notions of organizations as mechanical systems or purely social entities, and instead presents them as natural energy systems. Drawing from the work of Wilhelm Reich, Goldberg explores the role of emotional energy in organizations and how it can become trapped, leading to dysfunction and stagnation.

Throughout the conversation, Goldberg emphasizes the importance of understanding the natural function of an organization and how its energy flows. He highlights the need for leaders and practitioners to go beyond surface-level interventions and address the underlying emotional energy that drives the system. By doing so, organizations can break free from the workplace trap and unleash their full potential.

This episode offers a fresh perspective on organization development and provides practical insights for leaders and coaches who want to create meaningful change. It challenges conventional wisdom and encourages listeners to embrace a more holistic approach to understanding and leading organizations. Discover how understanding and harnessing emotional energy can revolutionize the way you lead and transform your organization.


  • "Organizations are conceived and born and they are born to fulfill some function." (06:32 | Martin Goldberg)

  • "There's an energy streaming in the system that is in the human animal. They come together to do some common things based on what the system is constituted to do and there's emotional energy associated with it like, when founders found an organization there's almost always excitement. That was sort of missing in the classical formulations - the emotional energy of the excitement." (6:28 | Martin Goldberg) 

  • "In some ways the more networked we are, the less emotionally present we are." (33:55 | Martin Goldberg) 



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