Dr Cooper, J

Dr. Jean Cooper

Dr. Jean Cooper

Qualifications and Certification

  • MCom (Human Resource Management), University of Pretoria, cum laude;
  • MPhil (Applied Theology), University of Pretoria, cum laude;
  • PhD (Industrial and Organisational Psychology), University of Pretoria;
  • Registered Industrial Psychologist: Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA);
  • Associate Editor: Organisational and Social Dynamics – UK-based Journal;
  • Research Associate: Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).


Jean is driven by the desire to make sense of what it means to be human. His PhD dissertation explored, in depth, the unconscious forces involved in being a member of a team or small group. Jean has been providing leadership consultation to CEO’s and executive teams since 2014, and he founded The Institute for Leadership and Transformation (TILT), a company that promotes research, education and application of systems psychodynamic and complexity work in order to transform our roles, institutions and society. He has directed TILT’s annual experiential group relations conference in the Tavistock tradition at GIBS in 2016 and 2017: the conference functions as a temporary institution that studies its own underlying dynamics as these occur in the here-and-now. Earlier in his career he has worked in the corporate environment as an HR practitioner in the banking sector, a management consultant to national and local government (mostly in the civil engineering / water and sanitation sector) and a team building facilitator to various private and government institutions.


Jean’s approach developed over time and has been influenced primarily by the fields of systems psychodynamics and narrative (social constructionist) psychology. In short, this means that he accompanies leaders as they explore the conscious and unconscious dimensions of both their organisations and how they are taking up their roles. Together, as thinking partners, they connect the dots between various obvious and not-so-obvious occurrences, thoughts and feelings. This allows for new understandings, syntheses and perspectives to emerge about what the invisible, yet very powerful, systems-in-the-mind may be that are influencing behaviour, performance and well-being in the organisation. As they develop, build, refute and transform working hypotheses about the institution-in-the-mind, his clients increasingly enable themselves to use their inner experience as an instrument for change. They also develop their ability to feel and think simultaneously and, importantly, they become aware of their own authentic desire and how to most effectively leverage this in their teams and institutions.