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Drinks With: Jerram White

White has a background in ethnography and works as a child and adolescent psychotherapist for the NHS and has a wide range of other interests that inform his practice.

He is currently writing about what compulsive smartphone use can teach us about our relationship with technology, and why so many of us fear AI. More broadly, though, he is fascinated by the ways in which we construct meaning as individuals in interaction with our surroundings.

Over drinks at the Anthemis office, White described how the link between emotional experience and behavior is crucial to putting together a founding team, drawing on the tension between individual social dynamics and team dynamics within the workplace.

He noted that management theorist Edgar Schein defined team culture as the group learning how to balance collective and individual needs in order to adapt to their external environment. But over time, Schein says, the group becomes less and less aware of why they do things the way they do, eroding culture.

A discussion followed on how objects, actions, and experiences influence team dynamics and on broader notions concerning company growth. Some spoke about the deep, complex relationships they had not only with people or workplace objects but also less tangible things like job titles, which define what we do and, ultimately, specify who we are, to both others and ourselves.

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