The BMI series in Dialogic OD, inspired by the original Addison-Wesley Series in OD, is a series of short, 100 page volumes written by experienced Dialogic OD practitioners. Edited by Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak, each narrowly focuses on one specific aspect of Dialogic OD practice and provides consultants with tested, practical models and processes, along with case examples to make the models come alive.
We are always interested in new volumes for our series. If you think you might have a book for our series please contact one of the editors.
This book introduces a subtle but powerful dialogic OD method that coaches and consultants can use to help clients address limiting assumptions and create new possibilities. The phrase “generative meaning-making in action” captures the essence of the approach. You will learn how to identify and address out-of-awareness mindsets during everyday conversations, how to deeply listen for the implicit mindsets that influence meaning-making in individuals, groups and organizations, and how to intervene through transforming talk to challenge or change them.
The presentation draws on more than 40 years of experience consulting with organizations where the author developed the ideas and methods described in the book. Conceptual frameworks, how to’s, and extensive cases are presented throughout to illustrate the ideas and methods in practice.
The Preface provides readers with a brief history of the insights and experiences that led the author into the theory and practice of Dialogic OD and to the concepts and methods of Dialogic Process Consulting.
Chapter One: Introduction provides a broad sense of what “dialogic process consulting: generative meaning-making in action” means and some basic ideas and definitions. Three core premises about mindsets, language and change that set the foundation for the book are explained.
Chapter Two: Language and Generative Change provides a discussion of the theoretical background and five guiding concepts that inform and support the dialogic methods described in the book, including the three processes that help lead to dialogic generative change.
Chapter Three: Deep Listening, explains and provides examples of the concepts and methods associated with the important skill of dialogic deep listening. How to listen both literally and symbolically is emphasized.
Chapter Four: Transforming Talk introduces the important concept of transforming talk. While deep listening to a client(s) the consultant or coach has the opportunity to be intentional about influencing dialogic meaning-making through transformational talk. Five transforming talk processes are introduced and illustrated with case examples.
Chapter Five: In-the-Moment Dialogic Consulting and Coaching discusses how to put the ideas introduced in the book into action, not in preplanned ways, but in-the -moment during conversational interactions with clients. The chapter provides five basic guidelines for in-the-moment interactions and concludes with a detailed case illustration.
Chapter Six: Concluding Tips provides brief tips and insights from the author’s experience for working in the ways outlined in the book. The chapter ends by inviting readers to reflect on the metaphors and storylines that inform their coaching and consulting mndsets.
References lists the sources for the key ideas and citations presented in the book.
This short book introduces the Generative Change Model, a way to approach organizational change more aligned with today’s needs for an agile and engaged workforce than planned change methods. We follow the case of Consolidated Construction Materials Supply, 200 poorly engaged employees inside a large, traditional construction company. Organized into three fragmented units, this low-tech warehouse and distribution operation transformed into a highly engaged, collaborative, agile and fully digitized one in a little more than two years after the first phone call between the consultant and the Director. They accomplished this without a vision, without a plan, without training, any resistance to change, and only 1 external OD consultant. They did it through an emergent, generative change process.
The story follows the phases of the generative change model. Each chapter begins by describing what took place in the case, followed by a commentary on the theory and perspectives behind the OD consultant’s actions. The book provides the novice Dialogic OD consultant with a clear example, as well as providing experienced Dialogic OD consultants with some new ideas and a model that will help clients better understand the Dialogic OD approach to transformational change.
Introduction to the Generative Change Model
1. Identify the Adaptive Challenge
2. Reframe into a Possibility Focused Purpose Statement (Generative Image)
3. Engage Stakeholders in Generative Conversations
4. Launch Self-Initiated Probes and Learn as You Go
5. Scale Up and Embed Successful Probes
6. Conclusion: Some Non-Issues that Could Be Issues
The seminal text published in 2015 by Berrett-Koehler: Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change
President, Board Chair and Member, OD Network, 2009-2016. Co-editor, Handbook for Strategic HR
Director, Future Search Network and Co-author, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There.
Professor of Practice, Columbia University and SVP, Center for Creative Leadership
Former Head of Ashridge Consulting; Partner, Metalogue and author, Disruption, Change and Transformation in Organisations