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 hopeful, poignant, and deeply insightful book brings the wisdom of Dialogic OD and the heritage of Diagnostic OD into an expansive view of how to best support teams in a world of immense diversity and attention poverty. Bennett Bratt offers a new approach to team development that meets today’s teams where they live: in a complex world with intense demands and precious little time. This book challenges widely used approaches to team development that utilize data showing a gap between current and desirable team performance. Most methods presume some kind of evaluative comparison is helpful: comparison to other groups, comparison to large data sets, comparison to best practices, comparison to a theoretical ideal. Instead, Ben explains why a dialogic approach to the use of questionnaire data is better at helping teams author their own narrative of effectiveness, one they will own and live into. While showing how to make data useful, Bratt persuasively argues that comparison is at best, a distraction and at worst, debilitating.
The book illustrates how to bring the mindsets and tools of Dialogic OD to team coaching through an extended case example. Join a pair of OD practitioners, Ava and Orlando, as they learn about the unique facets of the client team and its VP leader Juliette. On the heels of recent significant changes, including a reorganization, the team and leader discover their unique path to greater effectiveness using Dialogic OD mindsets and tools customized in a team coaching setting.
Part exploration of the Dialogic OD mindset and part illustrative story, this book brings empathy not only to the impossibly difficult circumstances teams and their leaders all too often find themselves in, but also to the OD practitioners who enter into their dynamic world with their own narratives of what “good” means. Join them as they negotiate towards solutions with the greatest possible utility and take up the mindset and tools that bring Dialogic OD to life in the world of teams.
Part 1: Context and Concepts
Part 2: Dialogic Team Coaching in Action
Conclusion and Implications
When the future is uncertain and the past is contested, good hosting can bring hope and co-operation into the present.
Any Dialogic OD practice will bring people together for creative conversations, expanded horizons, mutual connection and committed action. The way these events are hosted can make all the difference. Mark McKergow offers an image of superb hosting as a mix of detailed planning and openness to whatever emerges, taking the lead when needed, with the intent of stepping back as quickly as possible so participants can lead themselves.
This is an important resource for anyone who wants to entice groups of disparate individuals into generative conversations that stimulate new ideas and prompt committed action. It builds connections between big ideas like complexity and emergence with the small practical details of preparing, inviting people and convening a workshop, engaging people on the day, building new possibilities and refining the next steps.
Dr. McKergow brings over a decade of research into the etiquette of hosting in different cultures and eras and combines it with three decades of practice in organizational development and change. The book offers a framework of six hosting roles to help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of working with large (and small) groups.
Written in an engaging and witty style, the principles of hosting are brought to life in a lively and detailed case example which shows the practical impact and importance of insightful and flexible hosting.
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
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.
The seminal text published in 2015 by Berrett-Koehler: Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change
Author of Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used and Community: The Structure of Belonging
Chief Talent and Inclusion Officer, Marsh
Chair, International Association of Facilitators (IAF)
Steward of the Art of Hosting and author, The Tao of Open Space
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
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.