From Physical Place to Virtual Space

From Physical Place to Virtual Space describes the insights and conclusions of a highly experienced Dialogic Organization Development practitioner bringing her skills to a new client, all online. From initial contact, designing and sequencing the interventions, to a series of online events for a large multi-divisional corporation, Gwen Stirling-Wilkie takes you through the differences that make a difference in doing Dialogic OD online.

The book is in two parts.

Part 1: Preparing The Virtual Space
The first part covers the changes we must make, and the new strategies and interventions available, to how we design dialogic change processes. Gwen provides new models, tools, and insights for designing transformative online events.  She also explores the technical limitations and opportunities of using platforms like Zoom and MS Teams and provides advice for hosting online in topics like:

Part 2: Mastering Virtual Consulting
The second part of the book goes into detail on virtual consulting, covering topics like:

A virtual consulting case study:
The book concludes with a full description of a case of virtual consulting with a new client at the start of the pandemic, one that was not familiar with working through online platforms. The client wanted to embark on a cultural change process and create greater integration between five distinct businesses within the company and decided they could not wait for the pandemic to be over.

Detailing the reasoning behind design decisions and the results of various virtual events, we watch the emergence of new and novel groupings to explore a shared topic in ways they hadn’t before. New narratives traveled through the formal and informal networks within and between businesses. These included stories of people being invited to take part whose voices were not normally heard, opening up to the possibility of a different way of leading. The entire process generated new ways of working, new relationships, and new possibilities for future collaboration across the company, as well as a new image of leadership that was attractive and stimulated new actions. A collective experience of previously unimagined ways of thinking, creating, and acting together stimulated an explosion of innovation.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Part One: Preparing The Virtual Space

  1. Reframing participation
  2. Designing virtual spaces
  3. Mastering technology
  4. Hosting with presence

Part Two: Mastering Virtual Consulting

  1. Group process
  2. Virtual interventions
  3. Whole system spaces
  4. A virtual Dialogic OD assignment

Conclusion: The future of virtual Dialogic OD

Watch a 10 minute video with Gwen discussing the book

About the Author

Gwen Stirling Wilkie

Gwen Stirling-Wilkie is an experienced Dialogic Organization Development consultant, change leader, and educator with over 20 years’ experience. Her career began in the fast-paced world of retail sales and operations. After gaining an MBA she transitioned into change management consultancy and then into Organization Development. She grounded her intuitive practice with formal learning on the NTL-UK’s ODC program and holds an MBA and an MSc in Organizational Change from Ashridge University.

Gwen left her role as Head of UK Operations for Body Shop International to pursue a full-time MBA before creating her own consulting business, Seeds Of Transformation.   She works with global clients in different industries and sectors to bring leadership teams or groups together in a safe space where there is time to slow things down; bringing ‘real work’ into the room; helping people to have conversations about things they don’t normally talk about; ‘working live’- responding to what starts to emerge, adjusting the agenda and format as things unfold – and, importantly, being playful and experimental to shape and guide organizational transformation, culture change, and senior leadership team coaching.  She is a member of NTL and a former board member for the European OD Network.  You can reach her at