The Dynamics of Generative Change

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.

Chapter Titles:
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

Watch a 20 minute video of Gervase talking about Generative Change.

About the Author

Gervase R. Bushe

Gervase (pronounced Jervis) Bushe is the Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. His career spans almost four decades of transforming organizational structures, cultures and processes away from command and control toward more collaborative work systems. He is an award winning author of over 100 papers and three books on organizational change, leadership, teams and teamwork. He has a B.A. from Concordia University (Montreal) and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve in Organizational Behavior. He is on the editorial boards of both scholarly and practical journals and has given talks and courses on leadership and organizational change methods in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Gervase has consulted to blue chip corporations and start-ups, public sector and business corporations, in a variety of sectors. He works with leaders who want to create great teams and organizations. One of his consulting projects,  documented in The Change Champions Field Guide (2013), helped a Southern California healthcare company’s employee engagement scores go from the 61st to 91st percentile of all American hospitals in two years. His training and development company, Clear Leadership, supports managers who want to lead highly collaborative teams and organizations through the elaboration of a partnership-based theory of organizational design and leadership. Clear Leadership (2009) has been translated into seven languages and over 100 certified facilitators have trained tens of thousands of managers in North America, Europe and Asia in his models and methods.

Dr. Bushe has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Douglas McGregor award twice, for his research papers, and the OD Network’s Larry Porter Award for Communicating OD Knowledge. Since 2016 HR Magazine in the UK has voted him one of the 30 most influential HR Thinkers. In September 2019 he was ranked 12th. A chapter on his life and work appears in the Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers.

For a list of all publications and links to videos and articles visit his website at: