Books & Publications


Accessing Genuine Dialogue, William Isaacs (The Watercooler, July/August 2012)

How can dialogue help us navigate volatility and uncertainty? In this provocative article, William Isaacs makes the argument for genuine dialogue that emerges from a true sense of identity and purpose and opens a window into a source of deeper creativity. Through genuine dialogue we find much more than new ways of talking together—we discover new ways to lead.
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Developing First-Level Leaders, Andreas Priestland and Robert Hanig (Harvard Business Review, 2005)

Initially offered at BP in 2002, the First-Level Leader Program has been offered to over 8000 managers since its inception. Particularly remarkable about this story is that, before the Dialogos-developed FLL Program, there was no coherent training option at the managerial level, though there were over 10,000 supervisors across the company. The process of developing this program, including obstacles faced in creating a unifying training solution for a corporation literally spread around the globe, is a case study in reservations, resistance and renewal:
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The Art of Dialogue: How To Improve Your Conversation Skills By Becoming a Better Speaker and Listener (Fast Company, 1999)

This article explores the the stages and overarching structures of conversation as it evolves from the cursory to the creative.
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Dialogic Leadership, William Isaacs (The Systems Thinker, 1999)

‘Dialogic leadership’ is the term I have given to a way of leading that consistently uncovers, through conversation, the hidden creative potential in any situation.”

This article, which originally appeared in the February 1999 issue of Pegasus Communications’ The Systems Thinker, coined the now-familiar term that characterizes a unique and visionary kind of leader: a “dialogic leader” is one who can, in Bill Isaac’s words, “(1) evoke people’s genuine voices, (2) listen deeply, (3) hold space for and respect as legitimate other people’s views, and (4) broaden awareness and perspective.” This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to make real the link between true leadership and dialogic practice.
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Getting Creativity Back into Corporate Decision Making, Michael Jones (Journal For Quality Participation, 1997)

In this article—one of a series of “thinking pieces” exploring the link between creativity and corporate livelihood—Michael Jones guides his readers into new territory beyond the certainty of technique and performance, and into the less secure but more rewarding area of trust in perception and practice.
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Dialogue: A Proposal (Bohm, Factor, Garrett, 1991)

“We propose that, with the aid of a little close attention, even that which we call rational thinking can be seen to consist largely of responses conditioned and biased by previous thought.”

This seminal, short work by three pioneers in the modern dialogue movement outlines not only the rationale behind this powerful way of thinking together, but also a hands-on approach to setting up and conducting dialogue sessions.
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Dialogue and the Transformation of Memory, Peter Garrett

This short essay by Peter Garrett succinctly outlines the roots of modern dialogue and provides several examples of the craft at work in several diverse and challenging situations.
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Conversations That Changed the World, William Isaacs

With a well-designed dialogue “container,” you can create an atmosphere of shared awareness that can transform an organization – or a country.
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Beauty Parlors, Barbershops, and Boardrooms, Leslie F. (“Skip”) Griffin Jr.

What leaders of corporate change can learn from the American civil rights movement.

For the past few years, I’ve made a good part of my living helping companies and organizations through sustained change and transformation. I fell into this profession when a friend invited me to sit in on a meeting with a group of experts on dialogue.
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Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together: A pioneering approach to communicating in business and in life, by William Isaacs (Doubleday, 1999)

In this seminal book, William Isaacs provides practical guidelines for one of the essential elements of true partnership—learning how to talk together in honest and effective ways. Dialogue reveals how problems between managers and employees, and between companies or divisions within a larger corporation, stem from an inability to conduct a successful dialogue.

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Life Changing Conversations: 7 strategies for talking about what matters most, by Sarah Rozenthuler (Watkins 2012)

So much in life hinges on the ability to say the right thing, at the right time, to the right person, in the right way. Expert psychologist and coach Sarah Rozenthuler provides a practical guide to having the kinds of conversations that will turn your life around, from negotiating with difficult neighbors to asking for a raise to ending a long-term relationship.

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