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The power of conversation at work

Hard truths face organizations everyday. Primary among them is the absolute necessity of achieving positive results. However, the results are measured, the demand is unequivocal. Every organization must create more value than it consumes.

Three factors consistently impact the capacity of an organization to achieve results:
  • dexterity to give original and unique responses to customers

  • capacity to create new knowledge and apply it successfully to products, services, and processes

  • competence to create a workplace where each person chooses accountability for making the entire enterprise successful

This requires that employees make the business their own – throwing themselves into work with heart, hands and mind. Organizations encourage or discourage this choice by the way they engage members in conversations and work.

Management strategies committed to control, consistency and compliance as the “primary” way to run things thwart this creation. Conversations that direct, mandate, caretake and prescribe discourage people from choosing personal accountability. The heavy hand of demand will not create an organization marked by resourcefulness, inventiveness, imagination or accountability.

If you want to give birth to such a workplace you must, at the very least, do three things.
  • engage people in radically different ways

  • forsake utilitarian thinking about managing in favor of inviting engagement as the means of creating change

  • let loose the reins of power – distribute business literacy, choice and accountability
This booklet will help you:
  • recognize and comprehend the impact of conversations on culture, change, and results

  • recognize and understand a broader view of organizational change from the “street” level perspective

  • understand the importance of a “first person” approach to change through conversations

  • recognize and understand the power of ordinary conversations in creating culture and promoting positive change

  • identify specific opportunities for powerful conversations which contribute directly to positive change

By Joel P. Henning
pamphlet, 17p., 8.5 x 11


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