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Nancy Dixon and I are looking for stories

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 24 July 2013



Nancy Dixon and I are looking for stories
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 157
Posted DateWednesday 24 July 2013 10:13 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.nancydixonblog.com/2013/07/collective-sensemaking ... 
PeopleNancy Dixon

Nancy Dixon and I are both interested in the role conversation pays in business and we are looking for stories. Nancy is specifically looking for stories like this one that she recently posted in her blog Collective Sensemaking: How One Organization uses the Oscillation Principle. This is an inspiring story of an organisation that has applied what Nancy calls the "Oscillation Principle".

In global organizations or teams, effective performance outcomes are associated with the rhythmic oscillation between lengthy periods of mediated interaction interspersed with short intense periods of face-to-face collective sensemaking.

The deep rhythm of oscillation between face-to-face meetings for collective sensemaking and virtual work, addresses one of the greatest deficits of a virtual work force, that is, one part of the organization takes action without reference to how that action may impact other parts of the organization or impact the whole.

Through collective sensemaking all perspectives on a topic are given voice so that an understanding of the whole emerges as well as clarity about the relationship between the parts.

In such conversations organizational members often discover assets of which they were unaware.

Of equal importance, the periods of collective sensemaking renew the trust and relationships which are a precondition for the collaboration and information exchange that are limited to mediated interaction when organizational members are again at a distance.

Credit: The Oscillation Principle by Nancy Dixon
Many organisations may be doing this but not have a label for it. If your organisation is doing anything like this or if you know of one that is or if you know of articles or blog posts that describe this sort of organising principle or anything a little like it then we would be interested to know.

My interest is broader, I am looking for stories of organisations that have taken the role of "conversation" seriously in their business and are deliberately using it to share perspectives, to make better sense of their environment, to build relationships, make better decisions and to innovate.

If you can help get in touch with me and I will connect you with Nancy.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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