- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 18, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470017686
- ISBN-13: 978-0470017685
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Dialogue mapping reflects a new approach to meetings and collaboration, in which collective intelligence is achieved through framing powerful questions and rigorous and systematic exploration of their possible answers. A key insight of this approach is that shared display of the dialogue map promotes shared understanding of and commitment to the collective result.
In the first part of Dialogue Mapping, Jeffrey Conklin introduces the key concepts:
- Wicked problems: for which you don’t really understand the problem until a solution has been formulated.
- Social complexity: the large number and wide diversity of stakeholders whose participation is essential to a robust outcome.
- Opportunity-driven problem solving: intelligent thinking is not linear! Creative cognition naturally jumps all over the problem-solution space.
- Shared understanding: the most expedient means for overcoming fragmentation is forging shared understanding of all aspects of the problem-solution space.
The remaining sections provide a hands-on tutorial for practitioners looking for a radically inclusive approach to collective problem solving.
"This is an excellent guide for all those interested in durable collaborative solutions in our increasingly tough business climates today."
—John C. Mitchell, former President, Business Printer Division, Lexmark International, Inc.
"Jeff Conklin pioneered this field, showing the connection between conversations (dialogue) and solving wicked problems. His ideas are intellectually rewarding and, just as important, are tried and tested."
—Mark Addleson, Director, Organizational Learning Program, George Mason University.
"What Jeff has in this book is of powerfully basic importance to improving our Collective-IQ, and thus, in my view, to helping significantly change our world to be a better place."
—Douglas Engelbart, Director of Bootstrap Institute
About the Author
Jeffrey Conklin is a lifelong student of organizational communication and collaboration, and the tools that support them. As Director of CogNexus Institute he remains active as a practitioner of dialogue mapping, although his main joy is teaching dialogue mapping as the art and science of creating shared understanding.
Top customer reviews
Every week I see blog posts, business magazines, websites, webinars all devoted to the topic of wasteful, useless meetings.
This method could transform meetings if applied.
And even if you don't use the software, nor get the whole team with you - you can still do it for yourself on paper - and the issue will clarify.
Especially enlightening was the fact that bringing up other aspects of an issue during a meeting often is viewed as MUTINY. You're a 'difficult person' (and I've always seen that as the most important way to truly contribute to a discussion). This method can teach a team the value of deviating views, of non-conformity. Making better, smarter, more effective decisions.
The author writes out of direct experience and honestly points out cases when the approach did not end delivering its benefits.
I found the book easy to read and I am convinced, based on my years of meetings to date, that it is a beneficial tool towards improving meeting outcomes.
This book is NOT about how to "herd cats", nor is it about learning to "control people better". In fact, it's just the opposite... it's about encouraging each person's creativity through a process where each and every point of view, no matter how difficult or "contrarian", ends up adding value to the larger "map" of the conversation that is being created.
Based on my experience with Dialogue Mapping, I recommend this book highly as an exciting breakthrough for anyone wanting to develop highly-functioning work teams, group synergy, and collective intelligence. Since this process is specifically designed to help groups address "wicked problems", it is particularly relevant for those of us who are tackling the complex social issues that are at the heart of public participation and deliberative democracy projects.
While the principles described in the book can be applied with chart paper and markers, the value of this approach is greatly enhanced by the powerful and easy-to-use software that Dr. Conklin and his colleagues have developed. Compendium allows the facilitator to track, manage, organize, and display all of the various perspectives and considerations that emerge in a group during the Dialogue Mapping process. This high-powered program has been designed as open-source shareware, and is available freely through a link on Dr. Conklin's website to the Compendium Institute.
We need only to look at the wide array of technologies that are available in our world today to realize that, as a species, we are amazingly creative and capable. It's high time that we applied our capacities to enhancing our human interactions with one another! Dialogue Mapping is a highly effective way to help groups enter a state of "flow", analogous to a sports team entering the "zone" of outstanding performance. As such, it is a real cause for celebration.
Shared inquiry is all about the power of inclusion, and inclusion is a key component of corporate internal communication. Companies that practice inclusive problem solving consistently not only outperform other companies in the same industry, but tend to be the most enjoyable places to work!
Recent studies by Watson Wyatt and others point to the quality of internal communication as a leading indicator of corporate financial performance. In my experience, Dialogue Mapping is a technique that has helped focus my clients on identifying and eliminating the roadblocks to real business success.
If you are struggling with wicked problems and attempting to work through difficult obstacles with limited success, you need to learn Dialogue Mapping. Stop what you're doing right now and buy this book. It is absolutely indispensable.
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