Conversational leadership

David Gurteen tweeted this interesting article (pdf): Conversational Leadership: Thinking together for a change

It makes a lot of sense to me pushing for a more conversational process of change with an emphasis on creating engagement through good questions. This contrasts with the default style in many organisations of “messaging” from the top down (and maybe allowing a few respectful questions for clarification along the way). It includes some good example of organisations getting quite solid measurable results tackling issues like safety in this way.

It’s forgivable, if ironic, that it tends to a writing style that’s rather formal and not very… conversational. Phrases like, “How are you leveraging the power of conversation as a core process for thinking together in designing strategic change initiatives?” feel a bit leaden to me. It’s as if the conversational style has to be dressed up fancy in order to persuade. I’m not sure things work this way any more. It feels as if all this thinking about engagement still carries a subtext of reassuring the highups that they’re still in charge, really.

1 thought on “Conversational leadership

  1. Chris Corrigan

    Surprised you haven’t seen this article before. Tom and Juanita are good friends and this one is kind of seminal in the field with the World Cafe community. And yes dressed up for the audience, a fact that I know makes them laugh too!


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