BMI Dialogic OD Resources

Complexity, emergence and dialogic process consulting

​The aim of this course is to ground participants in the ‘complex responsive process’ view of our ordinary, everyday organisational experience, including a dip into the world of anti-fragile and eco-systemic thinking.

It briefly explores the development of complexity thinking, with a focus on the implications of ideas such as self-organisation and emergence.  It provides a challenge to thinking of organisations as ‘things’ in their own right, subject to impersonal forces and a ‘life’ or ‘intentionality’ of their own.  It positions them instead as ‘processes’ of interplay of all the choices, intentions, strategies and actions in constant ‘play’ at the local level in which we all participate, from which coherent patterns and novel disruptions evolve and emerge, which in turn constrain and enable further interaction.  We take a look at communication, power-relating, politics, inclusion and exclusion, norms and values, strategy and intention through this lens.

We take a brief look at the practical skills of working with both episodic and process forms of consultation through the dialogic mindset.  We introduce the practice of ‘working live’ as collaborative, reflexive co-inquiry and improvisation, a legitimate response to seeing organisations through this frame.

Finally we explore what we mean by culture, and how we might apply notions of ‘amplification’ of change.  We take a look at the role of copying, deviancy and storytelling in stimulating and supporting these processes of stasis and novelty.

Intended learning outcomes - you will be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of organisations as complex social processes of relating, communication and interaction, with conversation perpetually sustaining and changing the possibilities for ‘going on’ together.

Focus on how you exercise judgement, engage in politics and dynamics of power, inclusion and exclusion, use and participate in conversation, rhetoric and truth-telling, deploy the wisdom and practical judgement of being able to tack back and forth between universals/patterns and the particulars in the local situation as you experience it in real time, and to make sense of emerging behaviours and the narratives, norms and values that uphold and constrain them.

Demonstrate an understanding of the differentiation between dialogic process consulting and episodic or formalised change intervention.

Understand better how to collaborate with spontaneity and improvisation in uncertain and complex conditions, and explain the five primary value commitments put forward in Dialogic OD as inherent to dialogic sensibility, which act as ‘lodestars’ that help the consultant make situational choices about how to ‘work live’ in conversational flow.

Develop the view of culture from this perspective, including an appreciation of the three-phase approach to ‘amplifying’ change.

Continue to reflect on your learning practice through personal, reflexive inquiry exercises to explore your own strengths and learning edges when ‘working live’.

This is the third of the three compulsory on-line learning courses, which make up the theoretical base on which you can build your dialogic OD practice.

If you are following a certification or accreditation programme with the BMI or one of its partners, you will also need to complete the other 2 packages in this series.

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£100.00 inc VAT

Programme resources

  • Contents – Complexity, emergence and dialogic process consulting
    5 minutes
  • Rethinking organisations for adaptability and antifragility
    120 minutes
  • Understanding organisations as complex interactions and relational responses (draft)
    60 minutes
  • Episodic and process consulting practices (draft)
    0 minutes
  • Working live – simultaneity, inquiry and learning forward (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Adaptive and dialogic leadership – developing your improvisation skills
    120 minutes
  • What is organisation culture, and how does it change? (draft)
    0 minutes
  • Amplification, stories, copying and positive deviancy in change (draft)
    20 minutes
  • DOD Module 3 – Review and test learning
    0 questions
  • DOD Module 3 – Review and test learning (2)
    Text Based
  • DOD – Review your capacity to ‘work live’ (draft)
    10 minutes

This BMI accreditation course offers

Leading edge content

We aim to go beyond the content that can be found in the BMI Dialogic OD sources – drawing on a wide range of Masters and Doctorate level sources on which the emergence of the field (becoming known as Dialogic OD) rests.  Each lesson draws on, and integrates hundreds of hours of deep research, often combining and making sense of dozens of books, numerous articles, websites and other publications, videos, podcasts and collaborative conversations – curated and combined through the lens of our own Dialogic OD practice of the last 20 years.

Different types of media to suit all needs

Each lesson will mix videos to watch, with material to read – all aimed to blend academic rigor, with reflective challenge and pragmatic application.

Products and downloadables to use in your work

Plus there are downloadable handouts, worksheets, templates and checklists to print and take away, and keep for future reference.

Frequently asked questions

How long can I access a programme or course?

Your programme, course or module will be accessible to you for 1 year from the time you start it.

However in each lesson there are also PDFs, tools, products and exercises, that we think you will want to keep – you can download them, or print them.

What if I fall behind and out of step with the programme timing?

All significant learning commitments require some dedication.  This means making conscious choices, and carving out the time to acquire, experiment with, and reflect on what you are exploring.  Sometimes, this is going to clash with other priorities and occasionally it might feel a little overwhelming – even for the most dedicated learner.  If you know that a busy period is coming up, plan for catch-up time in the weeks that follow.

Some of our longer programmes involve following a specific timetable with a group – with new modules ‘starting’ at a given time.  This may tie in with Peer Support Group meetings, and/or with workshops or webinars.  If this is the case for your programme, an important aspect is that you are not alone – but in a community of learners.  The timings of ‘live’ experiences or group meetings are rarely changed once the programme starts, as this would impact negatively on your colleagues and co-learners.  Keeping up with others, so that you share your learning and benefit from their experience, is important.

Get into the learning habit, and if you have concerns about whether you will be able to do this, and if you fall behind at any time, just reach out to us and we will try to help.

Can I bundle one course or programme with another and save money?

Some of our courses are already bundled, in particular the shorter courses shown in our ‘bitesize’ section.  If the course you are interested in IS available in a value-for-money bundle, proceed with your purchase, and before closing the ‘sale’, you will be notified of this choices at your ‘Cart’.

If the other courses you are interested in are not bundled right now, just contact us, as we can put a custom bundle together for you.

Can I commission custom courses for my organisation?

Many of our programmes and short (bite-size) courses have been originally developed especially for a client – and, where appropriate, then adapted for a broader audience and turned into an ‘open’ programme.  It is our clients around the world that ‘pull’ new content and commission what we go on to build, to meet their needs at any given time.

If you would like to either curate a custom programme from our existing stock, or you have an area of new content that you would like us to look at, just contact us and we can help.

What if I'm not satisfied with my purchase?

Our courses and materials are getting great feedback from users – but of course it might not suit exactly what you are looking for.

We are always happy to refund you if you start a course and find it isn’t what you wanted.  Please contact us straight after completing the first lesson in the course if you would like us to refund your payment or switch you to a more suitable product. 

Please note that we are unable to refund a course that has been more than 50% completed.