BMI Certificate in Dialogic OD

Complexity and emergence at the heart of dialogic practice

The aim of this course is to ground participants in the ‘complex responsive process’ view of our ordinary, everyday organisational experience.

It explores the history and development of complexity thinking, with a focus on the practical implications and applications of ideas such as self-organisation and emergence.  It provides a challenge to thinking of organisations as ‘things’ or ‘systems’ 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 emerge, which in turn constrain and enable further interaction.

We deepen understanding of notions such as communication, power-relating, culture, politics, inclusion and exclusion, norms and values, strategies and intentions.

Finally, we introduce the ideas of ‘adaptive challenge’, agility, innovation and disturbance (disruption), drawing on ideas from ecological thinking, and the practice of collaborative, reflexive co-inquiry and improvisation as a response.  We explore how we can use a broader range of inquiry modes to ‘sense’, intuit and engage in complexity.

Intended learning outcomes - you will be able to:

Demonstrate a broad appreciation of the phenomenon of the processes of organising, and a particular understanding of organisations as complex social processes of relating, communication and interaction, with conversation perpetually sustaining and changing the possibilities for ‘going on’ together.

Develop the view of culture and culture change from this perspective.

Identify and recognise different depths and modes of inquiry and learning.  This includes differentiating ‘cognitive’ processes of (for example) ‘double-loop’ learning with a complexity informed view of meaning-making, and the extension of knowing beyond the propositional realm of articulated intellect and concept, into the multimodal realm of ‘embodied knowing’ of the affective, imaginal and practical – reflected socially in such things as visual representations, gestures, rituals and symbols.

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 real time, and to make sense of emerging behaviours and the narratives, norms and values that uphold and constrain them.

Improve your ability 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.

Demonstrate a heightened awareness of yourself as a person and OD practitioner, and how you engage with, and impact on other individuals in the organisational context, through a greater sensitivity to your process with others and of group dynamics, and how you typically engage with such processes in organisations.

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.

In order to attain the Bushe Marshak Institute certification of completion of a program of study in Dialogic Organization Development, applicants must successfully complete the other two compulsory courses here on the Academy, and any five of the Cape Cod affiliated courses.

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£100.00 inc VAT

Programme resources

  • DOD – Complexity and emergence at the heart of dialogic practice – what to expect (draft)
    5 minutes
  • Understanding organisations as complex interactions and relational responses (draft)
    60 minutes
  • What is organisation culture, and how does it change? (draft)
    0 minutes
  • Affirmative competence, copying and positive deviancy in culture change (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Storytelling and the role of stories in culture and behavioural change (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Working live – simultaneity, inquiry and learning forward (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Innovation, adaptive organisation and improvisation
    120 minutes
  • Adaptive and dialogic leadership – developing your improvisation skills
    120 minutes
  • An introduction to presence, authority and status dynamics (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Flow – the experience of full presence with others (draft)
    20 minutes
  • DOD – Review your capacity to ‘work live’ (draft)
    10 minutes
  • Knowledge, learning and expressive inquiry (draft)
    20 minutes
  • Working with stories (draft)
    0 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.