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Dialogue Mapping. Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems

  • ID: 2209275
  • Book
  • November 2005
  • 266 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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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

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Part I.

Chapter 1: Wicked Problems and Social Complexity.

Chapter 2: Building Shared Understanding.

Chapter 3: The Dialogue Mapping Experience.

Part II.

Chapter 4: IBIS: A Tool for All Reasons.

Chapter 5: The Dialogue Mapping Listening Cycle.

Part III.

Chapter 6: Question Types.

Chapter 7: Three Moves of Discourse.

Chapter 8: Limits of Dialogue Mapping.

Chapter 9: Decisions, Decisions.




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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.
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