In Dialogue has vast experience working in international surroundings, facilitating dialogue and innovation across diverse professional, organisational and national cultures. We have seen certain patterns and challenges arise in diverse national setting, and in a wide range of organisations from small and large private businesses, over public educational institutions to non-profit associations and large international networks. By having experience from these diverse settings settings, we have learnt how to apply our approach culturally sensitively - both in terms of professional, organisational and national cultures, how to create dialogue, understanding and clarity in complex situations characterised by diversity. We know when to use certain tools, when to adapt them and when not to use them.
We bring this experience to you by offering consultancy to your organisation at different levels (individual, team, unit and whole organisation) and within different areas – both shorter and longer processes.
- We can be a qualified partner in a dialogue about the needs and visions of your team, unit or organisation, and promise to challenge you to think wider and deeper.
- We have experience with developing concrete change processes for organisations and networks, and would be happy to share our concrete ideas with you.
- We can create a structured dialogue ensuring that the perspectives and ideas of both managers and staff are used constructively in moving towards the strategic goals, and that initiatives are implemented in the daily routines and procedures.
- We have experience with work-satisfaction, conflict-management, motivation, constructive cooperation and teamwork, increased learning in the daily work, strategic development and much more.
Change processes are both exciting and challenging. Decisions about organisational change are decided upon by the management. But how do you ensure that others commit to your idea, and support the implementation? and how do you make sure that you stay in control if you start up a participatory process involving staff and possibly other stakeholders? And what happens when routines and business-as-usual take over and push the good ideas and intentions aside. How to keep the momentum and ensure that new ideas are embedded in practice? We are interested in these dilemmas around setting strategic goals and at the same time involving staff and stakeholders in the process. Furthermore we are interested in what happens after we leave (so we often stay a bit longer).
For a change process to result in innovative and sustainable solutions it is important to manage these dilemmas well. We offer to
- Support the management in communicating clearly about goals and strategies as well as specifying what is still negotiable.
- Furthermore we assist in creating a space for structured dialogue in which each single person is listened to, and his or her perspective fully appreciated and understood, where the dialogues are “separated”, so that people truly listen to each other’s perspectives and build on these, and where the process is guided through certain phases with a clear purpose.
- During this participatory process we ensure that the organisational goals and the role of the management is kept in mind
- Finally we stay in the follow-up phase to guide the management in supporting staff to implement the new ideas into the daily practice.
We tailor make both shorter (e.g. seminars, meetings, theme-days) and longer processes over months and years. The topics can be various such as coordination and meaning-making around the common work areas and strategic goals, improved cooperation, development of new working areas, sharing of knowledge or clarification of expectations, doubts and misunderstandings. See also team-coaching.
Conflicts are an ingredient of everyday life. Conflicts reflect that people understand and describe happenings from different (professional, organisational, cultural, personal) perspectives. Sometimes a conflict get such a grip on individuals or groups, that it stands in the way of the work and on reaching the organisational goals. Too much time and energy is spent on fighting and discussing with no one truly listening to each other and often with a lot of accompanying pain and frustration. In such cases it can be necessary to bring in an external consultant.
However, differences do not necessarily lead to conflicts, they can also be a potential for growth and open up new possibilities for change and development. This is due to the fact that different perspectives are necessary for a more complete understanding of the current complexity and for innovation. When teams and groups can incorporate professional and cultural differences and at the same time manage conflicts constructively, they will be able to achieve innovative and sustainable outcomes. The challenge is therefore to gain a positive approach towards differences and learn how to deal with them and benefit from them.
In Dialogue offer consultancy to the parties of conflicts, being it among staff, management, or within a team. The focus is on structuring the dialogue, so everybody gets a voice, and expresses their perspective in such a way that the other can hear the good reasons behind it. The process focuses on creating clarity and on initiating meaningful conversations on how to work constructively towards the organisational goals. The length of the process will be tailor made to the concrete needs.
It might be desirable to support an organisational development process by documenting achievements and progress. This can be done through a monitoring and evaluation process. In some cases it might be that external stakeholders require such documentation. Balancing accountability (which often becomes associated with blame) with learning
According to In Dialogue the main purpose of a monitoring and evaluation process is to learn from the past to find directions for the future. Learning arises from taking part in the whole process rather than from being presented for the end-results of the analysis and the recommendations by the consultants.
We have experience with involving various part of the organisation and sometimes external stakeholders, in setting indicators of success as well as describing strategies assumed to lead to certain results. In this way everyone involved develops a common language as well as a deeper understanding of the system at work. This enables the organisation to discuss results and reflect upon steps to take to improve the work.
We take full responsibility of designing an evaluation process that both involves managers and staff and ensures the satisfaction of possible external stakeholders. We expect our clients to engage with this process, to be interested in looking at their ideas about success and to be curious about the assumptions they hold about their work.