The dialogic mindset: leading emergent change

  • Bushe G
  • Marshak R
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Abstract

The “visionary leader” narrative and Performance Mindset that predominate in theories and practices of change leadership are no longer effective in an environment of multi-dimensional diversity marked by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Developments over the past thirty years in organization development theory and practice, which have led to what we call Dialogic Organization Development, implicitly suggest a different leadership narrative and mindset are needed. Consistent with transformational OD practice, seven core assumptions of a Dialogic Mindset for leaders are described. Relying on one person to “show the way” has become a barrier to leaders enacting the kind of emergent change processes needed in rapidly changing, complex organizations. The contours of a new leadership narrative are identified followed by a discussion of the implications for leadership development.

Author-supplied keywords

  • dialogic
  • leadership
  • leadership development
  • organization change

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Authors

  • G.R. Bushe

  • R.J. Marshak

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