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Re-Describing Success: A Journey Through Dialogic ODIntroductionThe landscape of Organizational Development (OD) is a rich tapestry of methodologies designed to enhance organizational effectiveness and employee well-being. Among these methodologies, the Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD emerges as a captivating narrative tool. The Re-Description approach is credited to the collaborative insights of multiple OD practitioners and theorists, embodying a conglomerate of visionary perspectives rather than the brainchild of a singular individual.In an era of rapid technological advancements, shifting demographics, and dynamic societal norms, the Re-Description approach continues to uphold its relevance. This method serves as a conduit for nurturing a dialogic culture within organizations, thereby fostering adaptability and resilience amidst the evolving operational ecosystem. Rooted in the principles of dialogic communication, this approach transcends conventional OD paradigms by embracing a narrative lens to organizational transformation.The Re-Description approach is anchored in several guiding principles:Narrative Inquiry: The method encourages organizations to delve into their narrative core, exploring the stories that shape their identity, culture, and operational dynamics.Dialogic Engagement: It fosters a culture of dialogue, where multiple voices are honored, fostering a shared understanding and collective meaning-making.Re-Description: It propels organizations to re-describe their narratives, thereby unveiling new perspectives, identifying potential challenges, and envisioning alternative futures.The operationalization of the Re-Description approach entails a meticulous exploration of the organization's existing narrative landscape, followed by dialogic engagements to surface diverse perspectives, and culminating in a re-description process to foster narrative shifts. The methodology, although holistic in design, comprises several nuanced components each warranting detailed exploration. As you venture deeper into this guide, a comprehensive understanding of the Re-Description approach awaits, beckoning you to immerse in the transformative potential it holds for organizational realms.BenefitsEmbarking on a narrative odyssey through the Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD unfolds a myriad of benefits that are instrumental in nurturing organizational growth, fostering a collaborative culture, and enhancing adaptability. The key advantages include:Narrative Insight: Unveiling the stories that permeate organizational culture and operations, offering a nuanced understanding of prevailing dynamics.Diverse Perspectives: Encouraging a multitude of voices to partake in the dialogic process, thereby fostering a rich tapestry of perspectives that enhance decision-making and problem-solving.Narrative Shifts: Facilitating narrative shifts that propel organizations towards alternative futures, fostering innovation, and resilience in the face of change.When to UseThe Re-Description approach is particularly potent in addressing a spectrum of organizational challenges and opportunities. Whether navigating through transitional phases, grappling with cultural discord, or aspiring for innovation, this method offers a narrative lens to envision and enact change. The application of this tool is highly customizable, aligning with the unique contours of organizational contexts, and fostering a dialogic culture that is conducive to collaborative exploration and transformation.(As requested, the response is broken down into sections to ensure a comprehensive coverage of the topic. We will proceed to the next sections "Case Examples", "How to introduce the (Re-Description approach)", and further as outlined.)


ChatGPTCase ExamplesHealthcare Odyssey: Re-Describing the NarrativeIn a healthcare setting, the stakes are perennially high, with patient lives intricately entwined with organizational efficiency and effectiveness. A healthcare facility struggling with suboptimal patient satisfaction scores embarked on a Re-Description journey to unearth the underlying narrative threads impacting patient experiences. Through dialogic engagements, a myriad of perspectives emerged, shedding light on systemic issues, communication bottlenecks, and the prevailing culture of blame. The Re-Description process fostered a narrative shift towards a culture of collective responsibility, learning, and patient-centric care. The narrative reconstruction led to tangible improvements in patient satisfaction and operational efficiency, underscoring the transformative potential of the Re-Description approach.Tech Transformation: Dialogic Re-DescriptionIn a fast-paced technological firm striving for innovation amidst a fiercely competitive market, fostering a culture of collaboration and creativity was paramount. The Re-Description approach was employed to explore the organizational narrative landscape, revealing a culture mired in silos and risk-aversion. Dialogic sessions unveiled the anxiety surrounding failure and the need for a supportive environment to nurture innovation. The Re-Description process facilitated a narrative shift towards a culture of experimentation, learning, and cross-functional collaboration, thereby catalyzing innovation and enhancing market competitiveness.Non-Profit Narratives: Re-Discovering Mission AlignmentA non-profit organization dedicated to educational equity faced a pivotal moment of introspection as internal discord and mission drift began to surface. Employing the Re-Description approach, the organization delved into its narrative core, exploring the stories shaping its identity and operational ethos. Dialogic engagements among stakeholders fostered a shared understanding of the mission and the discrepancies in its operationalization. The re-description process culminated in a narrative realignment, reinstating a collective commitment to the mission and a rejuvenated operational strategy, thereby revitalizing the organizational spirit and effectiveness.How to Introduce the Re-Description ApproachIntroducing the Re-Description approach in an organizational setting necessitates a delicate blend of framing, relating, and engaging. Commencing with a well-articulated framing of the approach, elucidating its underlying principles and potential impact, sets the stage for a receptive introduction. It's pivotal to relate the approach to the prevailing organizational context, elucidating its relevance and resonance with the organizational challenges at hand. Engaging stakeholders in preliminary dialogic sessions can offer a tangible glimpse into the process, fostering curiosity and buy-in. Creating a safe and supportive environment is crucial to embolden individuals to partake in the dialogic process, share their stories, and engage in collective meaning-making. Through meticulous facilitation, nurturing relational dynamics, and ensuring a participatory ethos, the Re-Description approach can be seamlessly integrated, paving the way for narrative exploration and transformation.(Continuing to the next sections "Sample Introduction Script", "Helpful Facilitator Questions", and further as outlined.)


ChatGPTSample Introduction ScriptAs you step into the realm of organizational exploration with the Re-Description approach, having a well-crafted introduction script is pivotal to set the right tone and foster engagement. Here's a tailored script that encapsulates the essence of the approach and invites participants into a dialogic journey:

Good morning/afternoon everyone,

Today, we embark on a narrative journey, one that invites us to delve deeper into the stories that shape our organizational landscape, through a method known as the Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD. This approach encourages us to explore, engage, and eventually, re-describe the narrative fabric of our organization, fostering a culture of collective understanding and envisioning alternative futures.

As we navigate through our organizational narratives, we shall employ dialogic engagements, honoring the multitude of voices among us, and weaving a tapestry of shared understanding. The Re-Description process will guide us in re-imagining our organizational story, identifying potential pathways for growth, innovation, and enhanced collaboration.

Today is just the beginning of our dialogic odyssey, an invitation to participate, share, and learn. Together, we will unveil the stories that resonate with our operational ethos, explore the diverse perspectives among us, and envision the narrative shifts that can propel us towards a vibrant organizational future.

So, let’s begin this exciting journey, shall we?

Helpful Facilitator Questions

  1. What stories do you believe are central to our organizational identity?

  2. How do you see your own narrative intertwining with the organizational story?

  3. What diverse perspectives do you think are essential to broaden our organizational understanding?

  4. How do you feel the prevailing organizational narrative aligns with our operational goals?

  5. What narrative shifts do you envision could foster enhanced collaboration and innovation?

  6. How might we engage in constructive dialogue to explore alternative narratives?

  7. What elements of our organizational story do you find empowering? What elements seem limiting?

  8. How can re-describing our organizational narrative foster resilience amidst change?

  9. What insights have emerged through our dialogic engagements so far?

  10. How do you envision our narrative evolving as we engage in the Re-Description process?

Challenges you may Face

Introducing the Re-Description approach in an organizational setting may unveil a spectrum of challenges. The unfamiliarity with a narrative and dialogic approach may evoke apprehensions, the culture of open dialogue may challenge existing communication norms, and the process of re-description may surface resistance, especially in a culture averse to change. However, with adept facilitation, clear communication of the approach’s value, and ensuring a safe, inclusive environment for dialogic engagements, these challenges can be navigated. Emphasizing the potential impact on organizational effectiveness, innovation, and culture can also foster buy-in and mitigate reservations.

(Continuing with the sections "Related Theories", "Reflections", and further as outlined.)


ChatGPTRelated TheoriesSocial Constructionism (Kenneth Gergen)Originating from the field of social psychology, Social Constructionism posits that reality is constructed through social interactions and language. This theory underscores the significance of narrative and dialogue in shaping organizational realities, making it a foundational pillar for the Re-Description approach in Dialogic OD. By engaging in dialogic interactions and re-describing organizational narratives, new realities can be co-constructed, fostering a culture of shared understanding and collective meaning-making.Dialogic Organization Development (Gervase R. Bushe & Robert J. Marshak)Rooted in the field of Organization Development, Dialogic OD emphasizes the transformative power of dialogue in organizational settings. It provides a framework for exploring and altering organizational narratives through dialogue, resonating with the core principles of the Re-Description approach. By fostering dialogic engagements, organizations can navigate through narrative complexities, unveiling new perspectives and catalyzing narrative shifts.Narrative Inquiry (Jean Clandinin & Michael Connelly)Emerging from the realms of educational and social research, Narrative Inquiry explores the narrative nature of human experience. This theory illuminates the centrality of stories in shaping organizational culture and identity, providing a conceptual foundation for the Re-Description approach. By delving into the narrative core of organizations, the Re-Description approach facilitates a deeper understanding of organizational dynamics, fostering narrative shifts that align with desired outcomes.ReflectionsWhat assumptions underlie the Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD?How does the principle of narrative inquiry resonate with your understanding of organizational dynamics?In what ways do dialogic engagements contribute to organizational transformation according to the Re-Description approach?How might the social construction of reality manifest in your organizational setting?How do the theories of Social Constructionism, Dialogic OD, and Narrative Inquiry intersect with the Re-Description approach?What implications do these theories hold for the practice of Re-Description in your organization?How might the Re-Description approach challenge or affirm the prevailing narrative landscape in your organization?What new insights or perspectives have emerged through your engagement with the Re-Description approach?How does the Re-Description approach align with your organizational goals and values?In reflecting on these theories, how might your organization leverage the Re-Description approach for enhanced organizational effectiveness?ResearchHow does the Re-Description approach impact organizational culture and effectiveness over time?What are the dynamics of participant engagement in the dialogic processes of the Re-Description approach?How do different organizational contexts influence the outcomes of the Re-Description approach?What are the challenges and enablers of successful implementation of the Re-Description approach in various organizational settings?How does the Re-Description approach intersect with other OD methodologies in fostering organizational transformation?(Continuing with the sections "Reading", "Conclusion", and further as outlined.)


ChatGPTReading"Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change" by Gervase R. Bushe and Robert J. MarshakThis book delves into the core of Dialogic Organization Development (OD), a realm closely intertwined with the Re-Description approach. By exploring the nuances of dialogic interactions in organizational settings, readers can gain a profound understanding of the transformative potential of narrative and dialogue, central themes in the Re-Description approach."The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge" by Peter L. Berger and Thomas LuckmannBerger and Luckmann provide a deep dive into the concept of social constructionism, a theory pivotal to the Re-Description approach. The book illuminates how realities are crafted through social interactions and narratives, offering a rich conceptual foundation for understanding and employing the Re-Description approach in organizational landscapes."Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research" by D. Jean Clandinin and F. Michael ConnellyClandinin and Connelly explore the realm of Narrative Inquiry, shedding light on the narrative nature of human experience. This book is instrumental for readers keen on delving deeper into the narrative aspects of the Re-Description approach, offering insights into the power of stories in shaping organizational culture and dynamics.ConclusionThe Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD unveils a narrative odyssey, beckoning organizations to delve into the fabric of their stories, engage in enriching dialogues, and envision narrative shifts propelling them towards a vibrant organizational future. Rooted in robust theoretical frameworks like Social Constructionism, Dialogic OD, and Narrative Inquiry, this approach presents a rich tapestry of insights for navigating the complex organizational landscapes.The journey through the Re-Description approach is not merely a methodological expedition but a venture into the heart of organizational identity, culture, and operational ethos. By fostering a culture of dialogue, honoring diverse perspectives, and engaging in narrative reconstruction, organizations are better poised to navigate the tides of change, innovate, and enhance their operational effectiveness.As you delve into the realms of dialogic engagements and narrative exploration through the Re-Description approach, a horizon of transformative possibilities awaits. Whether navigating through challenges or seizing opportunities, the Re-Description approach offers a narrative lens to envision and enact change. So, as the pages of your organizational story unfold, may the dialogic odyssey through the Re-Description approach illuminate the pathway towards a promising organizational narrative, one ripe with potential, collaboration, and growth.

With this, we have traversed through the facets of the Re-Description approach to Dialogic OD, exploring its theoretical underpinnings, practical applications, and the enriching resources available for deeper inquiry. The narrative adventure awaits, laden with the promise of discovery, understanding, and transformation.

OD Application

The Re-description Approach: A Catalyst for Organizational Transformation

In the intricate tapestry of organizational development, myriad threads represent different approaches to fostering growth, resilience, and change. Among these, the Re-description Approach stands out as a potent tool for reframing and reshaping organizational narratives. At its core, the Re-description Approach is about viewing existing problems, challenges, and dynamics through fresh lenses, prompting innovative solutions and pathways.

The Re-description Approach as a Change Intervention

The essence of the Re-description Approach lies in its ability to reframe problems by offering alternative descriptions or narratives. By doing so, it challenges existing assumptions, breaks down limiting beliefs, and opens up new horizons for thought and action. The approach underscores that the way we describe or talk about a problem often shapes our understanding of it and, consequently, our response.

Well-being Impacts:

  1. Organizational Culture: By promoting multiple perspectives and alternative narratives, the Re-description Approach fosters a culture of openness, curiosity, and adaptability. It encourages members to embrace ambiguity and view challenges as opportunities for growth.

  2. Social Psychology: The approach aligns with the fundamental tenets of social psychology, emphasizing the influence of social narratives on individual and group behavior. By reshaping these narratives, organizations can positively impact group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and overall morale.

  3. Ethical Decision Making: Re-description encourages introspection and challenges existing paradigms. In doing so, it can highlight ethical dilemmas and promote a culture of integrity and responsibility.

  4. DE&I: By promoting multiple narratives and voices, the approach inherently supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. It values varied perspectives and champions the idea that every voice matters.

Prosperity Impacts:

  1. Organizational Design: A fresh narrative can lead to innovative organizational structures, roles, and functions, tailored to meet evolving challenges and opportunities.

  2. Organizational Strategy: Re-description can reshape strategic priorities, objectives, and pathways, ensuring they are aligned with the emerging organizational narrative.

  3. Organizational Performance: By breaking down limiting beliefs and promoting innovative solutions, the approach can enhance organizational efficiency, productivity, and overall performance.

Guidelines for Determining the Right Fit

For OD consultants contemplating the use of the Re-description Approach:

  1. Existing Narratives: The approach is especially relevant for organizations stuck in limiting or outdated narratives that hinder growth and innovation.

  2. Openness to Change: Organizations that are open to challenging the status quo and embracing new perspectives will benefit most from this approach.

  3. Complex Challenges: For problems that seem insurmountable within the current framework, re-description offers a fresh perspective and potential solutions.

Presenting Challenges Indicating the Model's Suitability

  1. Stagnation: If an organization is facing stagnation, feeling stuck in old ways, and struggling to innovate, re-description can offer a fresh perspective.

  2. Interpersonal Conflicts: When challenges arise from deeply ingrained beliefs or perspectives, re-description can offer alternative narratives to bridge gaps.

  3. Innovation Blockades: If there's a feeling that the organization is repeatedly hitting a wall in terms of innovation, this approach can open up new avenues.

Tailoring and Facilitating for Sustainable Change

  1. Engage Broadly: Ensure that the re-description process involves a wide range of stakeholders to capture diverse perspectives.

  2. Challenge Assumptions: Actively challenge existing beliefs, assumptions, and narratives to pave the way for fresh descriptions.

  3. Sustain the New Narrative: Once a new narrative is established, create mechanisms to embed, reinforce, and sustain it in the organization's culture, processes, and systems.

Observing Impact at Various Levels

  1. Individual Level: Employees may experience heightened levels of engagement, motivation, and job satisfaction as they align with the refreshed organizational narrative.

  2. Team Level: Teams might experience improved collaboration, reduced conflicts, and enhanced creativity stemming from the newly adopted perspectives.

  3. Organizational Level: Organizations can anticipate improved adaptability, innovation, and overall performance as they operate under the aegis of the re-described narrative.

The Re-description Approach is not just a method; it's a mindset. It's about acknowledging that our narratives, often subconsciously, shape our realities. By actively choosing to reshape these narratives, organizations can carve out new paths, foster innovation, and build a culture of continuous growth and adaptation. For OD consultants, the approach offers a potent tool to facilitate deep-seated, sustainable change. It serves as a reminder that sometimes, the solution to a complex problem lies not in changing the circumstances but in changing the lens through which we view them.

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