Collective Intelligence

Dialogic Quality occurs when we experience meaningful conversations that tap into our desire to make a difference. We feel satisfied when a meeting leads to clarity and results that we can all own. The intention of stakeholder engagement is essentially dialogic: to get people from different walks of life and with different perspectives into a conversation that will lead to better outcomes. Structured dialogue allows for the integration of different perspectives, positions, and interests. Balancing advocacy with inquiry allows for a holistic understanding of a situation as well as the best possible way forward.

What you can do to enhance Dialogic Quality

  1. Become aware of communication patterns, observe the quality of communication patterns in relation to outcomes of conversations; note what may be missing
  2. Attend to the balance of advocacy (seeking to be understood) and inquiry (seeking to understand)
  3. Listen more than you talk and practice suspending judgment; advocate your own opinion while respecting difference
  4. Set-up dialogue high quality dialogue structures in your collaboration initiatives.

Here are a few questions that help guide us towards Dialogic Quality

  1. How would we describe our personal pattern of advocacy and inquiry?
  2. How can we bring an awareness of the quality of conversations in our team?
  3. How do we ensure that the facilitation design of stakeholder meetings enhances the understanding and integration of differences?
  4. What are the structures for regular dialogue in our sustainability initiatives?

How does Dialogic Quality show up ?

Attention to the quality of our conversations; awareness of fruitful communication patterns; listening; living dialogic practices; creating a thinking environment; inquiry; integration of different perspectives; creating settings for structured and constructive dialogue; enhancing meaningful conversations; balancing advocacy and inquiry

Tools that further Dialogic Quality

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Diversity is an opportunity, not only a value. Dealing with the complexity of diversity is a constant learning curve, but leading sustainability transformation calls for actors with different perspectives and diverging interests to work together. Excluding opposing views or differing interests reduces the quality of outcomes. Diversity becomes an opportunity when we nurture diverse thoughts, viewpoints, backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. Agreements and achievements reached through collaborative consensus create lasting trust, help avoid or overcome crises, and maintain a shared orientation towards a larger common goal despite differences in interests.

What you can do to enhance Diversity

  1. View differences as opportunities for achieving better outcomes
  2. Accept diversity as a call to constantly process difference into progress
  3. Strike a balance between creating agreed binding rules and allowing variations to emerge

Here are a few questions that help guide us towards Diversity

  1. Think of somebody you don’t get along with well - what are three things that you can learn from this person?
  2. How would we describe differences in strength and competences within our team?
  3. In what ways are approaches to change different among the stakeholders we are collaborating with?

How does Diversity show up ?

Respect for differences; encouragement of different perspectives, world-views and opinions; fostering diversity in thought, viewpoints, background and experiences; managing conflicts constructively; listening before reacting; suspending judgment; inquiring into opposition; seeing corrective intention in opposition; willingness to encounter differences and difficulties; defenselessness;

Tools that further Diversity

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Iterative Learning works best when we build cycles of reflection into collective action. Sustainability initiatives require strategic and operational planning as much as the observation of outcomes, impacts, effects, side effects, and implications. The crucial point is how we empower collaboration structures between multiple actors to learn fast enough – and collectively. Rather than assuming to find solutions and answers that last forever, we can see multi-stakeholder collaboration as collective learning journeys that allow us to learn from the past and the anticipated future and iteratively apply insights to current and future sustainability challenges.

What you can do to enhance Iterative Learning

  1. Create opportunity for shared cycles of reflection and dialogue
  2. Plan iterative learning structures into collaborative change initiatives
  3. Share insights and reflect on outcomes
  4. Collectively imagine and create new approaches to a challenge
  5. Stay flexible to adapting approaches to change

Here are a few questions that help guide us towards Iterative Learning

  1. How do we do regular personal stocktaking?
  2. What are the Iterative Learning structures that we have established in our team?
  3. What forms of regular collective learning have we designed for our stakeholder initiatives?

How does Iterative Learning show up ?

Regular stock-taking (personally and professionally); building cycles of reflection into action; adjustment of strategies; creating learning spaces; regular stock-taking of life and/or progress; turning failure into progress; setting-up of collective learning structures; impact evaluation; setting-up of feedback mechanisms;

Tools that further Iterative Learning

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