Services

With a focus on building internal capacity for equity, the Dialogue Company offers multiple ways for organizations and individuals to engage. Our expertise coupled with your desire to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community – whether that be the place where you work or the community in which you live – can unleash the power of collective wisdom moving any group from good intentions to measurably improved outcomes.

The Dialogue Company can design and deliver custom programs including inspiring and informative keynotes, facilitated internal conversations, and highly structured workshops and classes with measurable learning goals. Call us today to more information about how we can help you create more diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Specific topics include:

  • Unconscious Bias
  • Microaggressions
  • Racial unmentionables
  • Multiculturalism
  • Structural barriers to equity
  • Empathy
  • Understanding moral frameworks and individual perspectives
 

Education

As healthy organizations pursue excellence and adapt to the growing diversity in society, they often reexamine their long-term objectives and everyday behaviors in light of new complexities. Sometimes, a key tactic for doing this well is working through the often hidden and/or subtle conflicts about the way that social equity affects operations. Our clients engage us because they recognize that expertly presented information and active assistance about appropriate and healthy dialogue will help them find the optimum merging of traditional organizational goals and increased inclusion and equity. Our team goes about this educational process in a variety of ways, including:

Assessments to clarify challenges

Before we help any client accelerate their organization’s journey toward greater effectiveness, it is important that we, in collaboration with the client, assess the internal and external factors that are most likely to affect success. These assessments can take shape in many forms including the use of one or more of the following: on-line surveys, document review, environmental analyses, dialogues among leaders, and full-staff meetings.

Trainings and Keynotes that disseminate ideas and build curiosity about effective dialogue

As organizations move forward on issues of inclusion, they sometimes conclude that the best way to foster a positive shift among stakeholders is to provide a common training and/or dialogue experience where many people can be exposed to the same ideas – including ones that some people might not understand or be somewhat initially averse to. Clients rely on us to create scaled up experiences so that scores, hundreds, or thousands of participants will focus on establishing a common language and basic conventions that will foster a more inclusive environment.

Engaging, motivating, and empowering change champions
Organizations with successful strategies for fostering change know that at some point in the change process, they will need to recruit and engage a cadre of change champions who carry the momentum of transformation. Whether our clients need assistance in finding such folks or in re-igniting them after past engagement attempts that were less than successful, we work with our client partners to provide trainings for change champions that help them see the synergy between organizational success and their personal goals for the organizations.

Here is an explanation of our methodology:

Facilitation

Almost every organization engages meetings and conferences to reinforce their organizational culture, and often key decision-makers have to manage a nagging doubt about whether their gatherings are making the most of their organization’s resources of both time and money to convene large numbers of people. We are obsessive about the quality of meetings. We can help clients at all phases in the planning process. With our coaching, assistance, and/or facilitation, we can make sure there is great alignment between preliminary activities, process design, participant expectations, and meeting objectives. Our work has covered a wide variety of events for a myriad of clients. See our testimonials and client list.

Research shows that direct participation in meetings and events that include audience polling have a larger impact and long-term positive effect on participants. The Dialogue Company has world-class expertise in audience polling and other engagement methods, and our clients rely on us to make their trainings and meetings more interactive. David Campt is a renowned expert in polling technology.

People from CEOs to professional meeting planners know that a key factor in creating a dynamic and invigorating conference is providing an experience early in a conference that creates a sense of excitement, informs the participants about what to expect, and strengthens the sense of community. To achieve these goals, many of our clients engaged us to deploy our signature experience called the People’s Plenary. This 10- to 90 minute experience combines audience polling, humor, groups surveys and sometimes short un-facilitated conversations. In addition to creating an unparalleled conference energizer, some of our clients have leveraged this opportunity to add a few questions that can help provide conference organizers with key information to assist with conference management or gather data about important longer-term dynamics within the group.

Stakeholder Engagement and Large Group Facilitation

Dialogue in a small group of people is a critical process for exploring the power of group intelligence, and we are certainly passionate advocates of this approach to engaging groups. But we also believe that an organization’s or community’s problems sometime require the engagement of more diverse voices than can be in one small group. For many years, we have refined a number ways to use audience polling technology in order to make the many benefits of dialogue available at a larger scale, so that each person can feel truly heard, and so that some coherent conclusion emerges from the interplay of diverse perspectives in a large group of people.

We have mastered multiple approaches for such meetings, some of which we have pioneered. Whether the particular situation calls for a meeting with several dozen people or several hundred, we bring to bear our experience in many high-profile events that involved the recruitment, design, and facilitation of hundreds or thousands of people.

Some past examples of large group events we have designed, managed, and facilitated;

  • A town hall meeting for President Bill Clinton involving 60 participants, 800 live observers, and a national television audience
  • A 90 minute plenary sessions at the Council on Foundations where grantmakers used table dialogue to explore different definitions of community engagement and also used technology to generate collective conclusions
  • An day-long meeting for a national union involving 4,000 participants in dialogue
  • Three meetings over four days on public education, each involving 250 people in geographically disparate parts of Omaha, Nebraska
  • A five-city satellite-linked meeting involving 2,700 participants on rebuilding priorities for New Orleans

Increasingly, people who manage high-functioning organizations or community processes know that the best way to address complex problems is to get more information from stakeholders and invite them to play a role in creating solutions. We provide assistant to clients who pursue excellence through high quality participant engagement. Our clients in this work have ranged widely, from philanthropists discussing equity in the region to regional associations planning and creating a multi-year community engagement process. We work closely with our clients so that together we can think through the inevitable trade-offs in creating first rate processes such as managing complex and diverse objectives, making participants feel included, and getting actionable information.

Training

Our clients choose us because they are committed to the path up on-going improvement. So are we. Our passionate commitment is to go beyond merely providing clients with top quality services, but to also transfer enough of our capacities to our clients so they can truly build upon what we have shown them and continue their development long after our provider/client relationship has ended. Because we believe deeply in the power of healthy dialogue to create more successful people, organizations and communities, our capacity work typically focuses on refining analysis of challenges, strengthening communication, modifying organizational cultures, resolving obvious and subtle conflicts, and ensuring that decision-making is efficient and appropriately inclusive.

Individuals and Small Groups

Many of our client organization have been sought our expertise because they are filled with individuals and small groups who need dialogue skills so that they can function better within as individuals, families, and small groups. In these cases, our objective is to create a stimulating educational atmosphere where each person becomes motivated and more importantly equipped to embody practices of dialogue that foster positive changes in relationships and systems. We have been called upon to deliver such trainings military chaplains who needed to teach conflict transformation to sailors, for school systems concerned about parent/teen relationships, and to neighborhood safety programs intending to teach skills to conflict resolution to youth from tough neighborhoods.

Change Agents and Champions

Our clients know that for sustained widespread organizational change to exist, there must be a cadre of informal champions who help spread the idea that the organization will be helped by better dialogue about divergent perspectives. We work with clients to prepare agents to embody dialogue principles and to effectively persuade others that an improved culture of dialogue will benefit them and everyone. Our skill building workshops (on-line and/or in person) are often delivered in a short series that allows for greater accountability around change.

Entire Systems

Sometimes decision-makers realize that best way to boost to a system’s inclusion journey is to ensure that everyone in the system becomes familiar with a few basic concepts and skills. Clients have engaged us to large scale town hall settings or rolling trainings serve as cultural reset that to get everyone in a system on the same page. Our approach in these instances is to deliver events that are enjoyable, that inspire interest in inclusion, and that catalyze dialogue between participants, both during the session and after.