Communication Matrices for Managing Dialogue Change to Teamwork Transformation

Communication Matrices for Managing Dialogue Change to Teamwork Transformation

James Calvin (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2235-6.ch005

Abstract

New technology platforms continue to be introduced inside organizations in this digital age. Technology and generational diversity will have sustained impact on how business organizations consider and adapt to meet a number of technology and people challenges. The case discusses why it is to promote and sustain crucial conversations dialogue among team members to both enhance and strengthen team and teamwork practices. In the case, the change management process was essential to being able to go deeper through matrixed crucial conversations to achieve a desired organization goal. This case study chapter offers insight and outcomes that were achieved by building a dialogic approach and model, so a vital unit of the organization could begin taking advantage of future technology enhancements.
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Introduction

There is broad general agreement that the current worldwide digital revolution is introducing new technology platforms that will have sustained impact on how business organizations consider and adapt to meet a number of technology and people orientation challenges while engaging in industries and business sectors (Segars, 2018). Concurrently, the role of developing and implementing change management practices to achieve human centered goals often requires methods and tools such as appreciative inquiry, to promote and sustain crucial conversations dialogue among team members to both enhance and strengthen team and teamwork practices that are essential to the focus of this chapter and future application (Cooperrider, 2013). Specifically, in this chapter, it is a discussion about the potential of applied action-research based engagement involving teams and teamwork inside a business organization with the lens of focus on dialogue between team members for their teamwork capabilities, and process and culture. The premise is that new organizational capacity through crucial conversations can enable better team management together by establishing more effective communication matrices as new technology is introduced in the HR unit of a national business organization.

Action Research and Managing Dialogue in Change Management

This chapter discusses a multi-month action-research intervention process that was co-joined with appreciative inquiry to facilitate a crucial conversations organizational intervention. The chapter details and outlines key aspects and factors observed through a change management process that desired to overcome disparate conversations and voices of team members spanning multiple generations. Specifically the case is about the HR unit of a national business organization and the scenario to unfold seeks to illuminate the introduction and role of dialogue practice as a change method, approach and tool for adoption by the team members in the HR group. Briefly, the organization is interested in gaining knowledge and understanding of its current communication capacity matrices in order to erect an inclusive bridge and platform for all members of its HR group who represent four generations in the workplace (Fry, 2018). The swath of four generations presents cultural alignment as well as new technology challenges to unlock new potential for future achievement in the HR unit and overall organization. At the onset, it was determined by senior leadership that a stronger communication pathway is necessary to strengthen overall team performance. A desired outcome was to motivate and encourage the adoption of crucial conversations dialogue to build group capability and cohesion of the HR unit. An immediate objective for the unit and organization was how to get beyond communication gaps from a merger that happened several years ago by engaging in change management. In doing so the quest was to integrate a change model that began with Kurt Lewin’s (1947) to whom is attributed three-step change model (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2016); or another accepted change model like John Kotter’s (2012, 2014) eight step change model. Thus, the focus of this business case is two-fold: the first is to discuss how the HR group in an actual organization is actively pursuing the potential and possibility to invent and integrate a dialogue process that involves tools and methodology to unblock, enhance and improve communication quality by establishing a baseline of dialogue as a foundation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Appreciative Inquiry: Action-oriented models that seek to engage stakeholders in self-determined or other motivation toward navigating change; it features strengths-based approaches in American management.

Crucial Conversations: A discussion between two or more people where perceptions and opinions matter, emotions may run strong and impressions and opinions differ.

Action Research: The use of techniques from social and psychological research to identify group problems regarding active participation involving group efforts to problem solve.

Process Intervention: A focused or deliberate process or procedure designed and intended to assist, move or guide people through a situation involving difficulty in a shared system.

Change Management: Is the management of change and development in an organization, community or group, or changes within a computer system.

Organizational Capacity Building: Is multi-level and multi-tiered at individual, organizational and system levels.

Technology and Organizational Culture: With four generations in many workplaces, technology tools have impact on/in workplace culture and social and group behaviors, rituals and dynamics.

Sustainable Dialogue Framework: A developed dialogue vehicle to both engage and sustain diversity of misunderstanding, understanding, and meaning that can help manage conflicts of complexity.

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