Inquiry and Generative Conversation

I met with a faculty member in charge of a new program. The purpose was to talk about how to make the proposed capstone course better. It is supposed to take the students towards integrative thinking but everything in the original design was based on analytic thinking. So I had limited hope for the objective of making the class better. He laid out the constraints. Instead of proposing some action, I told him I would simply tell him a story and then he could free associate. I told him a long, passionate story about changing the lives of students in my EMBA course and how the process unfolds. When I was finished he was full of ideas. We exchanged ideas and new possibilities opened.  We designed something I would not have expected. I was surprised at the quality of what we were now proposing. It excited me.

Reflection

How often do we insist on “explaining” what someone else should do?

Why does asking a question or telling a story make a difference?

How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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