First ever Dialogic OD Conference in Vancouver BC last week

Dialogic OD opening comments

The first ever dialogic organizational development conference was last week in Vancouver BC at Simon Fraser University. The opening remarks were taped from an interview with Edgar Schein which framed the day beautifully. We had numerous opportunities to engage with others at the conference and the ongoing conversations were a high point for the event.

It was striking that we had 125 participants from around the world, all dedicated to developing an organizational development practice that fits the reality of our times, one framed by complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Old OD practices of diagnosis and command and control, simply are not effective in taping into the wealth of knowledge and experience necessary to pivot in a dynamic world. This is where the emerging practice of dialogic OD have the opportunity to truly make a difference in engaging the minds of people who can and will change our world.

Meeting friends and colleagues was another benefit to being at the conference. It is not easy to stay in touch with so much going on and the conference provided the setting where reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new friends was possible.

More information about dialogic OD can be found on my research page. I would welcome a conversation with anyone interested in the field and would be glad to work with organizations interested in moving away from change consulting based on old rigid models of command and control and move to those based on dialogic OD helping organizations thrive in complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty. Reach out to Dr. Inman at or call him at 425-954-7256.

The Flow Game

Picture of Flow Game














Toke Moller, the creator of the Flow Game and of Art of Hosting, visited Seattle last weekend to train a group of new Flow Game hosts. I participated in the Sunday session where those hosts facilitated the game with volunteers. There were 20 volunteers who participated in the game, four per table. The game is designed to help go very deep with issues. The game can last a matter of hours as ours did or can last days, with participants coming back to the game periodically.

The game is inspired by Indigenous thought with the layout being four directions and earth and heavens. Each of the directions has a stack of cards. A participant draws a card and follows the instructions or speaks to what it means to her/him. Other players have the opportunity to offer ideas and insights. We played for three hours and the depth of conversation was stunning. What a powerful game and framework for transformative conversations.

I would highly recommend finding a Flow Game host and participating in this process. If you would like to find a host and are unsure how to go about doing so, I would be glad to find someone to host a game for you and your team. See our team of four below with our host. We played at the Impact Hub in Seattle.

John Inman Flow Game team










Feel free to contact Dr. Inman for a conversation or ideas on how to use the Flow Game. 425-954-7256 or

Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings














I participated in a wonderful workshop to expand my understanding of how to integrate the Group Works card deck into my dialogic hosting. I started using the Group Works cards several years ago but I tend to put them on the shelf and then forget to pull them out for sessions. This workshop reignited my passion for this wonderful deck of cards designed to foster appreciative conversations.

We started out the weekend with a potluck on Friday evening and after conversation and getting to know each other, we dove into some fun and innovative games using the Group Works cards. Sue Woerhlin and her partner opened up their home for the group and we had a great time. We also had the opportunity to explore a variety of strategies on how to use the card deck. Many of these strategies are on the Group Works site. Both the evening games and the workshop on Saturday were hosted by Tree Bressen, Wesley Lucas, Sue Woerhlin, & Dave Pollard.

The Saturday workshop provided a day of work experiencing a variety of applications of the use of the cards. I met many new people and was delighted to make new friends, several of which came in from out of state. I highly recommend either downloading a deck of cards to print or ordering a wonderful box of cards to use in your meetings. The applications are endless.

As my practice is founded on co-creation and emergence, I chose to use the picture from the emergence card for this post: A butterfly. Here is the emergence card as an example.


Feel free to contact Dr. Inman for a conversation or ideas on how to use the Group Works cards. 425-954-7256 or


Dialogue! Using Dialogue for Organization Transformation – John us on August 7, 5:30 In Bellevue for this conversation

Join us at our 4th – HR and Its Connections SIG meeting as John Inman, Ed.M., M.A., PHR, will join us in a facilitated dialogue session: Dialogue! Using Dialogue for Organization Transformation

Thursday, August 7th

Time: 5 to 6:30pm

Location: Bellevue Library Room 1, Bellevue, WA

Lake Washington HRA SIG on OD and HR

Lake Washington HRA SIG on OD and HR











We will begin by exploring the attributes of Dialogue, followed by a discussion on the Dialogic approach and how Dialogue might foster an outstanding HR practice.

  • How might Dialogue help us to deal with complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity?
  • How might we host a dialogue to foster organization transformation?

Registration: At the LWHRA WEBSITE

If you have time, please read this article: Using dialogue then deliberation to transform a warring leadership team

About John: John has a Bachelor degree in business management, a master of education degree in adult education and organization development, and a master of arts degree in human and organization systems. He is a doctoral candidate in education leadership and change. John published “Using dialogue then deliberation to transform a warring leadership team” in the Spring 2013 edition of the OD Practitioner, the international publication of the OD Network. John recently acquired a new product line of workforce analytics solutions and is bringing people big data to executive teams to help pinpoint opportunities for accelerating performance of people and the organization.

Follow John’s blog for more insights into talent acceleration using people analytics.