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Why Honest Conversations are Transformative *

Research in Organizational Change and Development

ISBN: 978-1-83909-084-4, eISBN: 978-1-83909-083-7

Publication date: 31 July 2020


The field of organization development is about change and development of organizational systems. One of the major barriers to system change is organizational silence, the fear of lower level to speak truth to power, and senior leaders' reluctance to seek the truth. Consequently, senior leaders whose role is to orchestrate strategic change that will develop the organization's capabilities do not know the whole truth about their system's capabilities to achieve its purpose and strategy and live to its values. Thirty years of enabling leaders to transform their organization through safe honest, collective, and internally public conversations using a structured process called the Strategic Fitness Process (SFP) has led to insights about why such conversations are powerfully transformative. After a brief description of the SFP, this chapter describes insights and supporting grounded data about why honest conversations were transformative when leaders fully embrace the practice and spirit of SFP. These insights were gained from facilitating and observing hundreds of honest conversations in progress. The findings have implications for how leaders aided by consultants can accelerate strategic change that will improve effectiveness and performance while simultaneously transforming trust and commitment.



Beer, M. (2020), "Why Honest Conversations are Transformative * ", Noumair, D.A. and (Rami) Shani, A.B. (Ed.) Research in Organizational Change and Development (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 28), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 211-238.



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