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Nancy Dixon
Austin Texas
My work is focused on increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing in the workplace
Interests: Hybrid teams - the best of virtual and face-to-face teams, Knowledge Management, Conversation
Recent Activity
In this post, I define the underlying beliefs and structures/processes that need to be in place to bring about that promise. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2021 at conversation matters
Dialogue offers a pathway for organizations to address adaptive issues by drawing on the understanding of all of its members. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at conversation matters
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The Virginia prison system has embedded dialogue in a way that has changed the culture to one of healing for staff and prisoners alike Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at conversation matters
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KM needs to focus on the way organizational members talk to each other in order to prevent the distortion of knowledge that results in poor decision making Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at conversation matters
The most effective way you can increase the flow of knowledge across an organization is to connect organizational members to each other. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at conversation matters
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Dialogue can reduce polarization by engaging in first-person dialogue Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2020 at conversation matters
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It is possible to have civil conversations between polarized groups - if you follow these simple ground rules Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at conversation matters
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Organization are able to learn from their knowledge when they apply these ten big ideas of knowledge managment Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at conversation matters
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In my last post, I wrote about the problems that hierarchical organizations cause employees, including depression, anxiety and heart attacks, as well as being subjected to the inequality of privilege and income disparity. I also suggested that society, as a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2020 at conversation matters
Tom Barfield posted Nancy, your blog reminds me of one my favorite work experiences in my career. It was 2000, and I had just joined a brand new team of about eight people in Accenture’s learning organization that was to be responsible for driving learning infrastructure improvements (ex. LMS…). In forming the team most of the members had applied for the team lead role – and of course, only one person got that role. Two months later the team lead decided to take a new opportunity outside the organization. Who was going to be the new team lead? The team came together and quickly came to the conclusion that we didn’t want one team lead – we wanted to be a self-lead team. We took our thinking to the Chief Learning Officer and he loved it! Over the next five years this team bonded and did many amazing things. The members of the team each grew into new responsibilities in leadership across the organization. The lack of a hierarchy was never an issue. It remains one of my fondest times in my career. I still count the other members of that team among my closest friends. Tom
Thanks for a thoughtful answer. I'm not sure that I agree that democracy and hierarchy are not mutually exclusive. To the degree that those at the top of the hierarchy can tell employees what to do, even if those employees think what they are being asked to do is wrong; and if they don't comply they lose their job, and maybe with a poor or no recommendation to get another job (take the Wells Fargo example) - those employees have lost their freedom. I grant that not all employers are that harsh, but the point is they have the power to be so if they choose. In a democracy that is too much power in the hands of people who may or may not choose to exert it. Certainly there are CEOs that would not act in such ways, but we know that power corrupts and that safeguards are needed to protect citizens from that potential corruption. At issue for me that the current hierarchical structure in too many large corporations has become toxic, harmful to employees, government, and the environment. To the extent that those at the top of the hierarchy have a kind of unlimited power, that is not even checked by the Corporate Boards - those working in those corporations are not free.
Thanks for you comments. I'd be interested in hearing more about your work with major project and how they implement a more democratic approach. Nancy
“Democracy is a tough way to live. With all its flaws, I think it beats the alternatives. I do not wish to have someone else, no matter how educated, well intentioned, wealthy, or wise, decide unilaterally what is best for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at conversation matters
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Changing hearts and minds of Police and the Black community through conversation Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2020 at conversation matters
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The Wildland Fire lessons learned are posted weekly by email to over 7000 readers. They are the way the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) does rapid lesson sharing. They are also a place for users to submit their own... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2020 at conversation matters
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There is an encouraging shift happening - organizations are becoming flatter and more self-governing.To be flatter and self-governing requires organization leaders to turn to and believe in the knowledge and wisdom that is embedded in the workforce. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at conversation matters
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There is an encouraging shift happening - organizations are becoming flatter and more self-governing.To be flatter and self-governing requires organization leaders to turn to and believe in the knowledge and wisdom that is embedded in the workforce. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at conversation matters
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This is a blog post I wrote that was published in HBR July 01, 2015. As we are trying to emerge from being totally remote, it seemed appropriate to revisit it. Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2020 at conversation matters
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“That’s an Excellent question” has become the ubiquitous first words out of the mouth of any speaker in answer to a question. But I ask you, can every question possibly be an excellent question? What qualifies for being an excellent... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2020 at conversation matters
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I have developed an easy way to provide some help to managers who are having to deal with remote workers during the virus. Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2020 at conversation matters
There is a great deal that newly remote teams can learn from teams that have worked remotely for several years. This post has tips about how experienced teams stay connected Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at conversation matters
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I recently held a webinar targeting managers who suddenly have to lead a remote team because everyone has been told to work at home. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at conversation matters
The Problem: No matter how carefully leaders plan their online meetings, team members too often end up disengaging while on the call. According to a recent study, 82% of people admit to multi-tasking. The study shows they do everything from surfing the web to answering emails to using the bathroom during team calls! Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2020 at conversation matters
In the absence of new declarations of epistemic rights and legislation, surveillance capitalism threatens to remake society as it unmakes democracy. From below, it undermines human agency, usurping privacy, diminishing autonomy and depriving individuals of the right to combat. From... Continue reading
Reblogged Jan 26, 2020 at conversation matters
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The remote movement is precipitating a much needed change in human flourishing in the world of work. As companies come to realize the economic benefits of remote work and as more and more workers choose to work for companies who provide this choice, it seems safe to predict that the future of work will bring greater human flourishing. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2020 at conversation matters