Transformational Dialogue and Theory U: The Leaders Role in Guiding Emerging Change

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:00 AM

Vivian P. Dawkins, PhD, RN
DNP Program, College of Nursing, Prairie View A&M University, Houston, TX, USA

The purpose of this presentation is to offer a series of skills and tools that will encourage powerful dialogue among nurses and leaders designed to promote and support disruptive innovation and change in health care. Using a model developed by David Kantor (2012) for transformational dialogue, and the model of Theory U developed by Otto Scharmer (2009) on change and the social technology of presencing, participants will engage in group conversations designed to promote the leadership of teams through times of social change.

Kantor’s model utilizes the concept of structural dynamics to outline an approach to transformational dialogue. The concept of structural dynamics has its roots in systems theory and proposes a theory of how face-to-face communication works and does not work in human systems. Kantor’s model explores four specific kinds of activities that happen in face-to-face conversations. Scharmer’s model proposes a deep dive by leaders to reflect and synthesize the need for changing social systems that will impact the leaders ability to engage in the emerging realities of healthcare reform and to guide their teams through change in authentic ways.  The presentation will include a discussion of four skills essential to working within the transformational dialogue model and the 24 practices and principles of Theory U. Participants will be presented with examples of transformational dialogue and Theory U and guided through a series of group dialogues that will enhance their understanding of how these models can be used to change social systems in the health care community. Transformational dialogue enables the leader to untangle problems in communication in any situation. Theory U helps the leader understand and participate in the emerging realties of today’s health care systems. Together, transformational dialogue and principles of Theory U support, promote, and enhance a leader’s ability to guide teams through change.