Dedicated to Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems

Buy the Book

John Wiley and Sons, Ltd
ISBN: 0-470-01768-6
Softcover - 242 pages
Praise for Dialogue Mapping ...
‘In this book, Dr. Conklin clearly dimensionalizes the critical dynamics at play as we face our most difficult business issues . . . our so called “wicked problems”. He then outlines an insightful and detailed prescriptive path forward called dialogue mapping that leaders can apply to wicked problems throughout their organizations. I think this is an excellent guide for all those interested in durable collaborative solutions in our increasingly tough business climates today.’
John C. Mitchell, former President, Business
Printer Division, Lexmark International, Inc.

‘My focus has long been on augmenting humanity's Collective IQ, feeling strongly that if human society can't significantly improve its collective capability for understanding and coping with its most complex, urgent problems then our worldwide society will likely crash. I met Jeff some twenty years ago, and resonated instantly. What he has in this book is of powerfully basic importance to improving our Collective IQ – and thus, in my view, to helping significantly change our world to be a better place for us humans.’
Douglas Engelbart, PhD, Director of Bootstrap Institute,
inventor of the computer mouse and the first hypertext system,
winner of the Turing Award and the National Medal of Technology

‘Project teams, boards of directors, consultants and many other professionals deal with “wicked problems” that revolve around making meaning. There isn't a “right” answer. Finding a solution means finding a sensible way forward. Intelligent solutions come through conversations: by engaging, questioning, deliberating, debating, discussing, and deciding. Dialogue mapping is an invaluable tool for groups of people finding their way through wicked problems. Jeff Conklin pioneered this field, showing the connection between conversations (dialogue) and solving wicked problems. I learned a lot from him and I'm delighted to see his work in book form. The ideas are intellectually rewarding and, just as important, are tried, and tested. Dialogue mapping is a practical, participative approach for dealing with wicked problems.’
Mark Addleson, PhD, Director, Organizational Learning
Program, George Mason University, School of Public Policy

‘Dialogue mapping was the essential ingredient that held together the NASA-funded government/industry partnership that will allow unmanned aircraft to have safe access into the United States national airspace system for the benefit of all mankind.’
John Walker, Policy Team Leader, Access 5

‘Over the past ten years I have been bringing dialogue mapping to some of the most senior conversations on the planet. From the future of corn to better forms of government, dialogue mapping helps large and disparate groups of people agree on the problem, develop and implement a solution, and get results quickly. It is an amazing methodology explained brilliantly by Jeff Conklin.’
Christopher McGoff, CEO, Touchstone Consulting

‘In the public policy field in which I work, “wicked problems” are a way of life. Seemingly endless meetings, floating membership in stakeholder groups, hidden agendas (even from people who think they have agendas), repetition without much visible progress, and “satisficing” solutions that result when the effort runs of out of time or energy or other resources. Jeff Conklin's “Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems” is a godsend. It provides not only an understanding of why working through wicked problems is so difficult, but the tools to allow people of incredible diversity to reach shared commitments to results through the building of shared understanding. I've used dialogue mapping for nearly 20 years. I highly recommend investing in this incredibly valuable tool. You won't be disappointed.’
Michael M. Hertel, PhD, Director,
Corporate Environmental Policy
Southern California Edison

"...Conklin has also written an excellent book on the topic: Dialogue Mapping : Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems. Finally, there is an open source software tool, Compendium, available to support some of the techniques for framing and working on wicked problems..."

About the Author

Dr. Jeff Conklin is a lifelong student of organizational communication and collaboration, and the tools that support them. Through the work of the CogNexus Institute, he remains active as a practitioner of dialogue mapping, although his passion is teaching dialogue mapping as the art and science of creating shared understanding.

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