Dialectical Thinking as a Culture Transformation Instrument for Organizations.

In this new book (to appear in 2016), addressed to CEO’s, board members, and members of executive teams, Otto Laske takes an in-depth look at his Constructive Developmental Framework as a culture transformation instrument. The book focuses on organizational discourse culture as the lever by which fundamental changes come about when engaging with new forms of one-on-one and peer-listening once these are grounded in systemic dialectical thinking and an ability to “read” social-emotional meaning making in company discourse.

In the tradition of consulting work based on CDF, culture transformation effects transpire in all areas of crucial important for company flourishing and breakthroughs: level of innovation, strategy design, talent management, peer-to-peer interactions in groups and teams, and the definition of new business models. The book delivers insight into the human operating system supporting holocracy.

While “active listening” has been much emphasized in coaching, hosting, and DoJo4Life work, structured listening in terms of CDF is not only active but DEEP. It is deep because it is focused on joining two aspects implicit in every communication: the level of speakers’ social-emotional meaning making, and the level of making cognitive sense of the world and handling its complexity. As shown in the book, both aspects are inseparable and determine “how the world shows up” for people, and how therefore they go about trying to “change” it for their purposes.

In 5 chapters, the short book elucidates the nature and practice of structured deep listening which opens up channels of innovation and breakthrough not previously imagined. Emphasis is put on the PRACTICE of exploring the biggest picture available of a situation, its unceasing way of changing, and its intrinsic relatedness with what to logical minds seems outside of focus (but isn’t). This practice is linked to that of being aware of one’s own internal positioning toward others, embedded in social-emotional meaning making.

Anchored in high-level competences of using CDF as an instrument of individual and team assessment, as well as a 15 year long practice of teaching CDF to an international study body in several languages, Otto’s writing makes palpable the excitement readers will experience when CDF tools enable them to “see” their organizational world at large in the novel light of insight into how people make meaning and “think”.

The books aims to renew readers’ resources for fresh thinking unimpeded by scientific and ideological paradigms that are presently blocking achievable breakthroughs. It is also the basis of workshops on rewiring team dynamics.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Foundations of Organizational Discourse
Part 1
Chapter 1 Discourse Culture and Meaning Making
Chapter 2 Can You “Hear” How Your Associates Position Themselves in the Social World?
Part 2
Chapter 3 How World-Aware is Your Own and Your Associates’ Thinking?
Chapter 4 Which Moment of Dialectic Controls Your Company’s Discourse Culture?
Part 3
Chapter 5 The Two Crucial Dimensions of Organizational Discourse Are Intertwined
Epilogue: A Call to Action
Appendix A: Social-Emotional Exercises
Appendix B: Exercises in Dialectic
Appendix C: Can Your Board of Directors Listen?
Appendix D: Historical Origins of the Constructive Developmental Framework
Index (Terms)