Action Inquiry

Book description

“Action inquiry” is a fresh approach to learning leadership in the midst of action. This highly accessible process takes each of us beyond muddling through daily dilemmas to exercising transforming power at key moments and more timely action in general. Bill Torbert and Associates lead you through more and more sophisticated “action-logics”—strategies for analyzing the world and reacting to it—until you are able to practice action inquiry continually. Speaking to everyone from new managers to CEOs to world leaders, real-life stories of leadership and organizational transformations show how action inquiry increases personal integrity, relational mutuality, company profitability, and long-term organizational and environmental sustainability.

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Praise for Action Inquiry
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. INTRODUCTION The Promise and the Power of Action Inquiry
    1. Why We Authors Try to Expand Our Practice of Action Inquiry
    2. How Action Inquiry Differs from Our Modern Views of Political Action and Scientific Inquiry
    3. The Three Primary Aims of Action Inquiry
    4. Summary and Preview
  7. PART ONE Learning Action Inquiry Leadership Skills
    1. ONE Fundamentals of Action Inquiry
      1. The Underwater Pipeline Project Manager
      2. Single-, Double-, and Triple-Loop Awareness
      3. Improving the Quality of Our Awareness by Including Four Territories of Experience
    2. TWO Action Inquiry as a Manner of Speaking
      1. Anthony’s Action Inquiry Leadership Experiments
      2. Improving the Effectiveness of Our Speaking by Interweaving Four Parts of Speech
      3. A Disciplined Way to Practice the Four Parts of Speech
    3. THREE Action Inquiry as a Way of Organizing
      1. The Basic Tasks, Temporal Horizons, and Power of Organizational Action Inquiry
      2. The Conception, Investments, and Incorporation of a Small Company
      3. Managing a School of Management
      4. The Stock Market as Action Inquiry
  8. INTERLUDE Action Inquiry: The Idea and the Experience
    1. Summaries and Exercises for Chapters 1, 2, and 3
  9. PART TWO Transforming Leadership
    1. FOUR The Opportunist and the Diplomat: Action-logics you probably resort to, but don’t want to be circumscribed by
      1. The Overall Developmental Process
      2. Diagnosing Our Own and Other’s Developmental Action-Logics
      3. Charles, an Opportunist
      4. Phil, a Diplomat
      5. Challenging and Supporting Opportunists and Diplomats to Transform
      6. Practice Noticing Patterns
    2. FIVE The Expert and the Achiever: The most common managerial action-logics
      1. Larry, an Expert
      2. Joanne, a Rising Achiever
      3. Art’s Summary of the Four Action-Logics and a Look Ahead
      4. Next Steps
      5. Practice Openness
      6. Conclusion
    3. SIX The Individualist Action-Logic: Bridge to transforming leadership
      1. Postconventional Action-Logics
      2. Celia, “Tracing the Roots of My Dream”
      3. Summary
      4. Practice Immediacy
      5. The Next Step
    4. SEVEN The Strategist Action-Logic: Developing transforming power
      1. A Research-Based Look at the Strategist
      2. How Strategists Think and Act
      3. Studying Organizational Transformation Efforts
      4. Conclusions
      5. Practice Reframing
      6. The Next Section
  10. PART THREE Transforming Organizations
    1. EIGHT Transforming Meetings, Teams, and Organizations
      1. Parallels Between Personal and Organizational Development
      2. Understanding and Leading Meetings as Developmental Processes
      3. Conclusion
    2. NINE Facilitating Organizational Transformations
      1. Intervening to Help a Small Software Company Transform Itself into Profitability
      2. Transforming a Company That Grows Suddenly by Acquisition
      3. Transforming a Corporate Parent Company
      4. Conclusion
    3. TEN The Social Network Organization and Transformation Toward Collaborative Inquiry
      1. Why Organizational Change Practices Often Become Ineffective Fads
      2. Sun Health Care’s Journey from Experiments through Systematic Productivity Toward Collaborative Inquiry
    4. ELEVEN The Quintessence of Collaborative Inquiry
      1. The Sun Health Care Journey Continues
      2. Conclusion—Simultaneous Executive and Organizational Learning
  11. PART FOUR The Ultimate Spiritual and Societal Intent of Action Inquiry
    1. TWELVE The Fresh Action Awareness of Alchemists
      1. A Study of Six Alchemists
      2. The Personal, Artistic, and Political Development of Vaclav Havel
      3. Why We Can Only Get Glimpses of the Alchemist
      4. Conclusion
    2. THIRTEEN Creating Foundational Communities of Inquiry
      1. Joan Bavaria, Trillium Asset Management, and Socially Responsible Investing—An Evolving Foundational Community of Inquiry?
      2. The United Nations as a Foundational Community of Inquiry?
      3. Future Possibilities
      4. A New Organizational Form—The Not-for-Prophet
      5. Communities of Practice and Communities of Inquiry
      6. Conclusion
  12. APPENDIX Concluding Scientific Postscript on Methods of Inquiry
    1. The Leadership Development Profile
    2. Assessing an Organization’s Developmental Action-Logic
    3. Participatory Action Research, Action Science, and Developmental Action Inquiry
  13. Bibliography
  14. Index
  15. About the Author and Associates

Product information

  • Title: Action Inquiry
  • Author(s): William R. Torbert
  • Release date: June 2004
  • Publisher(s): Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • ISBN: 9781605096339