Transforming organizations / organizational x-ray

See what’s really driving choices and actions

Organizational X-Ray is an analytic process and toolkit for exploring the underlying identity dynamics at work in organizationsgiving teams true insight into the invisible factors that determine how people think, respond and engage.

Typical diagnostic analyses of organizations made by consultants and experts suffer from two critical limitations. First, when the people inside the organization don’t own the process (i.e. the analysis is done to people, not with them), people distance themselves from it and the report sits on the shelf. Second, third-party analyses rarely penetrate below the surface to tell the truth in a way that catalyzes commitment to change.

Dialogos has developed a process of systems analysis that transforms these patterns. Our Organizational X-Ray delivers an analytic toolkit and comprehensive consulting methodology for creating high leverage while integrating insights about the core dynamics under the surface of organizations, leadership teams, and social and political contexts.

The Organizational X-Ray is based on Dialogos’ philosophy and experience with understanding invisible factors that determine change. Our approach integrates analysis of meaning-making, behavioral phenomenon, organizational action dynamics, and system dynamics to form a whole view of the organizationand deep insight into the invisible factors determining patterns of behavior and action.

We analyze more than just patterns of behavior over time, but also the emotional and intellectual structures that determine action; the policy dynamics that shape thinking; and the relational and emotional tone and deep cultural assumptions and accepted norms that govern how people operate.

The Organizational X-Ray explores the underlying identity dynamics at work in organizations. Essentially, the way people think about themselveswho they are, what they are, and what they stand fordetermines and causes action. By accessing this level, organizations not only gain insight into unseen motivators, but can also unlock powerful energy for change.

Key elements of the approach:

  • Maps the dominant “models” of organizing in use by the individuals and teams of influence.
  • Examines emotional and archetypal patterns driving the choices behind people’s decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Compiles causal theory to explain and predict behavior.
  • Surfaces and names structures that need transformation in order to deliver critical and desired results.
  • Identifies deeply held beliefs (unspoken or unexamined) and perceived risks that have led to impasse, conflict, or lack of innovation.
  • Co-creates the analysis and develop a shared meaning of the factors that surface.
  • Produces an “immersion” into the experience of the data, beyond mere intellectual and abstract perception, to allow access to people’s intuition and emotional intelligence.
     

Recent projects include:

Assessment of the underlying dynamics around safety in a high-hazard organization, that involved interviewing 100 people and engaging small groups of over 400. Estimates are that tens of thousands of the 40,000 employees have read and utilized the analysis to improve safety awareness.

Provided system analysis of breakdowns and sources of failure in a Refinery and Manufacturing organization that catalyzed a major shift towards continuous improvement and significant system transformation.

Diagnosed the relationship between a marketing and trading organization, catalyzing a system-wide integration of two formerly divisive and separate groups.