Specialism Contributor

Gervase Bushe

Gervase (pronounced Jervis) Bushe is the Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. His career spans almost four decades of transforming organizational structures, cultures and processes away from command and control toward more collaborative work systems. He is an award-winning author of over 100 papers and four books on organizational change, leadership, teams and teamwork. He has a B.A. from Concordia University (Montreal) and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve in Organizational Behavior. He is on the editorial boards of both scholarly and practical journals and has given talks and courses on leadership and organizational change methods in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Over the last 40 years Gervase has consulted to blue chip corporations and start-ups, public sector and business corporations, in a variety of sectors. He works with leaders who want to create great teams and organizations. An organizational transformation he supported, documented in The Change Champions Field Guide (2013), helped a Southern California healthcare company’s employee engagement scores go from the 61st to 91st percentile of all American hospitals in two years. Another documented in Anderson’s Cases in Organization Development (2018) transformed the work culture of the materials handling group in a large electric utility so rapidly that within 6 months unionized warehouse employees had proposed and implemented multiple innovations that reduced turnaround on field orders from more than 3 days to less than 1.

His training and development company, Generativity Associates, supports managers who want to lead highly collaborative teams and organizations through the elaboration of a partnership based theory of organizational design and leadership. Clear Leadership (2009) has been translated into 6 languages and over 100 certified facilitators have trained tens of thousands of managers in North America, Europe and Asia in his models and methods. In the past decade he and Bob Marshak have contributed to the growing body of research and writing on Dialogic Organization Development (in contrast to Diagnostic OD). They have recently co-founded the Bushe-Marshak Institute for Dialogic Organization Development (BMI) to further research for, and training and development of, OD professionals. They co-edit the BMI series in Dialogic OD, published independently through Amazon.

Dr. Bushe he has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Douglas McGregor award twice for his academic papers. His recent book, Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change, co-edited with Robert Marshak (2015) builds on his groundbreaking research into processes of generative leadership and change, and has garnered international attention by both academics and OD practitioners. His latest book, The Dynamics of Generative Change (2020), offers an alternative to traditional planned change, better aligned with the needs for agility and engagement in today’s organizations. Since 2016 HR Magazine in the UK has identified him as one of the 30 most influential HR Thinkers. In the last ranking he placed 12th. A chapter on his life and work appears in the Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers.

Dialogic OD

Dialogic OD represents a return to OD’s original spirit of inquiry, reflecting an appreciation that today’s organizational problems are more complex, ambiguous and uncertain, with Dialogic OD being especially suited to complex, adaptive challenges.

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