Convening Key Conversations

Key Conversations can shift the direction of a team, a department, a whole organisation and even an industry.  They are conversations that don’t happen because there is no forum for them to happen.  The key participants do not meet for a variety of reasons, unless deliberate steps are taken to bring them together.  When they do come together, the informal conversation meets the formal conversation in a potentially significant and productive way.  The Key Conversations needed in each organisation differ according to history, culture, leadership and timing.  It may be the Executive meeting basic grade officers, the service functions meeting their ‘clients’, security staff meeting with  prisoners, a diagonal slice across the organisation meeting together, a stakeholder gathering within the prison including prisoners, or whatever.  Key Conversations require high quality Dialogue.  They can change the stance, thinking and decision-making in surprising ways to the benefit of all.  If you find yourself talking about ‘them’ and they are not present, then you know you do not have all the participants you need in the key conversation.