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Action Inquiry by Bill Torbert, Dalmar Fisher and David Rooke
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Action Inquiry

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Action Inquiry by Bill Torbert, Dalmar Fisher and David Rooke
Paperback $30.95
Jun 13, 2004 | ISBN 9781576752647

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  • Jun 13, 2004 | ISBN 9781576752647

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“Buckle up your seatbelt and enjoy the ride. Torbert is an original and his ideas about life, learning and leadership will rattle your brain and stir your soul.”
—Charles Derber, author of Corporation Nation, People Before Profit, and Regime Change Begins at Home

“In Action Inquiry, Bill Torbert and his colleagues take on a question as old as Socrates: how to translate human understanding into right action. They argue that we must develop the capacity not only to anticipate consequences, but also to reevaluate our goals and to challenge our deepest assumptions in response to changing contexts and diverse perspectives. Their model of self-critical learning offers a much-needed alternative to views that mistake self-assertion for agency and brute force for power.”
—Morris Kaplan, author of Sexual Justice: Democratic Citizenship and the Politics of Desire and Professor of Philosophy, SUNY-Purchase

“We all suffer from a lack of understanding of how to work and live together. Action Inquiry offers the kind of questions and practical ideas we need in order to search for effective truth in our own work and in our life with each other.”
—Jacob Needleman, author of Money and the Meaning of Life and Time and the Soul

“In this path breaking book, Torbert and his team report back from the leadership frontier that each of us faces. Through lively cases, they illustrate how the demand action inquiry makes on you grows your capacity for leadership. Torbert’s work is unique. No one else combines such erudition with such evidence and such a sense of immediate applicability.”
—Jay Ogilvy, Partner, The Monitor Group of Companies; co-founder, Global Business Network; and coauthor of China’s Futures

“Bill Torbert understands something that few students of leadership ever comprehend. The essence of leadership is the capacity to learn in real time. In this marvelous book he not only articulates the principles of action learning, he gives us practical tools. He helps us develop a potent skill. If you wish to differentiate and distinguish yourself as a contributor of the highest caliber, read this work. It will enlarge your mind and expand your capacity.”
—Robert E. Quinn, Professor, University of Michigan Business School, and author of Building the Bridge as You Walk on It: A Guide for Leading Change

“In Action Inquiry, Bill Torbert makes a major contribution to the emerging conversation between academia and the world of affairs. This conversation is essential as our global society faces extraordinary new problems of sustainability of the global ecosystems and justice for all humanity. Torbert’s vision and practice of inquiring, collaborative leader- ship offers an important key to how we can address these urgent issues at individual, organizational and societal levels.”
—Peter Reason, Director, Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, University of Bath

“For years now I have watched intense personal and sometimes organizational transformations take place as participants in Boston College’s Leadership for Change Program experiment with the ideas that Bill Torbert presents in this book. This book dramatically illustrates how action inquiry can be a path to self- and other-awareness, insight, and positive changes of the sort that can shape a world in the future that we will all want to live in.”
—Sandra Waddock, author of Leading Corporate Citizens

Table Of Contents

Introduction: The Promise and the Power of Action Inquiry
PART ONE Learning Action Inquiry Leadership Skills
1 Fundamentals of Action Inquiry
2 Action Inquiry as a Manner of Speaking
3 Action Inquiry as a Way of Organizing
INTERLUDE Action Inquiry: The Idea and the Experience
PART TWO Transforming Leadership
4 The Opportunist and the Diplomat: Action-logics you probably resort to, but don’t want to be circumscribed by
5 The Expert and the Achiever: The most common managerial action-logics
6 The Individualist Action-Logic: Bridge to transforming leadership
7 The Strategist Action-Logic: Developing transforming power
PART THREE Transforming Organizations
8 Transforming Meetings, Teams, and Organizations
9 Facilitating Organizational Transformations
10 The Social Network Organization and Transformation Toward Collaborative Inquiry
11 The Quintessence of Collaborative Inquiry
PART FOUR The Ultimate Spiritual and Societal Intent of Action Inquiry
12 The Fresh Action Awareness of Alchemists
13 Creating Foundational Communities of Inquiry
Appendix: Concluding Scientific Postscript on Methods of Inquiry

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