The essays in this collection are drawn from papers that I wrote with a group of collaborators between 1985 and 2000. During those years, I led the development of enterprises in education (Logonet Inc.), business consulting (Business Design Associates Inc.), and software (Action Technologies, inventor of “coordinator” software). The essays in this collection were prepared for clients and for our own thinking for doing our work. Each essay, with the exception of “Conversations for Action,” was initiated with a question I was exploring in our work and challenges with clients. The reflections behind “Conversations for Action” date back to my term in the Allende government in Chile, where the question of communication for getting work done first came to me. I later developed the subject in my dissertation, “Management and Communication in the Office of the Future,” at the University of California, Berkeley.
At the core of all of the essays is my understanding of language as the fundamental characteristic of what makes us human.
Years later, with colleagues in organizations I led, I developed a structure for analyzing an enterprise as a network of commitments. The basic molecule is what we called the "Conversation for Action", also referred to as the "Basic Action Workflow".
Most of the work in innovation and business process design was done while I was CEO of Business Design Associates. You can read more about BDA and some of the groundbreaking work that was performed with clients here. BDA Case of Studies.
For many years, many of these documents lived only in the hands of the many practioners who studied with me. Some were available in courses or for clients, and some were developed only for internal training. Upon the request of several of these practioners and former clients, I have decided to make these available in the form of a book. I look forward to hearing all of those who work with the conversations for action framework or networks of commitment/commitment based management approach to management and learning more about how you are utilizing the approach to make an impact in your work.
Sincerely, Fernando Flores, Berkeley CA.