I consider myself a Conversation Architect. I am the founder of Common Knowledge Associates, a management consulting firm that helps organizations create conversations where knowledge transfer/sharing happens, where new knowledge is created, and where innovation arises. I take Margaret Mead’s words seriously, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
The knowledge that organizations need to address their most challenging issues resides within their organizations, but that knowledge is too often unavailable to them because their members perceive it is too risky to speak up. What I have been very successful at doing is providing leaders the practices that create a psychologically safe space as well as provide members the critical dialogue skills that ensure that all the knowledge that could critically influence critical outcomes is available.
Before founding Common Knowledge Associates in 2000, I was a Professor at the George Washington University for 15 years, and before that at the University of Texas, in Austin. I hold a Ph.D. in Administration with a minor in Sociology.
I have written eight books as well as over 50 articles that focus on how organizations learn. My books include Common Knowledge: How Companies Thrive by Sharing What They Know, CompanyCommand: Unleashing the Power of the Army Profession, Dialogue at Work, and The Organization Learning Cycle, My latest thinking is on my blog, “Conversation Matters” at nancydixonblog.com.
My clients have included, among others:
I am a runner, a committed yoga practitioner, a mother of two and a grandmother of three. I have the privilege of living in one of the most exciting cities in the US, Austin Texas. My work takes me around the world and I love the travel. I have come to know China, Singapore, Hong Kong, England, the Netherlands, Sweden, and many parts of the African content.
Building a Speaking Up Culture - team workshops that teach dialogue skills and practices for psychological safety
Designing and Facilitating Group Meetings - applying facilitation guidelines that make meetings interactive and more productive
Creating a Culture of Knowledge Sharing - 2-3 days of small and full group conversation to design a strategy for knowledge sharing
Getting Virtual Teams Right - workshop and coaching for teams to get started right and build trust
My clients have included, among others:
“Having worked with Nancy Dixon at NASA and as part of Babson College's Working Knowledge program, I know that she understands as well as anyone the difference between mere talking and real communication. She is expert at helping groups of people speak and listen authentically and intelligently as an important step toward shared understanding, effective problem solving, and innovative thinking.”
- Don Cohen, Managing Editor, NASA ASK Magazine
“At our organization we all agreed that working with Nancy was one of the best investments we had ever made. During the two days that she spent with us we became aware of and got to practice new ways of thinking and meeting together, not only within our company but with outside customers and stakeholders. New and more effective ways of using our combined knowledge have become incorporated in our daily work, opening up new possibilities for engagement.”
- Greg E. Simmons, President and CEO, MetaStar, Inc., 2909 Landmark Place, Madison, WI. 53713 -
“I have worked with Nancy over the last eight years as we developed our integrated risk and knowledge management approach for human exploration and operations at NASA. She has been both a friend and colleague who we could go to for advice in order to develop and maintain a set of practices and products that aid in capturing and transferring knowledge. Nancy has been instrumental in our success and we plan to keep her involved in our future endeavors.”
- David Lengyel, NASA Risk and Knowledge Manager