Momentum Event: Speaking Truth to Power

Helping your employees to speak up; research on ‘speaking truth to power in organizations’. This one-day workshop will provide you with practical insights into what prevents people from speaking up in organizations… and what can be done to improve it.

"The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know,"  Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon. 

Those at the top of organizations are always in severe danger of losing touch with day-to-day reality. Jeff Bezos’ heartfelt reaction to a damning New York Times article is only one of any number events that speak to a state of pervasive organizational disconnection– VW, Toshiba, Tesco’s, Mid Staffs NHS, IAAF also come to mind.

In the end this organizational disconnection prevents employees from challenging or offering ideas upwards. Over the last twenty to thirty years many attempts have been made to address this, most recently with the promotion of Conversational Leadership, which is the latest in a long line of connecting interventions including Management by Walking About, Open Space Meetings, Open Door Policies, Open Plan Offices, Whistleblowing Hotlines and so on. What is plain is that these noble ambitions have not achieved what they have set out to. In our analysis this is because they are blind to the unique qualities of every organizations truth telling culture and stick to a naïve belief in the existence of a manageable, universal approach to creating organizational truth. This workshop will share insights from a major Ashridge research project examining ‘speaking truth to power’. It will give participants insights into how to facilitate dialogue which assists their organization to survive and thrive. 


  • Why this issue? Why this issue now?
    • The context of ‘conversational’ leadership in a VUCA world
    • The imperative of developing the capacity for ‘speaking truth to power’
  • Our research
    • The research process
    • The five dimensions of speaking truth to power
    • Diagnosing your own strengths and weaknesses
    • Exploring the implications of this pattern for your experience of speaking truth to power
  • Exploring power, rank and status through a variety of theoretical frames and experiential exercises
  • The impact of disengagement on our capacity to speak up
  • Possible approaches for exploring your organizational ‘speaking truth to power’ culture
  • Next steps and further support.

Event fee

Essential information

Date: 4 March 2016
Time: 10:00 – 16:30
Location: Ashridge, Berkamsted, Hertfordshire. HP4 1NS


Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

MA (Cantab), MSc, MRes, PhD

Read more about Megan

John Higgins

John Higgins

MA (Cantab), MSc (Organisational Consulting)

Read more about John