Dialogues are conversations that go beyond the usual knowledge recall and application process familiar to all municipal clerks in training seminars. They are unique because they explore leadership principles and practice, drawing on the insights contained in a book that all participants have read.
Dialogues are conversations in which clerks share their experience and understanding as it relates to the ideas of the author and the relevance of those ideas to their public leadership role.
The premise of the Athenian Dialogue Society is the idea that clerks are leaders in very profound yet subtle ways. Leadership here is not the transactional vending machine citizens seem to believe about public management. The interest and involvement of the participants, as well as the author’s specific focus and emphasis, require that the facilitator move with purpose using language of meaning, feeling, and power. Participants devote a full day (6 hours) to a Dialogue and come away intellectually enriched by this communication experience.
Clerk leadership is more transformational in nature. That is to say, the contribution of clerks to municipal leadership changes the perception of colleagues and citizens about the role and purpose of government.
All Athenian Dialogue programs must be pre-approved by IIMC in order to be recognized by IIMC.
COVID-19 Policy Update: On May 15, 2020 the IIMC Board of Directors voted to temporarily allow Athenian Dialogues to be conducted virtually using video conferencing software through January 2021. On November 14, 2020, the IIMC Board of Directors voted to extend the allowance through June 30, 2021.
All Dialogues must be pre-approved by the Education Department.