Enhancing the Impact of Learning on Organizational Performance

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Cyprus paves the wave for global peace
Cyprus paves the wave for global peace
Place Nicosia
Date(s) 11–12 October 2012
Type of participants Representatives from all 27 Member States
Number of participants 41
Total Duration 2 days
Link(s) Download Report


Mr. Yiannis Laouris

In accordance with tradition, the DISPA meeting was organised by the School of Public Administration located in the Presidency country, in this case the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration.

Mr. Yiannis Laouris and Mr. Marios Michaelides presented the Structured Stakeholder Dialogue defined as a collective learning and problem solving methodology.

Mr. Laouris began by introducing the terms ‘Spreadthink’, ‘Groupthink’ & ‘Erroneous Priorities’.‘Spreadthink’describes the views of the individual members of the group on the relative importance of problems and/or proposed action options will be literally ‘spread all over the map’. Facilitators who try to bring groups to a majority view or a consensus without the aid of some methodology that resolves the difficulties caused by ‘Spreadthink’ may well be driving the group to ‘Groupthink’, and thus helping to arrive at a decision that lacks individual support and, usually, lacks substance.”

Mr. Laouris further summarized the ABCs of Structured Dialogic Design “from common sense to science”:

  • We agree what we will be talking about.
  • Those who participate commit.
  • Only one speaks at a time.
  • Every opinion is appreciated and protected.
  • We listen actively to the others.
  • Did we invite everyone who has a stake?
  • Everybody has more of less equal time to talk.
  • We recognize our cognitive limitations.
  • We respect/document what everybody says.
  • We respect one’s own words.

It was noted that Cyprus is an international leader in SDD. As an illustration, the project “Transforming local governance, 2009–10” has been considered internationally as a pioneer example of using the science of dialogic design to transform the whole country. Ten SDDPs across Cyprus diagnosed the educational and training needs of the local authorities with the aim of upgrading the operation of local governance in Cyprus.

Mr. Marios Michaelides

Mr. Michaelides offered an example of applying SDD to town planning and wine villages development as a new opportunity for participatory planning: the Local Development Pilot Project (LDPP) for the Wine Villages district of Cyprus.


The Report of the Meeting of the Directors of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration of the European Union (DISPA) during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU is available online:

Enhancing the Impact of Learning on Organizational Performance