Episode 25: Organizational Change and the Way of Exploration – Interview with Dwight Gibson

We live in an age of incredible change.  Traditional entertainment like TV is being replaced by streaming on-demand media.  Traditional stores are being replaced by online shopping.  Traditional churches are having a harder and harder time knowing where they fit in a culture that is so drastically different than it was fifty years ago.

This is where Dwight Gibson and the way of exploration comes in. Dwight has been helping organizations “explore” new ways of being, new ways of doing, new ways of fulfilling their mission.  Dwight is an expert when it comes to organizational exploration.  He has years of experience helping organizations find their way from where they are to where they need to be.  And he guides them by means of what he calls “the way of exploration.”





  • The Exploration Group has been in existence since 2008.
  • When an organization knows they need to get from “here” to “there,” but they don’t know how, Dwight Gibson and The Exploration Group are able to step in and help them find the way by means of exploration.
  • Any organization that functions the same way it did in the 1980’s probably won’t make it.
  • There are organization that die by doing nothing and there are organizations that die by trying to do everything.
  • Organizational leaders need an open spirit to look at possibilities.
  • The “Way of Exploration” consists of three phases: starting, doing, and finding.
  • Starting
    • The Choice to Go Beyond… Beyond where the organization currently is.
    • The Crossroads… The decision that’s made to change the status quo. They are willing to actually do something (e.g., spending some money, hiring staff, hiring a consultant, etc.).
  • Doing
    • Pondering… Involves asking questions, studying, talking to people, doing research, and so forth. A very open-ended part of the process.
    • Landmarking… Start identifying insights.
    • Orienteering… When you start putting landmarks together to create a new value chain, to start charting the way forward.
  • Finding
    • Realization… Recognizing an outcome. But it’s not always clear when this happens. It may be progressive over time. And what is realized may be very different than what was initially expected.
    • Evaluation… Four questions:
      • What did we know now that we didn’t know before?
      • What don’t we need that we used to need that we picked up along the way?
      • What do we see now?
      • Do we go back to the way it used to be?
  • In exploration, there is an element of planned wandering.
  • As people of faith, we ought to have a greater capacity for exploration because we know there is something beyond us.
  • The way of exploration does not guarantee an answer at the end. But you always learn something.
  • We tend to believe that if something doesn’t work it’s a failure. But Dwight would say that if something doesn’t work it’s a learning experience.
  • Leaders leading organizational change need (1) humility and (2) the ability to think beyond their own industry.




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