Knowledge Management Institute

CKS - Conversational Leadership

Certified Knowledge Specialist in Conversational Leadership

Next Virtual Class: Q3, 2024 (TBD)  

Scroll down for registration or contact KMI today for your no-obligation price quote.


Now you can earn Certification in Conversational Leadership - the fast-growing and evolving art of conversation to improve communication in the workplace as well as our everyday lives.  Based on the highly praised "Conversational Leadership Workshop" delivered annually in recent years; KMI is proud to offer the newest addition to the CKS (Specialist) curriculum. 

Learn from our acclaimed instructor team in this immersive, experiential learning workshop (see mini-bios below).

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Rationale for Conversational Leadership

Conversational Leadership is about appreciating the transformative power of conversation, practicing leadership, and adopting a conversational approach to the way we work together in a complex world.

The business world has seen an enormous amount of change in the last three years; companies going remote, shifts in power regarding who does what work, where and when and, for some, a blurring of the lines between personal and professional, as everyone has tried to negotiate an uncertain landscape.  Norms have adjusted around how we operate on a day-to-day basis - employee onboarding, customer interactions, and especially how we communicate across teams in order to see a project through.

Technology has pivoted quickly to address the needs of teams scattered across the country or globe, but the basic way in which we communicate is still suffering.  So much time, energy and capital has been put into creating platforms to connect to each other, we’ve forgotten the reason we need to be in contact in the first place.  What good is a perfectly run meeting on zoom, when we come away without understanding how to work together to define, act on and reach a common goal?

Our ability to practice conversational leadership depends on taking responsibility for the issues we care about and our capacity to convene and host quality conversations.  Today, more than ever, there is a dire need to use the art of conversation to not only improve communication in the workplace, but spark new ideas, innovate, and grow stronger as a community.

From that community perspective, Conversational Leadership also goes beyond the singular, individual conversation of the moment. Conversational Leadership also focuses on "the aggregate conversation" or the overall discourse, or simply said, as all the conversations that got us to this point and what conversations need to look like moving forward. 

What you will learn

In this 5-day workshop, you will engage in numerous experiential-based conversational practice and feedback sessions and learn about how to:

  • Embrace complexity thinking 
  • Understand the human condition 
  • Take responsibility 
  • Practice leadership 
  • Converse in new ways 
  • Convene impossible conversations 
  • Sense-make together 
  • Develop agency 
  • Stimulate 'communityship'

What's in it for my company or agency?

Failed and missed conversations are costing organizations millions.  As a manager or leader, you need to know how to convene and facilitate all levels of conversations.

Some courses teach us to communicate, communicate, communicate, but then leave out the details on how to have conversations. Conversational Leadership steps in and fills that void so you know how to have the conversations that need to be had.  This is not only essential but critical for all managers and leaders to know.

Reasons for attending this course and what you will gain:

  • Better sense of the complex business environment
  • Better decision making
  • Opportunities are more readily identified and hidden risks revealed
  • Increased innovation
  • Stronger relationships, team spirit, and improved collaboration
  • A stronger sense of community and belonging
  • Better conflict and confrontation management
  • Better strategy formation and implementation
  • Improved engagement
  • Greater trust

Meet your instructors

Donita Volkwijn

Donita Volkwijn is Senior Director of Member Engagement at Philanthropy New York; a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion expert. Donita leverages knowledge management tools and methodologies to ensure that access and information (and, as a result, power) are distributed fairly and equitably across organizations to drive engagement and performance.

She is currently designing a strategy that explores the relationship between Knowledge Management (KM) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), having found that centering the three pillars of KM (people, process, and technology) can serve as an excellent entry point to DEI. At the same time, a thoughtful DEI policy can lead to better KM practices. Donita is also a firm believer in the KM tenet of “knowledge shared is power multiplied.”

David Gurteen

David Gurteen is a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator. He works in the fields of knowledge management, organizational learning, and conversational leadership. He gives keynote talks, designs and facilitates Knowledge Cafés, and runs workshops around the world.

He is the creator of the Gurteen Knowledge Café – a conversational process to bring a group of people together to learn from each other, share experiences, and make better sense of a rapidly changing, complex, less predictable world to improve decision making and to innovate.

Saule Menane

Saule Menane is a certified Organisational Development Practitioner and Associate Certified Coach (ICF) with 25 years of business experience and a track record in organization effectiveness, change management, and leadership development.

Saule has attained a strong multicultural perspective through working in international companies and living in different countries. She offers both organizational diagnostic capability and deep practitioner expertise for getting things done. Her specialties include organizational effectiveness, change management, executive coaching, and leadership team effectiveness. She is a member of the NTL – Institute of Applied Behavioural Science.

John Hovell

John Hovell is a leader in the convergence of Knowledge Management (KM) and Organization Development (OD) and is Managing Director and co-founder of STRATactical. He is a practitioner, speaker, and author in OD/KM strategies and their application to current challenges.

He is also the creator of the C-group – an innovative, experiential, and transformative learning methodology that enables a small group of people to practice and develop their interpersonal and conversational skills. These competencies are critical in a complex world.


Registration for Next Class: Q1, 2024 (TBD)

The CKS in Conversational Leadership is a 5-day class plus optional "KM Foundation" online course.  Most CKS Master Classes are just 2 days. 

Standard rate for new students: $2,500; Past Grads (CKM/CKS): $1,995

KMI recommends registering early!

Package includes Course Workbook, KM Online Program, the 5-day Master Class (and class recordings), Online Exam, Certificate, and "Knowledge Hub" access to new instructional videos on KM and related topics - no expiration. 



All KMI Grads earn the new Digital Badge in their respective course from Credly, the worlds leading digital badging service.




Discounts are available for Gov/Mil, Non-Profits, NGOs and Small Groups (2+).  
Contact KMI today for your custom price quote.



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Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) -     
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