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Member Spotlight: Dr. Corrie Voss & Dr. Irv Rubin

Meet Our 2017 Annual Conference Program Chairs!

By Jean Hartmann, OD Network Member and Trustee

In this issue of Network News, we feature Dr. Corrie Voss, OD consultant and adjunct faculty at Bowling Green State University, and Dr. Irv Rubin, Founder and CEO of Temenos, Inc. What I share here is not only a reflective account of member experience that underscores the value of OD Network for meaningful connection, professional growth, and impact beyond organizational boundaries; but also an inspirational reminder of why we are OD practitioners.

Dr. Corrie Voss
Dr. Corrie Voss (left) and Dr. Irv Rubin

I first met Corrie and Irv via the Chair Chat in March 2017, calling for proposal submissions for the 2017 Annual Conference. I was captivated by Corrie’s passionate articulation, and at the same time, drawn to Irv’s presence of silent support. He said little, but expressed much. I would later learn that Irv was trained in the T-Group modality, known as sensitivity training.

For Irv, the OD profession is rooted in the use of self; and self-awareness is in turn critical for our work as OD practitioners. At OD Network, we are blessed with multigenerational wisdom that surrounds us across different schools of OD practice. The Annual Conference is where many of these great minds and strong hearts come together to share in mutual learning and teaching.

CONNECTING: Corrie meets Irv

Corrie and Irv both attended the OD Network Conference in 2015, they met each other at the mentoring session. Although they were not paired as mentor-mentee, Corrie was drawn to Irv’s training at the NTL Institute, and his intimate acquaintance with thought leaders who were our profession’s founding fathers, among them Ed Schein and Doug McGregor.

Across the room, Irv was also drawn to Corrie by her mention of conscious capitalism as the topic of her doctoral research. Irv was intrigued with conscious capitalism: the dance between social consciousness and profit at any (or all) cost in corporate America; and even more so for the chance to learn from the next generation of scholars. In this moment as I write, I realize that I was speaking with a life-long learner and practitioner.

As the interviewer who experienced Corrie’s commitment to value-based leadership and Irv’s humility and service to others, I can’t help but describe this meetup between Corrie and Irv as—two heartful minds surging toward one another.

GROWING: Irv and Corrie in service of the Network

The 2015 Portland Conference was also significant for Irv reconnecting with the OD Network and its practicing and learning communities. Many of you may already know Irv. He has been dubbed the “feedback guru” by Roland Sullivan, and is the brain behind a suite of behavioral tools that have been used by leaders around the world to become more self-aware and develop win-win relationships through honest, behavior-focused dialogue. For years, I only knew him by ‘name’ as among the authors of Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach (8th edition), an activity workbook that served as my bible for team intervention.

Irv’s teachings are a gift to those who read his words, and even more insightful when able to experience through his lens. Irv reflected that he did not see himself as a guru, but when he saw himself on video for the first time, he experienced that passion in himself and is humbled that he can contribute to OD through his knowledge and voice. I am humbled in Irv’s presence: his awareness for sharing the wisdom that others have left behind, and his intentionality to help with the learning of the generations ahead.

OD Network is where meaningful connections are made, and lifelong relationships can evolve. In 2016, having accepted the ‘ask’ to be involved, Irv invited Corrie to be a member of the task force supporting the Annual Conference. Corrie and Irv collaborated again this year to lead the proposal review committee for the 2017 OD Network Annual Conference (link to registration page). The partnership between Corrie and Irv began with a mutual interest, leading to joined efforts in service of the OD Network. Furthering their service to the OD profession, we will have the opportunity to learn about their respective work in the upcoming Annual Conference.

IMPACTING: Corrie introducing Conscious Capitalism and Irv installing a Behavioral Operating System

Corrie’s interest in conscious capitalism evolved from her work as a healthcare professional where she experienced first-hand the failing change initiatives inside a pharmaceutical firm. Amidst an environment of industry collapse where people’s livelihoods are at risk, the many executive decisions made called into question the orientation of leadership and the leaders’ principles of ethical conduct. As I listened to Corrie, I found myself captivated again by her eloquent expression that “OD practitioners are uniquely positioned to help other leaders”. In this statement, Corrie connects us to the meaning of being an OD practitioner and how we conduct ourselves in service of others.

As both a learner and teacher, Corrie is influenced deeply by the precept that ‘change begins with the self’. To drive behavioral change, as is lived and breathed by Irv, ‘we turn the mirror to look into ourselves’, and the question we are presented is—what will we do ourselves to look at what we can do better?

  • How are we learning as practitioners, to change the status quo?
  • How are we listening to all the voices in our field, to practice collaboration?
  • How are we changing ourselves in our work of mentoring, coaching, and advising as informed consultant, to get ourselves one step closer to elevating humanity?

I am reminded by Corrie that we all share this deep desire to have impact at the organization, community, and societal levels, beyond the people that we touch. I am also inspired by Irv’s caution that as OD practitioners, we are at risk of talking the talk, but not walking the walk—if we can’t practice our own principles and see ourselves in the moment.

This is the flourishing of intergenerational wisdom at OD Network! Thank you, Corrie and Irv, for sharing yourselves with us, and for giving me privileged access to your relationship with one another.

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