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Awards Criteria and Descriptions

The OD Network is proud to recognize outstanding members for their achievements. In 2017, we are accepting nominations for seven awards. Descriptions of the awards are given below, including criteria for each award. This information is also available as a downloadable PDF for your convenience.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Award Purpose

This award is given in recognition of a Network member who has made a significant and lasting impact on the field and practice of organization development through their professional accomplishments, served the profession over an extended period of time, has earned the respect and admiration of professional colleagues and has freely engaged not only contemporaries, but also been committed to maintaining a dynamic connection to all generations of OD practitioners

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award are recognized for outstanding conceptual contribution and fundamental advancement in the field and practice of OD. In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address the nominee’s commitment siting examples of as many of the following criteria as possible. The nominee has repeatedly demonstrated:

  • Writing, speaking, teaching, and delivering public presentations that have significantly contributed to the development of the field, the body of knowledge required for effective OD practice and building understanding of the value of OD brings to organization
  • Contribution to professional literature (e.g., has published highly-respected work; is a frequently cited source in books and journals; has created a body of work that has enhanced the practice of OD)
  • Challenging our way of thinking about the practice of OD and reinterpretation of existing theory as to enhance understanding of the profession
  • Significant client/community impact through the application of OD theory, principles and practices while working client engagements.
  • Commitment to others through teaching, mentoring, writing, speaking, blogging, and sharing information
  • Communication of the purpose, principles, values, and the impact OD offers the larger world such that the value of OD is increasing understood and positively impacts market demand for well-trained OD practitioners grows
  • Global and/or national recognition for her/his contributions
  • Exemplifying the values and practiced the principles of OD in his/her own behavior

Award Description

This award is presented when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. We aim to present one Lifetime Achievement Award each year yet reserve the right to present a second award when warranted. Previous recipients are not eligible for and may not be recognized with this award multiple times. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.


Service to the OD Network Award

Award Purpose

This award recognizes OD practitioners who, like Fred Miller, who’s service to the OD Network, over an extended period of time, has strengthened or enhanced the Network resulting in an increase of the Network’s credibility and impact.

Award Criteria

This award honors individuals whose service to the OD Network, have gone above and beyond volunteer contributions to serve our profession and our member while modeling the values and behavior of the network. In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address one or more of the following, providing examples of how the nominee:

  • Actively participated in defining strategy for the Network and the implementation directly resulting in advancement toward established goals
  • Exercised servant-leadership inspiring others by modeling initiative, accepting and carrying out additional responsibilities
  • Provided services to members or others on behalf of the Network
  • Developing or leading vital new initiatives for the Network
  • Fostering mutually beneficial, innovative and creative alliances or partnerships for the Network
  • Making continuing, valuable contributions to the Network’s key activities
  • Worked collaboratively with other Network volunteers, looking for synergies and inspiring others achievements

Award Description

This award is presented when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. Up to three Service to the OD Network awards may be presented each year. Previous recipients are eligible for and may be recognized with this award multiple times provided additional service has amassed. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.


Organizational Excellence and Impact in OD Award

This award recognizes organizations and their leaders that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to organization development and organization effectiveness within their own operating practices. Organizations receiving this recognition may be large, small, not-for-profit and public organizations from around the world that have shown a strong commitment and recognize the importance OD has played in the success of their organization.  Their OD work must have evidence of demonstrated impact and achievement of expected outcomes.  

Award Purpose

This award identifies, salutes and honors companies / organizations and their C-level executives throughout the business community. While there are many aspects to a business' success, leaders are at the forefront of their organizations and bear responsibility, utilizing their ingenuity, creativity and experience to keep their organizations sustainable.

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award are recognized for demonstrating and following a systems approach to change and development within their organizations. not-for-profit, public, and corporate organizations and their leader are eligible. Nominees will have undertaken a recent organizational shift with support from an OD professional(s).  Results of the OD work will show evidence of demonstrated positive impact and change.  In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address one or more of the following, providing examples of how the nominee:

  • Demonstrates leadership within their role with the organization and how they determined the need for support and how the relationship with the OD professional developed
  • Incorporated OD strategies and values as an integral component of the organization's culture, values and principles and leadership excellence
  • Demonstrated organizational success and value of a systems approach to stakeholders including customers, employees, community, suppliers, shareholders, etc.
  • Produced evidence of demonstrated positive impact, goal achievement or outcome realization
  • Demonstrated commitment – financial, behavior modeling, recognition, etc. - significant to ensure impact and sustainability
  • Aligned OD strategies with business or mission strategy and developed OD competencies within the organization, at all levels, especially leadership

Award Description

This award is presented when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. Up to three Organizational Excellence awards may be presented each year. Previous recipients are eligible for and may be recognized with this award multiple times provided additional service has amassed. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.


Sharing the Wealth Award

This award was established in honor of Kathie Dannemiller, a gifted teacher/mentor, and one of the most respected consultants of her era. Her passionate, engaging, and direct style affected many people profoundly both by what she said and did, and how she listened. Kathie contributed to the theory and practice of OD by co-inventing an approach to working with large, complex issues, now known as Whole-Scale Change. Kathie taught and used this approach around the world in hundreds of organizations and communities.

Award Purpose

This award recognizes OD practitioners who, like Kathie Dannemiller, have gone above and beyond to freely share their knowledge, expertise, and methods with others. Award winners in this category clearly demonstrate the spirit and values of generosity by committing significant talent, time, and energy to ensure the potential, diverse and unique professional gifts are recognized enabling such gifts to be sustained in the wider community and through future generations of OD professionals.

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award are recognized for consistently and willingly reaching out – particularly to under-served communities – to share their knowledge and expertise, related to generosity, giving voice, connecting the head and the heart and calling into greatness, all core values associated with Kathie Dannemiller’s approach to change work. In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address one or more of the following, providing examples of how the nominee:

  • Invites less seasoned professionals to actively partner in “stretch” projects, work assignments and internships
  • Contributes time and energy pro bono to make expertise more widely available
  • Supports others’ ability to share their experience and knowledge with wider audiences
  • Creates and makes accessible resources for those wanting to learn and explore
  • Passionately demonstrates the belief that everyone in a community can make a significant contribution; has worked to ensure all voices are valued and heard

Award Description

This award is presented when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. One Sharing the Wealth award may be presented each year. Previous recipients are not eligible for and may not be recognized with this award multiple times. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.

This award was established in honor of Fred A. Miller to acknowledge significant contribution and sustained service of individuals in support of the OD Network.


Outstanding Article in OD Practitioner Award

Award Purpose

This award recognizes the outstanding, substantive, research grounded article published in the Network’s professional, peer-reviewed, publication in the current year.

Since 1968, the OD Practitioner (ODP) has been fostering critical reflection on OD theory and practice and sharing applied research, innovative approaches, evidence based practices, and new developments in the OD field. The ODP welcomes articles by authors who are OD practitioners, clients of OD processes, Human Resource staff who have partnered with OD practitioners or are practicing OD, and academics who teach OD theory and practice. As part of our commitment to ensure all OD Network programs and activities expand the culture of inclusion, we encourage submissions from authors who represent diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual practice, economic class, education, nationality, experience, opinion, and viewpoint.

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award are recognized for outstanding contribution to the Network’s professional publication as recognized and nominated by the ODP Editorial Board. In completing the nomination application, the Editorial Board shall address one or more of the following, citing examples that the article:

  • Offers innovative theory and practice
  • Expands and provides a new perspective on current theory and practice
  • Is clearly written, accessible, and well organized, with case examples that demonstrate how to translate theory into practice
  • Has the potential to be a resource for use in classrooms, workshops, and/or consulting situations
  • Describes the outcome or desired outcome following application

Award Description

One award will be presented each year in recognition of a single article. Previous recipients are eligible for and may be recognized with this award multiple times. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.


Communicating OD Knowledge Award: In Honor of Larry Porter

This award was established in honor of Larry Porter1 to acknowledge individuals like Larry who have demonstrated a commitment to the development, creation and transfer of knowledge in the field of OD. Larry played a key role in the development of the profession and of the OD Network. For nearly three decades, he encouraged and cajoled both new and experienced practitioners to contribute their knowledge and experience to the field. He served on the Board of Trustees for almost 10 years, and he was the Editor of the OD Practitioner throughout the 1970’s. He also presented regularly, authored or edited many classic articles, and brought indefatigable energy, spirit, caring, and authenticity to everything and everyone he touched.

Award Purpose

This award recognizes OD practitioners who, like Larry Porter, bring new, clarified, or expanded knowledge to the field of OD; contribute conceptually to the field by publishing, teaching, making professional presentations, or communicate through other channels; and/or playing a leadership role in sharing knowledge that has significantly influenced the field of OD.

Award Criteria

This award honors individuals whose writing, speaking, teaching, or public presentations have significantly contributed, over many years, to the development of the field and to the body of knowledge required for effective OD practices. In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address one or more of the following, providing examples of how the nominee:

  • Publishing frequently in a variety of contexts, both within and outside familiar OD publications
  • Presenting and generously sharing conceptual work that develops, integrates, and applies theory to OD practice
  • Writing or using other media to promote useful learning and capacity-building throughout the practitioner community
  • Creating a body of work that has a national and international perspective and reputation
  • Communicating knowledge in a way that generates respect in the field and attracts a diverse constituency of colleagues, practitioners, and students

Award Description

This award is when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. One Communicating OD Knowledge award may be presented each year. Previous recipients are eligible for and may be recognized with this award multiple times provided additional service has amassed. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.


Emerging New OD Practitioner Award

This award offers the opportunity to acknowledge and honor the contributions, learnings and successes of someone new to the field of OD whose work with clients and / or other practitioners demonstrates an exemplary command of the competencies of OD and the values of the OD Network.

Award Purpose

This award honors emerging new OD Practitioners for their contribution to the field. The contribution may be an innovative use of a new tool, sharing lessons (even “failures”) so others may grow, peer mentorship, challenge / encouragement, etc. The Emerging New OD Practitioner Award provides the opportunity to recognize valuable contributions to OD and highlight an individual or individuals who are having an early influence on learning, development, operational practice and impact in OD.

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award are nominated by those who know of, have observed or have been impacted and influenced directly by the nominee or their body of work. Nominees must be relatively new to the practice of OD (generally with no more than seven years of practical experience in OD). In completing the nomination application, the nominator should address how the nominee demonstrated an exemplary command of the OD competencies and OD Network values AND one or more of the following, providing examples of how the nominee:

  • Leveraged a particular theory, how it is used and the impact of results
  • Helped with personal growth, development of individual practice, citing how the relationship came about, how it worked and the difference it made
  • Developed and shared an innovative and / or cutting edge methodology, how it was applied and the impact
  • Integrated new or non-traditional approaches in their to organizational change and transformation work
  • Is becoming the “go to” resource for tools, techniques, theory, shadow consulting, application, etc.

Award Description

This award is presented when a worthy recipient is identified. This may or may not be an annual occurrence. Up to three Emerging New OD Practitioner Awards may be presented each year. The award is presented at the OD Network Annual Conference.

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