OD Network News: Your monthly update of OD Network news, events and opportunitiesOD Network News: Your monthly update of OD Network news, events and opportunities
September 2018 | Archive

In this Issue

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The Future of OD: Updated Reflections on the OD Field: Are We Good Enough for the Changing World?

Chris Worley & Ann FreyerhermDr. Chris Worley will be the featured speaker on Sunday, October 21 during our 2018 Annual Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. He and co-author Ann Feyerherm share some reflections on the future of OD in a world that has changed dramatically over the past decade.

by Christopher G. Worley and Ann E. Feyerherm, Pepperdine University – Graziadio School of Business and Management

Ten years ago, we were invited to introduce a special issue of the OD Practitioner dedicated to OD in the 21st century. Ten years on, we’ve been asked to look back and look forward. Was our analysis sound? Have our recommendations resonated with others? Have our ideas stood up over time? Well, sort of. What do we think the future might look like standing where we are today? Read on.

In “Forward to the Past: Reclaiming OD’s Influence in the World,” our conclusion regarding OD’s substantially positive impact was tempered by the observation that some fault lines were forming. We worried that a more “turn key” change management focus was weakening OD’s identity and that internally focused hand-wringing regarding values and practice was distracting us from evaluation and knowledge generation — key ingredients in a developmental perspective.

Looking back, our review of the trends driving the future seem sound, but we did not see some big issues. We missed digitalization. “Technology change” is too weak a word for what is happening. We missed populism and we worry today that OD is coopted, a part of — instead of a challenge to — the “elites.” In a related sense, we missed the pervasiveness of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and LGBTQ issues. Has OD failed in addressing societal inequities or we are just working the issues at a deeper level?

We believed that the way forward for OD was to remember who it was. We proposed an integrated and comprehensive identity — responsible progress — that reclaimed its past and recognized the demands and realities of the present. We also made suggestions to beef up the “research” in action research. In fact, many practitioners have picked up responsible progress under the mantle of sustainability and the triple bottom line. That trend has been disrupted now in the United States and it appears that sustainability has become an individual and corporate choice rather than a national priority. As a result, technological progress is currently trumping diversity, and economics is currently trumping sustainability, an unbalanced view of responsible progress. Rather than digging hard for integrated solutions — an OD hallmark — there is increasing polarization. In addition, there has been increased interest and effort in producing useful and relevant research.

Looking forward, no discussion about the future of OD can proceed without some sense of the possible and preferred organization futures. For the sake of argument in a short post, we suggest that no force on the future of organizations will be more acute or pervasive than digitalization. Its disruption to work and workers, organization design, and leadership will be profound, a “target rich environment” for OD if there ever was one. Thus, our desired future for OD continues to call for much more integration although we remain worried that OD is still too fragmented to be a credible check on the organizational, ethical, and social implications of digitalization.

For example, the rise of coaching and change management as separate professions and practices only loosely operating under the umbrella of OD subdues the diffusion of OD’s impact and weakens its ability to control digitalization. (Recognizing all the great work that is happening in these areas would also be a true statement, but our focus here is on the field as a whole.) Specifically, all OD involves coaching, but by definition, coaching cannot include OD. As a coach, my ethical obligation to my client limits my ability to address the system within which she/he is a part and to affect the organizational arrangements supporting the responsible adaptation of technology. As a change management consultant, my focus on executing digital initiatives means I am not involved in the reflective and active engagement that comes with diagnosis. I run the real risk of successfully implementing the wrong digital process, doing harm to the organization and its people, and unwittingly colluding with powerful elites who believe technology is an effective means of increasing control rather than democratizing the workplace. Diagnosis (and there’s nothing about diagnosis that cannot be dialogic) turns out to be an enormously powerful OD intervention; diagnosis may be the exactly the change process the organization needs. Instead of hearing multiple pitches about the right digital solution and choosing a platform to feed into the change management machine, diagnosis finds the right question to galvanize inquiry and action along economic, social, and environmental dimensions. It is appreciative inquiry at its best.

OD in the future remains a force for organizational and social change, and the research is clear that change is more likely when there are many voices but one mission. Facebook feeds and group chats, LinkedIn blog posts and interest group discussions, and the Twittersphere stream represent a cacophony of individual voices touting narrow perspectives — a certain way to do agile, how to make better presentations (or how bad the advice on better presentations is), the one secret to great leadership, a particular coaching certification, or the latest twist on change management.  Together, these posts do not reveal OD’s integrated mission of organization effectiveness and social justice.

OD in the future cannot settle for quick and cheap wins — getting lots of “likes” from people who are already our friends or in our network. OD interventions can address the many facets of effectiveness, including performance, gender inequality, racism, ecological disasters, a shared view of leadership, and the ethics of artificial intelligence, IF the people who design and deliver those interventions are part of one field that stands for such things …one mission, many voices. Are we, as a field, standing up together? Are we speaking clearly and loudly as a profession? With one mission, and with each of our voices, we can raise the standard of effectiveness, challenge organizations to be better instruments of society, and transfer the knowledge needed to learn and change in the future.

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Our Annual Conference is Only a Few Weeks Away — Have You Registered?

2018 OD Network Annual Conference: Create the Possibility, October 18-21, 2018, Alexandria, VA

If you've already registered for our 2018 Annual Conference, it's because you know this is the premiere annual event for OD professionals. You know what to expect: engaging speakers who will help you drive your practice forward, opportunities to catch-up with old friends and forge new connections with people you won't meet anywhere else, and that post-conference energy that keeps you looking forward to new challenges.

Register by Monday to Save $200

But don't take our word for it — here's what past attendees have to say:

Need more encouragement? Early-bird pricing ends next Monday, September 17. Register now to save $200 on full conference registration!

Volunteers Needed

Do you enjoy meeting new people? Are you passionate about the OD Network and want to share the benefits of membership with others? The Member Engagement booth at the Annual Conference is your chance to do both!

We're looking for a few volunteers to spend just one hour at the Member Engagement booth during breaks, lunch, and/or networking times.

Interested? Email TalentConnect@odnetwork.org or fill out the volunteer interest form.

Room Block Closes Sunday — Book Your Room Now!

We have reserved a limited number of block of rooms with special event pricing for conference attendees at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The block will be available until the Sunday, September 16, or until all of the rooms are sold.

There are just a few rooms left. Don't miss out on this special rate!

Book your room today!

Room rate: $189 per night for single or double.
Room block deadline: September 16, 2018
Book your room: Book online or call the hotel directly at 703-845-1010, Monday through Friday between 8am – 6pm, or call 24 hours toll free at 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667). Be sure to mention the OD Network room block when you call to get the special room rate.

Conference Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities

Sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2018 OD Network Annual Conference is the perfect opportunity to grow your visibility and connect to the OD leaders of today and tomorrow! With titles like CEO, Consultant, and Director, conference attendees are key influencers, thought leaders, and decision makers in a wide range of industries.

Don't miss this opportunity to be part of the discussion about future of OD — help us Create the Possibility! Sign up online, or download the conference prospectus.

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Member Spotlight: 2018 Conference Co-chair Kristy Lapidus

Founder and Principal, Corvo Consulting Group, Asheville, North Carolina

by Cindy Miller, OD Network Member & Trustee

Julian BhebheMeet Kristy Lapidus, the Co-Chair of our 2018 OD Network Annual Conference. Kristy volunteered for this leadership role because she believes, “The conference is a great way to collaboratively mobilize impact in our communities and I wanted to be as engaged in that process as possible.” Kristy is excited about the theme “OD EMERGENCE: Create the Possibility…” at this year’s conference on October 18-21 in Alexandria, Virginia. She is especially looking forward to hearing Chris Worley’s plenary keynote as she is studying his work in graduate school at Pepperdine University. Kristy enthused, “Chris Worley’s work is both cutting-edge and foundational.” She encourages everyone to come to the keynote and hear an OD legend speak.

Kristy will also be presenting at the OD Network Conference. Her session, “Co-Creating a Positive, Technology-Accelerated Future” will engage participants in a World Café style liberating structure. The purpose is to overcome the ‘doom and gloom’ message we hear so much about with the rapid acceleration of technical advances like Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality through participative, positive design.

When we asked what was emerging in OD from her perspective, Kristy shared her view with enthusiasm. She sees, “the intersection of Modern Agile with OD as an emerging force that will uplift both.” Specifically, the tenets of Modern Agile as they have emerged from the world of software development strike her as synergistic. They are as follows: Make People Awesome; Deliver Value Continuously; Make Safety a Prerequisite (including psychological safety); and Experiment and Learn Rapidly. This convergence will help improve software development teams and as software eats the world, has the possibility of bringing OD into every organization.

We find the roots of this belief in Kristy’s professional background. Kristy came to the field of OD from her career work in software development. “As a young technology consultant specializing in custom apps, I was practicing many tenets of OD before being exposed to the academic rigors of the field.”  Later in her career, Kristy became the IT Director at Gaia Herbs, where, when planning for the implementation of a new ERP system, she discovered the immense impact the IT systems change would have on people’s personal lives. With her deep technical project planning experience, she knew that, “there must be a way to plan for the people side of the change, too.” She immediately began researching and found the field of change management and eventually the Pepperdine MSOD program. She had been looking for a masters program in a number of areas for over 10 years yet hadn’t applied to any despite taking a number of exploratory graduate courses. When she found the Pepperdine MSOD program, she applied immediately. “Everything about the MSOD program resonated with me: its focus on self-transformation through self-discovery; the global experience, that it was part of the Business School and especially the motto – Non Nobis Solum – Not for Ourselves Alone,” Kristy shared. She started the program in August 2017 and will graduate in 2019. She is conducting thesis research into the impact of scenario planning on the efficacy of digital transformations.

Kristy became a member of the OD Network when she started her graduate studies so that she could “be connected with the field.” She appreciates the OD Network’s alignment with her personal values. “I went to welcome group meetings and met thought-provoking people. The OD Network keeps me connected to an authentic and energetic community of like-minded business people I can learn from and share my knowledge with.” She is enjoying her volunteer experience working on the annual conference and is impressed by the way our volunteers and staff work together to manage the many moving parts and volume of work involved to plan the conference.

As a journalism major in her undergraduate studies, she entered the corporate world promising herself that she would “infiltrate the system.” She did so guerrilla-style for the past 15 years, using empathy and authentic relationship-building to run software projects and nurture client relationships. Each day, as her graduate studies progress, she brings more and more OD work into her consulting business. “My plan is to continue to expand my service offerings to encompass a holistic approach: from strategy, to technology, to processes, and of course, people.

Kristy looks forward to connecting with the OD community at the annual conference, to learning from the vaunted speakers, and to connecting with a diverse array of professionals where ideas can spark over coffee and after sessions. She invites everyone to come and join in the experience.

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Cast Your Vote: OD Network Board of Trustees Election Now Open

This summer we had the great fortune of having over a dozen OD professionals apply to be trustees on our board of directors. After interviewing the top qualified candidates, our nominating committee has proposed a slate of 4 individuals to join us as trustees. Our current OD Network board has voted to approve this slate. Please exercise your right to vote, to elect these 4 outstanding individuals to our board.

Cast Your Vote!

Note that voting is restricted to members in good standing. You must log in to your OD Network member profile to cast a ballot.

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Explore Our Member Experience and Benefits

What an exciting time to be a part of the OD Network! We continuously work to expand and enhance our member experience to ensure that our members constantly have new tools, resources, and a community needed to grow. As a member of the OD Network you have full access to these benefits to help maximize your investment in our OD community. Members are encouraged to utilize all of your included benefits to create a well-rounded and robust experience that helps those who would like to enhance their knowledge and advance the science and practice of OD.

Are you fully utilizing your membership with all of the benefits we offer? Check out our updated list of member benefits and see why being a member of the OD Network is more important than ever as you seek to CONNECT with fellow professionals, GROW your expertise, and have a lasting positive IMPACT on the world around you.

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Creating Professional Intimacy: The OD Network Welcome Group Finds a Sweet Spot

by Julian Bhebhe, Marco Cassone, and Kris Lea

Professional intimacy offers a break from/pause from typical workplace speed and transaction to cultivate a niche of curious professionals who want to get connected and grow together.” That’s according to OD Network board member and Welcome Group Program (WGP) co-founder Marco Cassone.

Founded in 2015 by Cassone and Kris Lea, this virtual remote program has continually evolved to better meet the needs of participants, who are distributed around the globe. Now in its fourth year, the WGP has served over 200 members to date. 

The OD Network wants new members and students to feel welcome and to get more involved. This program offers an introduction to the Network, its benefits, and opportunities for involvement. But more importantly, participation in this program results in amazing professional relationships between members. We call it “Professional Intimacy” and it is a sweet spot for the OD Network. Relationships that build with trust and mutual respect go a long way in life, whether personally or professionally.  

Professional Intimacy

The WGP provides professional intimacy where members come together to listen to each other, share experiences, and discuss opportunities for growth the field of OD. According to the beliefs and experiences of co-founders of the program, the professional intimacy experienced in the Welcome Group Program is driven by the intention and quality of listening that facilitators create.

An Evolution of ODN Involvement

Welcome Group participants are encouraged to get more involved with the OD Network by co-facilitating Welcome Group sessions and to explore other volunteer opportunities with the Talent Connect committee. The OD Network depends on volunteers who really care about the organization, and the WGP is a wonderful way for members to start getting more involved. WGP members benefit as they expand their professional relationships, creating job opportunites and thought partnership.

From a Few 2018 Participants

From John Cramer

“When I decided to join the ODN, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. My goals were primarily strategic, that is, to develop my professional network, to learn from others, and to build meaningful connections. I assumed these goals would take time to achieve and I was prepared to start planting seeds. However, the initial experience I had with the ODN Welcome Group led by Kris Lea showed me that all these goals could be achieved in just one two-hour event!

“The Welcome Group consisted of six participants, mostly newbies to the organization, with a few “returning alumni” who had previously joined ODN and had decided to come back. Kris utilized a mixed format which included some presentation material punctuated by interactive group discussions and a series of ten-minute breakout sessions where we were divided into groups of two and three and exchanged thoughts on a designated topic or question. I was amazed at how easily and quickly I started to develop connections that were not just superficial but had a deeper level of meaning for me.

“The magic of the evening occurred toward the end when several of us expressed interest in wanting to continue the conversation beyond the one-time event. We agreed to meet again and, four of us from the original group, have continued to meet regularly to dialog, listen, learn, and build our own community. And I believe the ODN provided and delivered a safe, nurturing space for me to achieve the goals I set for myself.

“Special kudos go to Kris Lea, for her superb facilitation skills and her warm, welcoming spirit and gracious hospitality. She set the tone of the virtual meet up by welcoming us in to the event as if we were walking into her home and joining a small group of friends.”

From Katrina Sitar

“Thank you, also, the warm and supportive mentoring you're providing through this program. When I signed up, I didn't know what to expect. After two sessions, though, I already see how extraordinary this benefit is, both for me personally and for the OD field. I'm planning to attend the October conference, and if I can arrange to volunteer in some way, giving back in that way would be a pleasure.”

Julian Bhebhe, WGP Outreach Volunteer

“The ODN Welcome Group Program brings working professionals together to deliberate over Organization Development (OD) practice, and experiences worth sharing, and opportunities in the profession.”

Annual Reunion

One of the primary topics of discussion in the WGP program is the definition of OD, in practical terms. We discuss this and more at our annual “Wine and Define” reunion with guest speaker, Matt Minahan. Matt helps us with the “define” and we each help ourselves to the “wine” part of the evening! The 2018 Wine and Define Reunion is scheduled for December 4, and is open to all past WGP participants.

You are Invited!

You are invited to participate in an ODN WGP, whether you are new to the OD Network or a long-time member. There are still two cohorts scheduled for 2018:

You can come to as many sessions as you like — many people come to 3 or 4! Attending more than one WGP session means that you get to multiply your connections with other wonderful professionals around the world! Come experience your own professional intimacy, your professional sweet spot… and broaden your network!

Questions about the program? Write to DrKrisLea@outlook.com.

Special thanks to those who have supported the WGP and other ODN Programs over the years; your dedication to our profession is appreciated!

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Compartmentalization and the Suffocation of The Spirit

This case study shares the many benefits one nonprofit organization gained through OD consulting.  If you are a nonprofit in the Greater Washington DC area, join us for Social Impact Day on October 18 for some pro bono OD consulting.  If you are an OD practitioner, join us to provide some pro bono consulting by registering for the annual conference and selecting Social Impact Day as your pre-conference option.

by Irv Rubin, PhD

Irv RubinEgo-rooted energy feeds the choices we make about what we strive to do during our lifetimes. The accumulated consequence of these accomplishments creates our whatness. The energy rooted in our soul, our spirit, and our hearts feeds the choices we make about how we do what we do during our lifetimes. The accumulated consequence of these choices creates our whoness, our character. As others have said: “Character is the tree. Reputation is its shadow.” [Abraham Lincoln] “Likewise, the habits we all have for how we treat other people is our character reputation.” [Skip Pritchard]

When our whatness is fueled by and aligned with our whoness, our journey through life is kept on the road to our North Star. We fulfill our karma. We actualize our purpose in being a human being. Maya Angelou put it this way [emphasis added]: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

How we strive to make people feel when we are doing what ever we do with them is a choice. Two important rules of human existence underlie this choice.

These two rules of our human existence about how we do what we do require that we maintain an acute awareness of the behavioral choices we make on a daily basis and their consequences. In this regard, we have three choices.

  1. We can make choices that create, sustain, and nurture the illusion of win-lose relationships. The consequences of these choices are bombarding our senses daily in the plethora of statistics characterizing the state of our global community.
  2. We can choose to ignore — not bother ourselves — with these choices. In that case — because #1 is currently the “preferred” choice — we are, by definition, adding weight to the win-lose illusion.
  3. We can make choices that strive to create, nurture, and sustain mutually beneficial, mutually supportive, mutual caring win-win relationships.

Why the RED alert? From a global perspective, win-lose is a mythical outcome, a figment of our ability to rationalize and justify. We either learn, together, how to win-win together or we risk the possibility of a lose-lose, together. The wisest of sages through history have told us that the key to keeping us on the road to our North Star lies within ourselves.

In interpreting Jesus’ words from the Bible — “The Kingdom of God is within you.” — Frederick Buechner said: “The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when, at some moment of crisis, a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength.”

Lao Tzu put it this way: "If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart."

The Journey to Peace, to Our Greatest Dreams: A Case Study

I spent two days recently facilitating a team development session with a very courageous client who was striving to ensure that their whatness was being fueled by and aligned with their whoness. I say courageous because this team was struggling, like spawning salmon returning to where they were born, to swim upstream against the over-whelming force of our learned ability to rationalize and justify the illusion of win-lose.

You can join their journey by reflecting for a moment on the following phrases. The over-whelming odds are that many will ring a bell.

Our familiarity with them stems from the fact that they reflect the consequences of a deeply rooted subconscious psychological defense mechanism — compartmentalization. When called upon regularly to defend our selves, compartmentalization can lead to an increased inability to withstand the effects of an environment we experience as hostile. We are then required to invest considerable energy to avoid the mounting pressure of the cognitive dissonance, mental discomfort, and emotional anxiety caused by holding at bay who we are at the core of our beings from impacting/infecting how we are doing what we are doing. Our performances at donning/projecting a persona appropriate to the situation become so well honed — as Jim Carrey did in "The Mask" — they, too, could be nominated for an Oscar.

We have made an art of making “being a person” subservient to being “a professional.” We have trained our selves that when we arrive at work, we leave our feelings — our heart, our whoness — at the door and bring our minds and bodies — our whatness — to our desks.  We have, as the song goes, “sold our souls to the company store.”

As a result of doing this so well, we then have to keep hidden from our conscious awareness the consequences of our vulnerability to the hostile environment we have created by ourselves. An environment that lives within our selves, within our hearts and souls. Make no mistake about it. Our familiarity with and regular use of statements like those above most assuredly “reeds contempt.” Not contempt of others, but rather self-contempt. When the pressure gets too high, we “kick the dog.” We will often project the pent up cognitive dissonance, mental discomfort, and emotional anxiety upon innocent bystanders and loved ones.

The consequences of this process of compartmentalization, and the self-contempt it breeds, are well documented. Self–esteem and self-contempt cannot exist in the same environment. Emotional wellbeing and even physical wellbeing will begin to show symptoms of the dis-ease, requiring their own “masks” so they remain hidden. Since the energy we have is finite, energy spent “holding my self back” is, by definition, unavailable to fuel creative high quality work.

In trading our whoness for better whatness, we have created the ultimate lose-lose. Put another way, if loving who I am on the inside is driven by what I achieve on the outside, I have saddled my self with an addiction. [from The Addictive Organization by Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef and Dr. Diane Fassel.]

“Role playing” someone other than who we are is a very expensive game!

Beacons From Our Childhood Point The Way

Insights from two familiar children’s stories highlight the way to put this addiction into remission. Dr. Seuss tells us that Horton the elephant, while splashing in a pool, hears a small speck of dust talking to him. Horton surmises that a small person lives on the speck and places it on a clover, vowing to protect it. He later discovers that the speck is actually a tiny planet, home to a community called Whoville, where microscopic creatures called Whos live. The Mayor of Whoville, its leader, realizes how delicate and vulnerable these “small specks” are to any “hostility in their environment,” so he asks Horton to forever protect them from harm. Horton, intuitively knowing how “precious” these beings are, happily agrees to caring for them. With great glee and pride, Horton proclaims, throughout the book, to anyone and everyone within earshot, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” And like any good leader, Horton’s day-to-day  interactions with these “specks” reflect his “walking his talk.”

Horton realizes that although we each may be but a small speck on a planet replete with billions of other small specks we are, nonetheless, each unique. No “speck” is born “smaller” — of lesser value, lower quality — than any other person. Who we are at birth is a miracle of creation. Our lives are intended to nurture and protect that miracle as it develops its fullest potential to be who it is supposed to be.

Eleanor Roosevelt adds a beacon of her own to Horton’s wisdom. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Together, Horton and she confront us with a painful truth. Perpetrating and buying into the myth that “being a person” — being who we were created to be — should be subservient to being “a professional” is the “game” we have chosen to play. In selling short our whoness in the hope that doing so will increase our whatness, we are locking our souls into a prison of our own making. We are contributing to our feeling “inferior” [smaller/less than] and we are doing so with our own “consent.”

To stress an earlier point: “‘Role playing’ someone other than who we are is a very expensive game!”

What is the nature of this protection of which Horton speaks? What is the essence of the kind of caring these specks will need to survive and flourish in the oft times hostile environment called life-on-life’s terms? A stuffed velveteen rabbit, a little boy’s most cherished companion, provides a concrete answer. In talking with his rabbit, the little boy is told about the ingredients that go into making something/someone “Real.” Like making a gourmet roux, being “Real takes a very long, long time… and that’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges…” However, we are warned, becoming Real takes more than just time. It also takes courage. Why courage? Because sometimes it “hurts to be Real.” Sometimes others will shy away from and make fun of you when you are Real, but “once you are Real you can’t be ‘ugly’…except to people who don’t understand.’”

“Real isn’t how you’re made…” the rabbit cautions the little boy. What we are made of — and how what we are made of is put together — is the persona we project when we role play being real. It is the mask that Jim Carrey wore that made him hope he was able to go from “zero to hero” in the minds of others.

“Real is what happens,” the rabbit stresses, “when someone REALLY loves you” — loves who you are — “for a long, long time.” Love is not a familiar word in the halls of our organizations. Nor are the consequences it breeds.

We’ve know since Biblical times that “omnia vinci amor” — that “love conquers all.”

So we are back to choices and the fact that all behavioral choices carry consequences.

We can continue to succumb to our whatness taking priority over our whoness. We can chose to remain in a battle within our selves.

We can choose to have being real return to its rightful place as our number one priority. We can choose to provide the love, protection, and care of who we were created to be return to its rightful place as our number one priority.

"If there is to be peace in the world… there must be peace in the heart."

P.S. A Work in Process

This snapshot of one journey to peace is a work in progress. Like the seeking of our North Star, it is a journey without an ending.

If the memo below, written by the organization’s CEO, inspires you as I hope it will, and you’d like more detail, please feel free to contact me directly at irv.rubin@temenosinc.com. I will provide as much detail as I can myself, while protecting the anonymity of this courageous group. I will also pass your interest along to them and let them choose—if they are willing—to respond directly to you as well.

Greetings All:

I wanted to take an additional moment to reflect on our last two days, while providing some additional context. It is so important that we take the time out from the day-to-day of what we do, and spend some time on who we are as individuals, and how we become a team.

The work with Irv, exploring our individual potential and thus developing the organization, is extraordinary and requires us to use emotional "muscles" we often leave on autopilot. To experience 100% engagement and consideration from all of you, was inspiring for me and felt exceptional. It leaves me convinced that we need not rely upon fear as a primary motivator and that we can achieve any goal we set for our collective vision and hearts to pursue.

[NOTE: The author then goes on to explore excerpts from "Love as a Replacement for Fear in the Workplace" Emerging Leadership Journeys, Vol. 7 Iss. 1, pp. 27-33.]

Ryan and Oestreich (1998) declare that, “fear doesn’t motivate toward constructive action. On the contrary, it nourishes competition within an organization, fosters short-term thinking, destroys trust, erodes joy and pride in work, stifles innovation and distorts communication” (p. xiii). They acknowledge that fear is the primary motivator employed by many organizations. However, they find that fear consistently undermines “the commitment, motivation, and confidence of people at work” (Ryan & Oestreich, 1998). They believe that the key to breaking the power of fear is to create environments where trust, productivity and innovation can flourish, and that banishing fear is the only way to accomplish this goal.

It is evident from this research that fear, while widely used in the work place, does more harm than good. Fear creates an environment where people are less productive causing individuals and the organization as a whole to suffer. Fear makes people not speak up, not give their whole selves at work, but rather act in ways that are self-protective. While used to motivate people, fear often falls short and ends up demotivating them. Ryan and Oestreich (1998) propose that the way to dispel fear in the workplace is through fostering trust. Trust encourages people to talk about problems and is in opposition to fear. Secretan (2009) proposes that love is the psychological, emotional and spiritual opposite of fear (loc. 74). Scretan believes that although fear can produce some kind of motivation, but only love can inspire. He proposes that, “love is the place that gives rise to inspiration” (2009, loc. 74).

Let's hear it for inspiration!

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Upcoming OD Network Events

Join us for these upcoming webinars and welcome group sessions — the perfect opportunity to Connect, Grow, and Impact with OD Network!

Grow Your Skills with a Webinar!

September 26, 1:00-2:00pm (ET)
Staying Alive: Harnessing Change Management for Organizational Longevity

Presented by Jodi LaMothe

It is not the strongest nor the most intelligent that survives… it is the one that is the most adaptable to change (Charles Darwin, c1839). After a training event, or any change initiative, are you finding it hard to align behaviors with learning objectives to achieve desired behavior outcomes? Researchers have contended that training events alone are inadequate to attain enduring change to reach desired outcomes. It is the combination of change initiatives and change management processes that lead to desired outcomes. This webinar is ideal for OD practitioners and HRD professionals who want to learn, share and discuss how to apply effective change management models; teach leaders and their organizations to embrace change and; implement a culture of change for adaptability to increase organizational longevity.

Register Now for the 9/26 Webinar

October 10, 1:00-2:00pm (ET)
The Three Pillars of a Culture of Respect

Presented by Rita Sever

Building a culture of respect is the strongest way to support employees, protect the organization and keep employees engaged. While many organizations say they value “respect” it is not always easy to understand what they mean by this subjective concept. This workshop will identify three pillars of a culture of respect as well as demonstrating what these pillars look like in the daily life of an organization. The three pillars focus on seeing: seeing self, seeing others and being seen.

Register Now for the 10/10 Webinar

October 30, 1:00-2:00pm (ET)
Measuring the ROI of Organizational Development: Proving the Value of Organization Development Projects

Presented by Jack Phillips

OD professionals everywhere are under pressure to prove the value of their efforts. If they can't, management buy-in, budgetary support, and even their jobs are at risk. After all, OD programs don't come cheap. It is possible to connect hard numbers to the impact of OD programs, projects, and initiatives, especially soft skills topics such as leadership development. And it is feasible to calculate the financial ROI in a credible way, without draining resources. This session will present a proven way to design an OD project to deliver impact, calculate ROI, and use the results to maintain or enhance the OD budget.

Register Now for the 10/30 Webinar


Make New Connections in a Welcome Group!

Are you new to OD Network, or looking to make some new connections? Our Welcome Group Program is the perfect opportunity to connect with other members and learn more about the Network. But don't take our word for it — here's what past attendees have to say:

"I feel much more comfortable joining the OD Network after this introduction; it made me feel like I'm not alone on this journey."
"Great experience networking with other new members. My Welcome Group made a huge difference in my opinion of the OD Network. It really showed the value of this organization."
"This made a huge difference in my opinion of the OD Network. If it wasn't for this Welcome Group program, I would not have considered renewing my membership."

Let us join you for the next step on your OD journey! Sign up for an upcoming welcome group to share your OD passions and challenges, and create long-term relationships with other practitioners and students.

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Featured Jobs

The OD Network Job Exchange is the most effective forum — whether you're a job seeker or employer — to connect qualified OD professionals with opportunities specific to OD. Some of the most recent postings include:

Organizational Development Consultant/Program Manager
Johnston, RI
Posted on 8/30/2018

Organizational Development Practitioner
Livermore, California
Posted on 8/23/2018

Organization Development Psychologist
United States
Posted on 8/16/2018

To view all job listings, or to post an opening, visit the OD Network Job Exchange

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