Join OD Network   |   Member Search   |   Site Search   |   Print Page   |   Sign In
The Masterful Conversation Series

If you attended Conference 2008 or 2009, you know about the Kurt Lewin Master Class Series--an unparalleled opportunity to listen to and learn with a roster of well-known, deeply experienced master OD practitioners and thought leaders. Each of these seasoned practitioners outlined his or her approach to integrating theory into their work with clients, but every session also had a unique focus and flavor that reflected the personal perspective of each presenter.

Now, the OD Network invites you to join in a similar conversation online with an equally-distinguished roster of OD thinkers and practitioners. Our webinar series will include seven exciting opportunities to meet, listen to, and talk with people whose work you know and respect, and who will continue to bring more luster and credibility to our field on the global stage. These senior practitioners will be talking about topics that have ignited their passion and engaged their attention. Each conversation will be resonant and compelling. You won't want to miss them.

Join master practitioners such as Bob Marshak, Dick and Emily Axelrod, Geoff Bellman, and many more in a variety of on-demand online sessions.

Bob Marshak - OD Evolution?: New ways to think and talk about Organization Development Practice
Charlie and Edie Seashore - Intentional Use of Self in Consulting, Coaching and Change Work
Peter Vaill - Permanent White Water
Dick and Emily Axelrod - Engagement is The New Execution
Geoff Bellman - Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results
June Delano - Executive Development as a Strategic Intervention
Peggy Holman - Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems


On-Demand Sessions

Bob Marshak

OD Evolution?: New ways to think and talk about Organization Development Practice

On Demand

Purchase Now

Is there a "new” OD or simply a new way of understanding differences in emphasis and approach? Have we entered a "postmodern” era of OD or are we simply putting old wine in new bottles? In this session, Bob Marshak will share his current thinking about how OD practice and our understanding about it may be evolving.

He will explore some possibilities for new language that may help us make a useful distinction between dialogic and diagnostic forms of OD. Instead of being based on theories of change that emphasize data gathering and diagnosis prior to intervention, dialogic forms of OD place greater emphasis on creating containers of inquiry in which increased system awareness leads to new social realities and agreements. Examples of dialogic interventions, their underlying premises and practices, similarities and differences with other OD practices, and implications for practitioners will be discussed. Join the conversation about whether this new way of talking and thinking about our practice is useful and implications it may have for the field.

Dr. Robert J. Marshak has taught organization dynamics in the American University/NTL Institute (AU/NTL) MSOD Program since 1980. His areas of expertise include: organizational change and development, organizational discourse, and organization theory and behavior. Dr. Marshak has served on the Boards of NTL Institute and the Organization Development Network, and was Acting Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. He received the OD Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and is the author of over 60 publications on consulting and change.


Charlie and Edie Seashore

Intentional Use of Self in Consulting, Coaching and Change Work

On Demand

Purchase Now

Join us for a conversation with Charlie and Edie Seashore about how consultants, coaches, and change agents can and must develop awareness of ‘use of self” in their work. Where are we in creating and holding space for client groups to develop and thrive?

Strategy + Business magazine called Edie and Charlie Seashore "Masters of the Breakthrough Moment.” For more than 50 years, Edie and Charlie Seashore have been helping people learn from difficult conversations. "Productivity and creativity in the workplace, in their view, occur when members of a group or team wade together into the muck of confusion and unspoken assumptions in order to surface concerns and conflicts that get glossed over in the rush of daily life.” (Strategy + Business, November, 2006). Edie suggests "Organizations can’t change unless people change, and the most efficient and powerful way to help people change is in small groups. You can affect the whole system if you work with the group.”

Edith Whitfield Seashore, M.A., has more than forty years of experience in successfully training and consulting with governments and corporations in organizational development and behavior. She is a past president of the NTL Institute and currently is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Fellows Program in Change Management. She is the co‐founder of the American University/NTL Institute Master’s Program in Organization Development and continues as a faculty member in that program. She has co‐edited The Promise of Diversity as well as the book What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback.

Charles Seashore, Ph.D., has 37 years of experience as a consultant and trainer in: corporations, health care, higher education and government. He is currently on the faculty of the Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Development of the Fielding Institute and teaches with Edith in the Johns Hopkins Fellows Program in Change Management and the American University/NTL Institute Master’s program in Organizational Development. He is an organization development consultant in many health care institutions, including academic medical centers and teaching hospitals.


Peter Vaill

Permanent White Water

On Demand
Purchase Now

"Permanent White Water" is more than continual change. It is events that indeed are changes, but changes that are surprising, novel, messy (i.e., for which the unit is not "organized"), obtrusive (i.e., demand attention), and of the kind that cannot be planned out of existence (i.e., you can plan for many different kinds of events; but you can't plan for the continual occurrence of surprising, novel, messy, and obtrusive events. Many are one-of-a-kind events, as having the parking lot disappear into a sinkhole overnight, as happened to a large Atlanta hotel. Some might have been handled or avoided had the unit been better organized with better anticipation, as would be the case in both of NASA's shuttle disasters. Some are funny, like the New Jersey school superintendent who received complaints from parents about the substitute teacher who was allegedly using voodoo to control students; funny when you hear about them, but hardly ever funny to the managers and leaders they happen to. Some are acutely embarrassing, like the year the graduation diplomas of the U.S. Naval Academy that had "naval" spelled "navel" on them; or the hotline number that was given out as a direct line to the CEO that actually was the phone number of a sex site. Some events directly impact the organization's main mission, like the surgical team that accidentally gave a patient a new heart whose tissue was incompatible with the patient's, while others have little to do with the main mission but soak up energy, time and budget dollars just the same.

The question is, what's involved in leading and managing an organization awash in Permanent White Water? There's nothing about it in any of the management textbooks. No current theory addresses it directly. These events "aren't supposed to happen," yet they are constantly occurring. By their very nature, a complete theory of the unexpected, so to speak, is hard to envision. Nevertheless, there is an evolving body of wisdom slowly evolving. It is the main task of this Webinar to share what we know - both Peter Vaill's ideas, but also, importantly, those of the participants.

Peter Vaill is currently Professor Emeritus from Antioch University's Ph.D. program in Leadership and Change. In his career he has served universities as well as private and public sector organizations in many different capacities. He has written many articles about OD, leadership, change, and spirituality in organizations. He is the author of three books, all published by Jossey-Bass: Managing as a Performing Art, Learning as a Way of Being, and Spirited Leading and Learning. A charter member of the OD Network, he was given its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.


 Dick and Emily Axelrod

Engagement is The New Execution

On Demand
Purchase Now


In major corporations around the world this is how change happens. Leadership identifies what needs to be changed; they hire an expert consulting organization to assist them in developing a solution. A change management structure consisting of a sponsor group, a steering committee, and issue related teams are formed to assist. After all the key decisions have been made, they seek to create "buy in”. Whether you are developing a strategic plan, improving a process, or redesigning an organization, the process is the same. In fact this way of working is so ingrained few question it. In this webinar Dick and Emily Axelrod will show you how engagement is the key to successful implementation. In it you will learn how everyday interactions build the foundation for an engaged organization. You will learn the leadership secrets for successfully using large group interventions, and how organizational design, work design, and the physical environment all combine to create the engagement context. Put these three ingredients together and you have what it takes to make change happen. Over the past year Dick and Emily Axelrod have conducted dozens of interviews with organization leaders and OD Consultants from companies like Allstate, Unyis, Calgary Health System and the city of Sacramento California, and leading edge thinkers like author David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, and Shoji Sheba, winner of the Demming Award in Japan. In this session they will share the interview results, and why they have come to believe that engagement is the new execution. Please join us for a stimulating dialogue. We’d love to learn with you.


June Delano

Executive Development as a Strategic Intervention

On Demand
Purchase Now


June Delano is an innovator in the field of executive development who focuses on human resources as a source of competitive advantage. June is known for her deep understanding of the relationship between strategy, culture and learning, as well as ground-breaking approaches to leadership development. She has learned that rewards can be huge when organizations take a whole system approach to executive development. That’s when development efforts become strategic interventions into the fabric of the organization. At their most powerful, these efforts create a reinforcing cycle between executive learning and evolving strategy.And they invariably impact the bottom line performance of the organization. As great as that sounds, it doesn’t happen very often. In this provocative conversation, June will talk about what it means to bring an OD perspective to the practice of executive development and how that plays out in organizations around the world. She will also share a framework for creating a strategic executive development system that has the potential for influencing strategy and the future of your business.

June is a Managing Partner of Pivotal Leadership in Singapore and Founder of The Delano Network in Boston, a community of resources for executive and organization development. June chairs the Board of the OD Network, is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a Director of Meridian International Institute. She holds an MS in Organization Development from The American University and a BA in Journalism from Michigan State University. She has studied at The Fielding Institute, The Gestalt Institute and The NTL Institute. She is a frequent speaker and writer on culture and leadership. Her recent work has included a global study on the emerging impact of Millennials on organizations and a project looking at executive coaching in multinational settings.


Geoff Bellman

Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results

On Demand
Purchase Now

Do you spend lots of time working in groups? Are you frequently frustrated that groups are not more alive, more fulfilling, more productive? Have you found yourself thinking, What a waste of time! Or, nobody listens! We never talk about what's important! I had really hoped to learn something here! We are so out of touch with each other! It takes us forever to do anything! Geoff Bellman will share insights from the hot off the press book (Jossey-Bass, 2009) he co-authored with Kathleen Ryan. The collaboration that resulted in Extraordinary Groups began with a field study. Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan dove beneath the surface of extraordinary group experiences, searching for the motives that cause some groups to be perform fantastically. Most of us find ourselves in groups in all aspects of our lives: teams, committees, task forces, clusters, pods, clubs, networks, boards, or councils. Regardless of what they are called, many fall short of their full potential. Plans are implemented half-way, if at all. Group members' talents and knowledge are only partially tapped. The work of the group does little to expand members' learning or sense of possibility. Interaction among members shows only periodic fl ashes of energy, creativity, or authentic connection. Occasionally, we are involved in a group that transforms us, is "inspiring," "exciting," "life-changing," or "amazing." When our next group experience falls short of fantastic, we ask ourselves: What was different about that amazing group? What allowed us to work together so beautifully, so productively? How could I replicate that experience?" The model presents six core group needs in three pairs:

  • The Individual: Acceptance of self while moving toward one's Potential.
  • The Group: A Bond with others that grows while pursuing a common Purpose.
  • The World: Understanding the Reality of the world while collectively making an Impact. Group experiences begin to stand out as something special whenever these needs are satisfied. And the more needs met, the more fulfilling! Regardless of the type of group—whether at work, home, play, or in the community. Their Group Needs Model forms the foundation upon which sit many familiar methods in group dynamics, leadership, meeting management and team development. In addition to the six needs, the authors identify eight performance indicators shared by extraordinary groups. These indicators help readers visualize the behaviors, dynamics, and circumstances that support outstanding group achievement.

Geoff Bellman: Geoff worked inside major corporations for fourteen years before starting his own consulting firm in 1977. His external consulting has focused on renewing large, mature corporations such as Booz Allen & Hamilton, U.S. Bancorp, Verizon, Intuit, Ernst & Young, Shell, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BP, SABMiller, Boeing, and Accenture. Geoff's consulting and workshops have taken him to five continents. He has served as guest faculty for university graduate programs including Pepperdine University, Fielding, Sonoma State, Seattle University--OSR, Saybrook--LIOS, and Bowling Green. Linkage International's "OD Lab for Experienced Practitioners" is designed around his experience and offered world-wide.

He has written six books, with 300,000 in print and in a dozen languages. Geoff recently received a national award from the Organization Development Network for his contributions to advancing the profession. And, the Whidbey Institute has also honored him for his work in the community.


Peggy Holman

Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems

On Demand
Purchase Now

Bringing the WHOLE into the system is more than inviting everyone into the room. Peggy Holman has helped define and explore a nascent field of engagement strategies that involve engaging "whole systems" of people from organizations and communities in the active creation of their own future.

In the last seven years, the field of whole system engagement has exploded across the public and private sectors, creating a new paradigm for systemic change management models. In the recently updated edition of The Change Handbook, author Peggy Holman with co-authors Tom Devane, and Steven Cady profile sixty-one critical change methods.

Join us for a conversation about working with these evolving types of processes, exploring questions like: What are they? What outcomes can you expect? How do you choose among methods? What does it take to get started? What are some basics for working with these methods?

OD Network logo

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
Saint Paul, MN 55114
Phone: +1.651.379.7292
Fax: +1.651.290.2266

View our Data Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2018 Organization Development Network. All rights reserved.

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal