Another Dedication to Ed Schein: The Most Active Living Founder of OD

April 15, 2018

Below are five relatively current videos by Ed Schein that articulate his latest views on  culture and the world of change. 

Schein is my hero. We dedicated one of our Practicing Organization Development editions to Ed. We say:

We dedicate this book to Edgar Schein for:

-Cofounding and then being the major lead in documenting  the theory and practice of the new field of OD in its start up phase via the well-known Addison-Wesley series;

– Being the first to articulate the constraints of the consultants role as expert and advisor, and for articulating the than new notion that the consultant should help others discover what they need and then with sensitivity facilitate them towards their desired state;

( Ed shares the story on how he learned the above in the second or third video by Maja below.)

– Helping the field of organization change and development become aware that results in change efforts come largely from the design, facilitation, and management of processes;

– Making the concept of “process consultation” a household word among change agents; and 

– His contributions while being a Sloan fellows professor of management emeritus and senior lecture at MIT Sloan school of management through his countless articles, videos and books. 

Let’s end with a personal story.

In the fall of 1969, the famous doctoral student, at Loyola University of Chicago, Father Gerard Egan, handed me a book by Ed Schein titled Process Consultation. (It was the first book in the Addison Wesley OD series.) Then Egan said to me, “Welcome to your new masters program in Organization Development.” He said that this was our first textbook. At the time in 1969, I was the only person in the upcoming Masters program in OD at Loyola. 

The second textbook Egan gave me was his yet to be presented thesis titled Encounter. My first assignment was to proof it and offer feedback. To this day, some of us original Change Agents believe the book Encounter is still the best researched book on group dynamics in existence. Organization Development uniquely has a focus on Group Dynamics.

A few weeks latter, Egan gave me the  next two textbooks that were also in the Addison Wesley series by Beckhard and Bennis. From the Bennis book is where I took my famous statement that I’ve given to every group publicly since 1969.Here it is again:

We are entering an epoch of a dizzying rate of change.  Expect more positive change to occur the rest of your life since the beginning of the recording in civilization 4,500 years ago.

Well, in the year 2018, I  believe we just reached the explosion of that forecasted change. Now, I say expect more positive change in the next 20 to 25 years than in the past 400 to 500 years!

Artificial Intelligence, singularity, digital transformation, exponential change, the global brain, and IBM Watson for the cloud have all arrived!

Hang onto your hats! We are entering just now the most exciting time in the history of civilization.

Here are the videos:


Another 3 Videos on Maja’s interview with Schein on Culture.



Roland & Maja






Roland Sullivan Shares Theorems for His Whole System Transformation Modality – ELEMENT 1- SYSTEMS

April 11, 2018

This is the first of a series of maybe 20-30 videos required viewing for the  Internal Change Agent (ICA) that I transfer competence to.  I velcro ICAs to my hip as I use immersion to help them learn how to transform the systems in front of them. Immersion in 5 week modules is the way Barbara Bunker learned OD at NTL.  Barbara is the senior living woman who has mastered OD. She talks of such in video on my blog when she keynoted the Indonesia OD Network Summit.

I have no professional secrets. I believe as my mentor, Dr. Ron Lippitt, believed, that is, knowledge and wisdom gained from the Ivory Tower or Universities doing Action Research out in the wild should be disseminated “FREELY” to the rest of the world.

Here is the  first video in element 1 in my new up coming series on systems thinking.

Systems Thinking Video 1

Here is the second video on systems thinking.

Systems Thinking Video 2 

The second set of videos will be me summarizing my Ph.D learning with Dr. Jack Gibb who taught  OD by immersion at NTL with Dick Beckhard.

Never before in the history of the world does the world need more help dealing with Change!

I just saw a video last night that convinced me that the job of many medical doctors will be eliminated. Hey! Just as of  now we have the technology connected to the Cloud that through sensors will assess a person’s complete health and offer the  right prevention or treatment prescriptions. It may say, you only have 100 cancer cells in you and not to worry for years to come or it might say you call an ambulance and get to the nearest emergency room right now!

The accuracy is superior to 10 Board Certified Physicians. With exponential change, the cost will come down to almost nothing. Millions in the rural areas of the world will specially benefit.  If surgery will be needed, robots who have perfected the procedure will spring into action. Through my consulting, I have come to know health care well. Most issues are around human error. When a robot has performed the same 1 billion operations without a mistake, I trust!

I hear of such breakthroughs weekly!!!

For example, I hear our energy crisis will be resolved in 20 years, if not sooner. Gee. Long term in the new world of “abundance”, car transportation “fuel” will essentially be free with the new advanced batteries.

Our organizations and communities need those of you who are professional change agents to help them deal the dizzying and unconceivable rate of  change occurring right now! Change Agents have a bright future!!

Oxford just reported that 47 % of existing jobs in the world will disappear in the next 5  to 10 years.

The majority of accountants

or bank tellers

or dispatchers

or farmers

or drivers

or cashiers

or printers

or travel agents

or dispatchers

or bar tenders

or fast food workers

or telemarketers will no longer be needed.

IBM Watson in the Cloud is taking over at a blink of an eye. Any jobs that are routine including HR jobs will be taken over by the “BOTS.”

If you ask me what the new jobs will be. I do not have a clue. Although perhaps they  will be new exciting contract jobs not created yet that will be held by those that can influence technology with human wisdom.  Such I believe include change agents.

One of the Asian change programs that I advise is expecting nearly 10,000 applicants for the next year. Do not tell me Organization Change is  dead!!!

Even in the USA, a change program that I am close to will have 400 applicants for around 30 seats.

As one of my mentors, Bob Tannenbaum often said, “Onward and Upward.”

I simply say: Truly.

Roland for my business partner, Maja Balasi Sullivan


Shocking Free Movie on the Whole Food Plant-Based Diet!!!

April 5, 2018

Dick Beckhard gave us the definition of Organization Development that has been most used between about 1962 and when he left this life perhaps ten years ago. The definition had the word health in it .He believes that Organization Development’s purpose was to increase the health of the organization so that it could be more effective and perform at higher and higher levels.

Beckhard’s friend and leading OD professional on the West Coast at the University of California, Los Angeles was Bob Tannenbaum. Bob believed that healthy self development was the instrument to facilitate change and health in an organization or system or community.

I say that eating the whole food plant-based diet is key in maintaining one’s personal health. I follow the whole plant-based diet almost 95% of the time.

This new free movie is shocking.  It is beginning to sweep the country. For example millions of US dollars are being spent on its research at Kaiser Permanente right now. It is based on the latest science.

One cannot argue with absolutely solid science. The issue in the past is that hospitals and large pharma as well as the agriculture industry influenced the research unethically. It has been all about the money honey!

The new new research indicates why the results of the whole plant-based diet just may save your life and your parents and your children’s lives.

The science says the whole food plant-based diet can eliminate the top 15 disease killers starting with heart disease and diabetes and cancer and diverticulosis and so forth and so forth.

You have the right to know. You have a free will. You have the right to decide for your own body and mind and heart and soul.

You can ignore this movie or you can exhibit self-care and at least watch it. Yes, one would need to stop eating out in most cases. One would need to learn how to prepare the food.  The typical experience is that after one month or two this diet taste better than any of the food you have been eating.

Your free will is one of the greatest distinguishing factors of a human being. Freely choose how you want to eat. Freely choose what state of happiness or internal joy you would like to achieve.

My life is about over at 73. Those of you under 40 have an incredible long life ahead of you without disease if you so freely choose. I wish I knew what I know now when I was 40.

On the other hand, my life is totally complete and I have no fear whatsoever of my future because I do not believe in death. Leaving my body of course will occur .

But continuing to live in the consciousness of Divine Love with security in hope and faith is more than adequate for me. All resulting in immortal Divine Life and Love!!!

As 98 year old Sister Jane said on national TV this past weekend during the final four representing Loyola University, my alma mater, “All for the glory of God.” God being Muslim or Hindu or Christian or Buddhist or any of the other major denominations. Today is the day of unity in diversity.

I was the first graduate in Organization Development from a Jesuit University.I work or I call it play or service endlessly. I value and love every minute of my life. I have no regrets. Now, I want to leave my legacy to my daughter and my wife Maja because I want them to have an impact on the world that is 100 times greater than my impact. Both of them are actually more talented than I AM. And for the most part they eat the whole plant-based diet! 

My daughter just purchased a hot air fryer that prepares the food in a healthy manner. I saw her use it for the first time last night on FaceTime as she made tasty and healthy spicy potato chips. No oil was involved.

And both my wife and my daughter on the new diet are experiencing an increase in energy and well-being.

Now it’s your free will that needs to be activated. But if you choose to eat the American sad diet with fast food hamburger and french fries and cheese, I’ll still accept and love you!

Truly, Roland 😇



Videos are here now for Book Interview with Cathy Perme Whom I Trained in Whole System Transformation

March 30, 2018

Cathy Perme is a change agent with deep experience in organization change, who has been changed personally!

Cathy and I transformed a major sub-system of General Motors-RFC. In those days, they made more money than the entire car company.

One of the biggest learnings was, the system as a whole came to realize that they indeed were global. This was because we were connected through the web with satellite offices scattered throughout the world for the first time ever.

Ann K., who was the executive of RFC, was a highly competent, strong, positive & respected leader. Indeed, she became one brain and one heart with all the people involved. In our WST modality, we facilitate a critical mass transformation that the leadership leads via Large Group Summits. WST produces sustainable positive organization change and transformation by engaging the whole system via a microcosm i.e. “a team or group that is a representative sample of the levels, functions, perspectives and diversity of the system being change”. By bringing the organizations microcosm in a large group, we tap the participants’ collective wisdom to foster the best judgment in a fast decision-making process and in achieving extraordinary results.

I remember that while we were having our large group summit in one of the hotels here in Minneapolis,  General Mills, was also next-door with 400 top executives listening to one PowerPoint after another on their strategic plan. As I slipped in the back of the room, I heard the executive say to the group after a 45-minute-presentation …. any questions? Of course, no one is going to ask a question in front of their boss. Executive after executive plopped when they said any questions. It appeared that the people were bored to death.

In our large group events, we never allow an individual to speak to the group. All conversations to the system must come through the table first. We are not concerned about individual views. We are concerned more about system views. Our meeting was lively with laughter and intense deep dialogue and conversation. No one spoke over 20 minutes from the stage. Our RFC group left with focused energy ready to change change change.

So these videos are for those who are very much interested in what we do. In order to watch these videos under 10 minutes each, you need to be concentrated and reflective as you think about how you can apply our conversation to your own transformation and consulting practice.

This is not your typical YouTube superficial comment. There is a lot of Confucius type wisdom in this conversation.

Cathy is a person I dearly love.

She is having tremendous success. She has been working on a million USD proposal with major unions and their constituents. Perfect place for large group inter-active events.

Maja and I share these videos because so many of you have asked that we share our stories so you can learn. Usually those who follow us begin to believe we have something special that no one else has. Yes, it is true. We do.

We know how to transform an organization where most people just talk about it.

Most importantly, we know how to transfer that capability to the system via the Internal Change Agent (ICA). The transfer of the competencies to the ICA dissipates dependence on external consultants.

Video 1

Video 2

Video. 4

Video. 4

Video 5

Video 6


Roland and Maja

Asia OD Network Keynote On The New Global OD Competency Framework.

March 20, 2018

Very important work. This is where we were a few months ago. Of Course, I have seen great change since then.  I have a dramatic new view of what OD must be doing RIGHT NOW!!

My view is just one view. You must have your own valid truths also. Let’s hear them.

Of course, only one of the must new approaches is my very own, “Whole System Transformation” (WST) modality to  deal with the just arrived “Exponential Change “and Transformation with Artificial Intelligence. Also Digital Transformation and the Cloud and 5 G and IBM Watson plus another 5-7 forces are hitting us right now.

Sherry Duda’s keynote on OD Global Framework!!

What new interventions do you subscribe to? I am just one voice in the wilderness. We need to hear all off your new approaches. What have you woken up to?

Roland Sullivan’s Video History of the Asia OD Network.

March 17, 2018

OD in Asia is becoming the best for the new world of exponential transformation.  The Western version is self-centered. The Eastern version other-centered.

OD is really all about relationships. The East is more competent at relationships than the West. Still does not mean there are not serious issues in the East i.e. treatment of women (except the Philippians) and autocratic leadership. Still the economic growth is East and not West!!

Video 1: Concise History
Video 2: Part 1
Video 3: Part 2
Video 4: Future Summits


Not mentioned above is that Maja is working on bringing South Korea and Malaysia  alive with the sound of OD.


Roland and Maja on St. Pat’s day.

Oh. The memories Roland has with his large groups working the North/South tensions in Ireland. We saved countless lives!!!

The history of OD by the senior original 100 change agent who is a woman

March 15, 2018

Enjoy this is a very important foundational video for all of the change worked is going on in the world. The predominant dynamic of the world right now is exponential change. Leave us some feedback.

Roland for Maja

Embellishing Common Place Transformation

February 19, 2018

Below is a great article but it misses my essential ingredients for transformation.

My strong beliefs:

1.  I believe the  executive team must transform themselves individually and as a team.  They need to become “one brain, one heart”.  This alignment strengthens the power, influence, and connectivity of the top leaders naturally – in a way that encourages their people to freely follow and support their direction. The relationship between the CEO and his or her team is key. Here is a new notion from Ed Schein: The CEO is the culture.

2. An internal change agent (ICA) must be extensively trained to sustain the transformation journey. This will break the dependence on the outside  consultants.

3. Utilization of design teams that represent the entire system to create a transformative experience over three days in large groups from 300 to 1000.  Cascading does not work. The traditional top-down goals set by upper management for every single person in the organization is no longer relevant in today’s reality of rapid change. Goals are no longer periodic measures but real time current measures of what’s relevant to the employees and organization. Therefore, the executive team needs to lead and be very present in these large meetings. They become aligned with all the people.

4. The establishment of a strategic transformation office that reports directly to the CEO and is led by the internal change agent.

5. Kotter says commitment for a sense of urgency and priority for  transformation from the executive leaders is essential. The Change, Learning & Transformation process becomes integrated into the day-to-day business and is repeated year after year.

For some of you, I am a broken record. Well, how are  you doing moving toward my essentials? I believe you can do it.

Just my two cents.

Great article on Transformation

I welcome your reaction, thoughts and wisdom.

P.S.  My futuristic radar says that the music business has transformed. One can purchase millions of downloadable songs for around $10.00USD only. Money is  still being made by the music industry by those organizations that transformed. The traditional record companies are essentially dead.

The car industry as well as e-commerce and publishing are  transforming as I write.

My most debilitating experience in my professional career occurred a few years ago with our publisher, Wiley. We had a commitment to  go online with e-chapters and videos to support our 4th edition of “Practicing Organization Development.” We  were verbally promised cooperation. After 100s of hours of work, my editor of 25 years and almost 25 books suddenly  pulled the plug out from our venture. We did publish a traditional text successfully and it is doing well yet opportunities were lost.  Yes, I understand. He lost his job along with another 250 employees. I doubt Wiley will excel in the future. They have their head stuck in the sand.  They simply are not transforming!!! Being the largest industrial publisher in the world, Wiley success has simply blinded them to the need for dramatic change.

Insurance, banking and government are in the next wave of transformative shifting followed by the military, health, and energy.

We will not recognize any of the industries above in 5-10 years. They all will be dealing with exponential change. Whole System Transformation (WST) modality addresses such complex rapid exponential change and learning as well as any intervention out there. Most transformation efforts today are none other than linear change on the fast track. With WST, a fundamental identity-shift occurs to adjust to the new world of technology.

What role are you playing as Artificial Intelligence sweeps into our shifting world? How will you change what you do to stay relevant? Will you have a job in 5 years? I say, change now to take advantage of the shifting market dynamics!


Roland and Maja


Part 2 Peter Block: “Empowerment In Times of Disruption” — Keynote Address at the Asia OD Network Summit In Indonesia

February 12, 2018

I bet your life, if it is like mine, is more complex and pressured for time. Thus, I believe it is important to prioritize and spend quality time with our change gurus. Certainly, Peter Block is one of those sages.

I believe Peter coined the phrase empowerment.  Correct me if I am wrong.

Again, I apologize for the camera work in this viedo.  I was  volunteering and did not take the time to instruct the camera guys on what was best for you all.

Toward the end I was surprised that the camera guys filmed my passionate ( when one is passionate about a topic, excitement ensues) blurt on change today. It is what I believe. I find what I believe is not shared by the general change community. Without doubt, we are experiencing exponential change and transformative world.  So if I offend you,   have mercy on me, forgive me and forget as you move  on with your own belief system.
Hey! I am one  voice in the wilderness here in Minnesota, the land of water and fresh air.

Peter Block- Part II

Shocking insight from the best OD teacher in the world – Peter Block

February 2, 2018

We were fortunate to have Mr. Block keynote the third day at the phenomenal Asian Organization Development summit in BSD City, Indonesia.

In essence he says that the values of western OD no longer fit the world. The Western values are Me, Me, Me, or I, I, I!!!!!

We are seen as self-centered and selfish individuals just after the dollar for ourselves. I have witnessed the same values of Westerners in Africa. The African locals no longer want the western missionaries to come and transfer this self-centered biblical philosophy from the United States.

Instead, Peter says that the Western OD Craft people have a great deal to learn from the Eastern rising OD people. He says that the Buddhist philosophy and the Muslim philosophy of compassion, caring for others, and  relationships is more appropriate for the New World. Our new values should reflect unity in diversity. In my opinion, we need to establish new global standards and values for a true world order.

And he made some strong statements again commercialism. As those of you who know him, he talks about the importance of community and taking care of each other.

Peter Block, I apologize for the camera work. This was a volunteer situation. The camera people, surprised me by focusing on myself on the stage. Peter was talking and you could barely see his left or right eye on the corner of the screen. It’s a good thing that I was behaving. Usually I am not.

Part two will be coming up in a separate blog. Feel free to make some comments below. What he is saying here should upset your cart and way of being

Here’s the LINK