Archive for November, 2009

from my friend tom on personal development

November 25, 2009

From Crisis to Collective Responsibility:
From my deep friend, Tom..

I have done whole system transformation work for him ..

He led a logistics team for me. The intervention, received national recognition..

He is my spiritual confessor…. For real…

He will be heading up the Asian OD Network Summit in India in a few years.

Just sent my friend to do OD at his college where he is president.


Sorry about the margins.. am just starting my day.. it is 2 am and now must do my yoga.


By Dr. Thomas Thakadipuram

In a world of depressing headlines and challenged organizations, Leadership
Development is recognized as a critical
competency in our global environment.
This article outlines the findings from
my doctoral research in which leaders
discussed their development and
transformation following crises on a
journey toward wholeness. In this study
10 top spiritual leaders shared their
transformational journeys from crises
to collective responsibility in a variety of
organizations across the globe, including
an abbot, abbess, archbishop, a Zulu
chief shaman, founders and presidents
of international spiritual organizations,
and members of the World Council
of Religious Leaders. It is one of few
empirical studies on leaders’ quest for
wholeness and offers the Leadership
Wholeness Model (page 8). The findings
provide a breakthrough in understanding
personal and organizational leadership
within the broader constructs of ethical,
authentic, spiritual, and holistic leadership.
Interior Dynamics
In the study the top leaders’ quests for
wholeness demonstrated both interior
and exterior dynamics as an integrated
whole, depicted in the final model. The
journey toward wholeness involved four
common experiences: crisis, acceptance,
awakening, and co-responsibility. Their
quests for wholeness deeply influenced
how they interacted with followers,
community, and the larger world and
characterized their journey:
All experienced existential crises that
led them to question previously-held
views, values, and perspectives of
life. For example one questioned the
practice of apartheid and advocated
an ethic of tolerance; another

challenged the cult of Rwandan
genocide and became a caretaker
of orphan children of genocide; and
yet another’s experience of major
failures and clinical depression
helped him become an authentic
agent of courageous renewal.
The crucibles of
crises urged them
to look at life with
a new lens as the
old meanings and
patterns were
Crises also led them to a process of
self-acceptance and learning from
past failures and weaknesses in spite
of their tendency to resist and deny.
They dealt with their crises
constructively to break through the
darkness and meaninglessness of
life, experiencing an awakening to a
higher perspective.
The trajectory of the leaders’ journey
was nonlinear, as the four factors
of crisis, acceptance, awakening,
and co-responsibility interplayed
together in a pattern of an infinity
loop and transformational process
of learning and growth.
By engaging in an authentic search with
integrity and honesty, the top spiritual
leaders set new directions for their quest
for wholeness. Consequently, they began
to enhance their sense of deeper self and
discovered their interrelationship with
community and the larger world, thus
experiencing greater harmony. Awakening
to a new purpose and meaning, the
leaders exercised responsibility for their
life and also for the lives of others. A sense

of responsibility and co-responsibility
demonstrated the relationship between
leaders and followers and also between
the community and larger world as an
integrated whole (see model).
Moreover, the four factors of crisis,
acceptance, awakening and
co-responsibility interplay
with one another in an
infinity loop and are rooted
in consciousness at the
center of the leader’s being.
This represents the leaders’
quest for wholeness as
an ongoing natural process in a nonlinear
fashion discovering new meaning
and harmonious relationship with the
community and larger world through crises
and chaos.

Exterior Dynamics
The exterior dynamics contained five
dimensions of co-responsibility for
the leader, followers, community, and
larger world:
The circle of relational trust operates
at the personal and intimate level
between the leader and the inner
circle of his or her team, where each
one had the courage, willingness, and
mutually-assured confidentiality to
be who they were without any mask
or pretensions.
The circle of responsibility is exercised
at the organizational level where the
leader assumes certain roles, duties,
and authority. A sense of values and
ethics guides the leaders to exercise
the responsibility with utmost care.
The findings provide
a breakthrough in
understanding personal and
organizational leadership
within the broader constructs
of ethical, authentic, spiritual,
and holistic leadership.
Minnesota Organization Development Network (MNODN) December 2009 • Volume 24 • Number 4
The circle of influence indicates the impact the leaders are able to make on society by their presence, creative activities, and persuasion. Similarly, Covey (1989) identified the “circle of influence”, where the leader impacts the lives of others by the witness of their own life and activities, and “circle of concern”, where leaders show sympathy about issues, but without having the ability to do anything about it (p. 83).
The circle of compassion indicates the leader’s concern and involvement about global issues, especially for the most vulnerable and deprived sentient beings (including humans, animals, and other beings). These leaders expanded their circle of compassion globally, having helpful service activities to uplift the weak.
The circle of solidarity points out the interest and involvement of the leaders in environmental and sustainability issues of development and progress. Leaders expressed solidarity, mostly for issues of peace and justice, establishing organizations and networks for wider cooperation. As we live in an interdependent and interconnected world, these leaders understood the need for global cooperation in a spirit of solidarity, eliminating unbridled greed and unhealthy competition to tackle global issues and advance world benefit reducing world misery (Maak, 2007).

The quest for wholeness was expressed in these practical ways of co-responsibility and global initiatives from many of the top leaders. They nurtured the notion of the family of humanity and the earth as one common roof under which everyone belongs, and everything is connected to everything else. Moving through the processes of crisis, acceptance, and awakening, the quest flow culminated in the realization of an ethic of co-responsibility toward community and the larger world, flowing from their sense of values and obligation to the whole universe as they became aware of the deep connection between the individual self and the universal or cosmic self. This enlightened awareness was the platform from which their sense of collective responsibility and solidarity emerged.

Implications For OD
What are the key implications for OD practitioners and leaders?
This model of wholeness should help leaders engage in self-reflection, journaling, and personal leadership development practices.
Using the Leadership Wholeness Model will be helpful for mentoring and coaching to develop high-potential and high-performing leaders and clients with a holistic approach to organization development.
The essential themes are not only applicable for top leaders, but can also be used at all management and employee levels for training and development. This will help develop a conscious culture and environment at different levels of organizations with a broader collaborative focus promoting authentic engagement, diversity, creativity, and participation.

A Model of Leadership Wholeness

Leaders’ quests for wholeness emphasize the importance of learning from crises, acceptance, awakening, and responsibility while recognizing interconnectedness among personal, organizational, social, and environmental dimensions of life.
Minnesota Organization Development Network (MNODN) December 2009 • Volume 24 • Number 4
Hailing from the spice coast of India, Kerala, Thomas Thakadipuram finished his graduate studies in Philosophy and Psychology from University of Madras. Recently he finished the doctoral program in OD at the University of St.Thomas, Minneapolis, USA. His area of focus in OD is leadership development, whole-system change, cross cultural team effectiveness and International OD. He is also part of the planning team for Asian OD network and a member of MNOD Network. Currently he is leading St. Claret College in Bangalore. He can be reached at; website:

November 25, 2009

Pricing: A lesson from Picasso

A women was strolling along a street in Paris when she spotted Picasso
sketching at a sidewalk cafe. The women asked Picasso if he might sketch
her, and charge accordingly. Picasso obliged. In just minutes, there she
was: an original Picasso.
“And what do I owe you?” she asked.
“Five thousand francs,” he answered.
“But it only took you three minutes,” she politely reminded him.
“No,” Picasso said. “It took me all my life.”

IN OD …experience counts

definition of od

November 22, 2009

for my friends at ODN list serve… the following is to large to post on the list serve so here it is here.

I specially define OD for each client system i enter

my second edition had a most comprehensive definition. The following is from the edition just released.

Roland Sullivan.

Organization Development Defined
According to Clardy (2003, p. 785):

“The field of planned organization change was long equated
with organization development (OD). OD proponents were
up-front with the bona fides of their approach: full disclosure,
informed consent, inclusive participation, and so on. These
canons of OD provided the principles and practices that could
be applied to any organizational change project. Yet, for a
number of years, standing alongside the OD literature were
smaller volumes (Zaltman & Duncan, 1977) that did not so
neatly fit the OD mold. By these accounts, the geography of
organizational change management was bigger than that
encompassed by OD.”

While some might disagree with the assertions in the preceding
paragraph, those assertions are effective in helping readers to clarify their
beliefs about the field of OD and to recognize that there are multiple ways of
defining the field.

Over the years, OD has been defined and redefined by just about every
author who has written about it. Here are a few definitions, organized
chronologically, that represent a range of ways to understand OD:
 Organization development is “an effort (1) planned, (2)
organization-wide, and (3) managed from the top, to (4) increase
organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned
interventions in the organization’s “processes,” using behavioralscience
knowledge” (Beckhard, 1969, p. 9).

 Organization development is “a response to change, a complex
educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes,
values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt
to new technologies, markets, and challenges, and the dizzying rate
of change itself” (Bennis, 1969, p. 2).

 Most people in the field agree that “OD involves consultants who
work to help clients improve their organizations by applying
knowledge from the behavioral sciences—psychology, sociology,
cultural anthropology, and other related disciplines. Most would
also agree that OD implies change and, if we accept that shifts in
the way an organization functions suggests that change has
occurred, then, broadly defined, OD is analogous to organizational
change” (Burke, 1982, p. 3).

 Organization development is “a systemic and systematic change
effort, using behavioral science knowledge and skill, to change or
transform the organization to a new state” (Beckhard, 1999,
personal communication- dick and I created this on the phone…. Days before he died the day he closed up his NTL Bethel Cabin for the last time.— roland ).

 Organization development is “a process that applied a broad range
of behavioral science knowledge and practices to help
organizations build their capacity to change and to achieve greater
effectiveness, including increased financial performance, customer
satisfaction, and organization member engagement” (Cummings &
Worley, 2009, p. 1).

These definitions imply several key points:
First, OD is long-range in perspective. It is not a “quick-fix” strategy
for solving short-term performance issues, as employee training is often
inappropriately perceived to be. Many managers are becoming acutely aware
of the need to move beyond quick and often unworkable solutions for
complex organizational problems. Organization development is a means to
bring about complex, deep, and lasting change. This may include any domain
in the organization that is in need of discovering ways to improve
performance. Traditional OD asserts a need for patience and a long-term
effort in order to achieve deep and significant change. In many organizations
OD is coupled with strategic business planning, a natural fit because both can
be long-range in scope. For more information on OD and strategy see
Chapters Sixteen and Eighteen.

Second, OD works best when it is supported by top managers. They
are traditionally the chief power brokers and change agents in any
organization; top managers often control an organization’s resources and
reward systems. Although OD efforts can be undertaken at any organizational
level without direct top-management participation, OD is more likely to
succeed if it has at least tacit approval from top management.

Third, OD effects change primarily, although not exclusively, through
education. Organization development expands people’s ideas, beliefs, and
behaviors so that they can apply new approaches to old states of existence.
Even more important, OD change efforts go beyond employee-training efforts
and concentrate on the work group or organization in which new ideas,
beliefs, or behaviors are to be applied. Organization development has often
been synonymous with organization learning (Argyris, 1993, 2004; Bennis,
1969; Kanter, 1995; Lippitt, 1958; Senge, 1990; Vail, 1996). Peter Senge
(1990, p. 13) says, “A learning organization is a place where people are
continually discovering how they create reality and how they can change it.
Organization-wide learning involves change in culture and change in the most
basic managerial practices, not just within a company, but within a whole
system’s management. . . . I guarantee that when you start to create a learning
environment, people will not feel as though they are in control.”
The words change and learning are often used to mean the same thing.
Consider, for example, the title of a classic book, The Laboratory Method of
Learning and Changing, by OD founders Benne, Bradford, Gibb, and Lippitt
(1975). Many of these early leaders of the field were innovative educators.
Many OD founders were leading educators. They saw as one of OD’s major
goals was to innovate and re-invent education. It is important to remember
that learning is broader than education, and learning occurs outside classroom
settings. For instance, how a manager or consultant models behavior provides
an important learning lesson for others, who may be inclined to imitate how
their leaders behave.

Fourth, another OD effort that is interrelated to organization learning is
knowledge management (KM). KM focuses on organization learning as it
transforms to elicit tacit knowledge and new knowledge that can be organized
and used to improve performance (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Many case
studies on KM as it relates to OD are available in Harvard Business Review
and the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL:

Fifth, OD emphasizes employee participation in assessing the current
state and in planning for a positive future state; making free and
collaborative choices on how implementation should proceed; and,
empowering the system to take responsibility for creating and evaluating
results. In this sense, OD differs from other methods that hold managers or
consultants responsible for the success or failure of a change effort. In OD at
its best, the entire system is accountable rather than just management. Further,
in OD, everyone in an organization who is affected by change should have an
opportunity to contribute to—and accept responsibility for—the change.
Organizational effectiveness and humanistic values meet as employee
ownership of processes and outcomes increases. Although early OD
contributors did not focus on business effectiveness it has become equally
important in OD ideology over the past decade (Gottlieb, 1998).

Roland—it then goes on to say what OD is not.. just as master, Earon , suggests………..

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