Reflections on the list serve conversation at ODN: it is organization development or organizationAL development

Warner Burke, the youngest second generation OD practitioneer, has told me personally and he has written several places that as saintly friend Sir Scherer says…it is organization development not organizationAL development.

It is organization because our focus is on the system, the enterprise or the entity.

Organizational means organizing as you organize your time utilizing time management or you organize your clothes in your bedroom or organize the dishes in the kitchen or organize labor and union.

And yes I know that Warren Bennis and Chris Argyris and other notable people have published using the phrase organizational development

As John says perhaps we should clarify. it is organization development (OD). And for God’s sake it is not “Change Management”.

OD is a field. It is a profession. We have our ethics. We have our competencies or knowledge base established.

But in all true reality is most likely more a field in the profession

My concern is that the consultants that want to sell their latest gimmick or tool use phrase organization development to sound marketable.

Often they are people who have never had a course in OD or never have read a book from beginning end on OD.

I call that malpractice.

These kinds of wonderful well-intentioned beings have made the boundaries around OD fuzzy and sloppy.

Chris Worley and Tom Cummings along with French and Bell and others in our classic OD text books have documented the essential theory and knowledge.

Then the wonderful soul in William Gellerman, who is often the moral conscious for this listserv, has…through participative and extensive work defined the ethics for the field.

Don Cole has spent much of his life purporting the OD field to become the OD profession.

Personally I don’t care if it’s a profession or a field. I just want to have a community of practice to have a strong identity.

A community that is recognized having extraordinary wisdom and competence to help the world survive and transform itself immediately into a whole system filled with love and care for the planet as well as for each in individual human being. as many of you know I have initiated the Asian OD network.
in my travels I am confronted by the stories and experiences of poverty in a dramatic way.. If we can only put ourselves together to the values of OD weekend a lemonade hunger, illiteracy, and the lack of basic healthcare. This is all possible I believe to be able to occur in this century.

So let’s get on with the work and stop building castles in the air with our lofty unproductive conversations.

I see a new important conversation coming up around global transformation. I am having dialogue right now to deal with the crisis that is much more serious than global warming in some people’s minds, at least in the United States. it is the major issue of dealing with water.

Personally, I’m in an auspicious position.

I have a beautiful deep well in deep wooded suburb of Minneapolis.

So it will not be a personal issue for me but we are starting to experience the United States and Canada to come after Minnesota for our wonderful water.

My idea is to repeat the Seventh American Forest Congress (google to learn about) model in a national conversation that will transform the water system in the United States.

God bless you all and may the divine life bloom and shine in your personal life and in the life of your family and all your clients

So my two cents from an oasis… that is a thriving metropolitan area or fly over space in the wilderness of the central part of our country where is is cold, fresh and pristine.

It is that time of the year where many worthy people are getting prepared to go to Lake Wobegon for Holiday in Prairie.

Roland …. still attempting to master what I learned about love in my first C Seashore T-group back in 1962.

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