The Essence of OD via Harvard

One of the newly rising authors that I have come to respect extensively is: Gervase R. Bushe Ph.D.

He writes with great articulation in our 3nd edition of practicing OD.
He has submitted a new chapter to Lou Carter and myself as we revise Change Champions. He ends his chapter with the following quote from Dr. Beer, also in my 3nd addition and a very influential professor on my thinking.

“Summing up 20 years of studying organizational change and development, Harvard professor Michael Beer recently concluded, “The development of an effective organization requires honest (the unvarnished truth about the system is revealed), collective (a critical mass of key stakeholders inside and outside the organization), and public (what is learned and actions taken is known to everyone) conversations about the alignment of the organization with the senior team’s espoused strategy and values.”

I share this with you because I really believe this is the essence of what organization development offers distinctively different than the other consults. And I believe that whole systems transformation (WST)  and especially the large group conversations clearly is one answer to the challenge that he is proposing.

Dr. Beer and I have had several conversations around how WST support his theory.
Few can align a top leadership like he can. Of course, he is also expensive and it is quite laborious because he sells in his process numerous experts pontificating the Harvard theories and research. I find executives say they do not care very much about the theory. They just want to be led through an experience of effective transformation. Still, effective consultation requires stellar research behind interventions. As the famed Lewin said, that “There is nothing so practical as a sound theory.”

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