Archive for February, 2013

February 26, 2013

Below I share in a spirit of openness and transparency emails regarding Edie and Charlie Seashore leaving this earth.

In response to Dr. John Carter sending me an email with one line saying. Edie has died. I wrote to my friends:

Wow… Unbelievable.

Edie Seashore wanted to be with her love: Charlie Seashore. She left us just one day after Charlie’s West Coast Celebration Memorial.

I wrote this for all of us:

A sense of beauty, ecstasy, joy, bliss and poetry dwells in the inner being of every person. Here and now feelings of being blessed and of joy are in the breath of love.

Our inner world is the channel to the world of the eternal spirited love.

Deep meditative practice and prayer intuitively evidences immortality for all. Sages, Saints, philosophers, mystics and all major religions tell us that embedded in the inner spirit of our being is immortality.

Now Edie is dancing with Charlie. Few have demonstrated such extraordinary marital love.

I have Edie as one of the most important woman ever in OD. Who do we know that has done more to bring women into the male world of organization development and change?
Who do we know that has done more to champion diversity than Edie?
She always modeled inclusiveness.

Fred Miller who leads one of the great diversity consulting firms just emailed about his tears upon hearing the news. They were so close.

His partner Judith Katz, Fred’s partner just emailed. She said. “I was lucky to see Edie last week for breakfast — and I am just in shock that she is gone….I first met Edie when I was 22 years old — a graduate student at U Mass… and she has been my mentor, friend and so much more over all these years… A part of our family is now gone — her brilliance will live on in each of us – but no one can take her place or provide the simplicity, wisdom and wit that she gave me and all of us.”

Dr. Barbara Bunker just emailed. “I am still in shock about Edie whom I just spent a day with in early
February in her new home in Emeryville… Her and Charlie were my friends for almost 50 years…so now the remembering and the grieving process…..”

Edie was such a joy to work with in our Wiley OD Series. Her authenticity was brilliant. Her humor was uplifting.

Edie challenged Bradford for a “check in” as we started each meeting. I heard all about their relationship as youngsters in Bethel T-Groups.

I learned so much from her.

She changed my value system to being accepting to each and every soul…no matter what.

I was talking yesterday afternoon, before hearing the news, about Edie with my daughter, Arielle. I shared how Edie told me about her ability to let go of feelings after being confronted. In her early days, she said sometimes it took hours to recover from darting feedback. In her later years, she said she could let go of shocking feelings within seconds. She mastered her feelings.

Thanks to John Carter of the Gestalt Institute for letting us know about Edie’s passing. Edie wanted John to write a book for our series.

Bill, Jackie, daughter-Arielle and I were so fortunate to edit the following with friends, Gina Lavery and Tracey Wik.

Excerpts from Chapter 39 in Practicing OD. Third Edition.

Edie. What is your passion? How has it evolved?
I’m passionate about people following their passion and not thinking that society has made better choices for them. People should choose to work around things they are passionate about. Colleagues who were excited about something because I wasn’t hard to excite about ideas, often invited me. I was turned on by good ideas and also begin to add to enhance them. As a result, my early work was about collaborating with people who were excited and interested about something– people who could tap into my energy, curiosity, and interest.
The latest transformation of my practice has been around the notions of triple impact and use of self.
My passion now is to help leaders learn about themselves to be more effective. And to help them understand how they use themselves to help others to be more effective, which will then make improvements at the organizational level. My work is teaching leaders and colleagues to pass these concepts along. Getting the notion in their thinking has been difficult. It is not so much about systems but how to use your self in the system.

I think the only way anybody changes anything in the system is to get the right people connected to each other. With connectivity, things happen. When people get a critical mass of connectivity, they can bring about the change they want. I think it’s essential. But I don’t think it’s obvious. That’s why we ask people to draw their systems map and we ask them where in their system people need to support each other.

What led you to OD?
During my junior year, I met Doug McGregor, the new President of Antioch. Hearing him speak was my first transformative experience. He talked about something that none of us knew anything about, and that was the whole notion of process. We had tasks. We did something, but we were unaware something else was going on in a group that was making a difference. This concept was so transformative that it changed my world. Doug sent me to NTL, where was I was trained to work with group process.

Who were the people that influenced your consulting practice?
As I said earlier, Doug McGregor was instrumental in that he believed in me and introduced me to the whole concept of whole systems and group process.

He was instrumental in getting me to NTL, where I met Charlie and so many other interesting experts in the field.

Of course, marrying Charlie was very important for the direction my life would take. Charlie was a student of Ron Lippitt and they were doing research on learning possibilities. They concluded that experiential learning was better than lectures or reading.

Kurt Lewin was also hugely influential in the development of OD because he explored the notion of group dynamics, and out of that we got the idea OD. The notion that if you take the group as a system, look at the subgroupings, the impact of how decisions are made, and the kind of leadership that’s being exerted, you’ve got the beginnings of OD.

Lewin said that if you understood what was going on in systems, there’d never be a Hitler again. He came to this country to survive Nazism because he was an Austrian Jew. He was instrumental behind OD because he developed and formulated the principles. He was fascinated with groups, which is the baseline for much of what we do in OD. The whole system idea started with Lewin, and so did the concept of feedback and process.

I eventually went to work with Dick Beckhard. The interesting thing about him was his background in theater as a stage manager. His idea was to turn conferences from lectures into experiences. He was the one who first started small discussion groups in big conferences.

We got very involved with the Young Presidents Association, which was a very powerful organization time, and many the heads of the big companies were members of NTL. What amazed me is how deliberate we had to be to get organizations to be interactive. Hotels did not have roundtables, so we insisted they bring them in for what we were doing. All this was fascinating and transformative for the organizations. The relationship between the physical layout of the room and what we are trying to do became a big passion of mine. To this day were always rearranging the furniture.

Looking back at my career, I realize how fortunate I was to work with and know these people who contributed so enormously to my rich life. Indeed I am grateful.

And the Oscar goes to Edie Seashore


One of the people I emailed was Marv Weisbord.

He responded: On Feb 25, 2013, at 12:58 PM, Weisbord wrote:

How sad to learn of Edie’s death. She was a friend and colleague for more than 40 years. She was a key contributor to Productive Workplaces in 1987; a few years later we created a video together of Ken Benne leading a T-group at Bethel.

Video of Dr. Benne Starting a T-Group. Edie Seashore producer

It lasted only a bit more than an hour during Edie’s and Morley Segal’s workshop. In it you witness a miracle under Ken’s skillful hand. It exists only because can-do-anything-Edie, when I wished we could get a video of Ken, instantly picked up the phone and got him. Later we went to Georgetown and taped him watching and commenting on the group he had led. What a learning experience! See it if you can. It’s part of Edie’s legacy. I nominate her for Best Producer.

Marv Weisbord

Marvin Weisbord, Co-Director
Future Search Network
A Program of Resources for Human Development
4700 Wissahickon Ave., Suite 126
Philadelphia, PA 19144
215 951-0328
800 951-6333
610 896-7035 (personal line)

Productive Workplaces, 25th Anniversary Edition
2012 Best Business Book on Organizational Culture

My response was:

Marvin and Billie Alban:

I do remember the video. I have my students view it. Thanks to you.

I’m going to take a risk and spread the video link and your quote to the world. Edie taught me to have courage and take risks.

I loved Edie and Charlie. Jack Gibb was my key early mentor. And of course Charlie did his Ph.D. dissertation with both Ron Lippitt and Jack at NTL. This was just before he married Edie

I have been very much influenced by Benne, Lippitt, Gibb, Bradford and you Mr. Weisbord.

Edie’s personal transformation reminds me to spend each hour of each day focused on growing and developing myself and practice of OD; all for the betterment of the world.

In a real sense, Marvin, I ready to leave my body right now. But in the meantime, let’s you and I have a lot of fun helping others search for and achieve their desired future.

Marvin, you are one of those people who has become a key role model.

I just love your new book. Billie Alban insisted I buy it. Billie, allow me to continue my risk-taking and also share your words with the world.

“When we ( Edie and I) were just at the OdNet work meeting she seemed well and as vibrant, charming and humorous as ever. It must also be shock for her daughters.”


I have heard from many others who have expressed the deep loss the field of OD has experienced.

The Pepperdine MSOD community has posted 4 videos of Charlie and Edie. They are classic. They give a sense of our history as a profession. I have them attached.

There are so many highlights that so many of us have. Two special ones for me are: I was introduced to the concepts of change agent, process, feedback, and social psychology in an NTL Charlie Seashore T-Group in 1962. The most fun I had with Charlie was co-designing with him and Rothwell, the first Asia OD Network Conference in Dubai.

Oh. Just one more share. Google “Gibb trust” and download Jack’s book free and read the extensive forward by Charlie. Jack wrote the first book on organization and interpersonal trust… still a key issue these days.

May both rest in peace. May the rest of us carry on their legacy of “Self as Instrument of Change”. God only knows that the change and dramatic global transformation has just begun.

Two Free Whole System Transformation Webinars for ISOD- One for Asia and One for USA

February 12, 2013

I will be sharing my key learnings from 50 years of experience in 12 universal and essential elements that I believe any change agent best attend to if they wish to be greater in helping our organizations become greater.

USA, Africa and Europe: Webinar #1: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Asia-Pacfic: Webinar #2: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
You may need to copy and past the above link in your browser for your part of the world to register.

Be sure to click the “Show time in my time zone” link to verify the local time.

Both Webinars will follow the same structure yet the content and stories will be geared to West in February and to the East in March.

Those who prevail in either session will be given a private link to download over 40 free resources supporting Roland’s practice.


Recent research from CEOs indicate their intense and urgent interest and leading and sustaining an ongoing change agent organization.

Futurist, David Hule, says, “We have left the information age and are moving into the “Shift Age”. Everything is in a state of shift. Companies and leaders need to be able to transform their company if they’re going to succeed in the next 10 years.”

This session will share a researched and proven methodology to transform organizations.

Whole System Transformation best starts by having each executive and the team as a whole transform themselves before they initiate full engagement for enterprise-wide systemic and systematic change.

Come and hear how we have taken whole system change and large group work of Kathy Dannemiller, Dick Beckhard and Bob Tannenbam to new levels. The aforementioned, God rest their souls, were key in the start up of Whole System or Comprehensive Organization Development Service.

In sum, the purpose of this presentation is to share the theory and proven best practice around guaranteed transformation of the leadership team as a prelude to their leading a dynamic shift for their entire enterprise.

Expected learning for you:

• Bringing alive the Whole System TransformationTM Model
• Understanding the driving principles of this engaging, powerful and
innovative approach to realizing human talent and economic
• Utilization of a magical methodology that has been built off the innovative large
group work of Kathy Dannemiller, Dick Beckhard and Bob Tannenbam.
• Being exposed to a step-by-step process to transform the
leadership team.
• Sharing summaries of several application cases
• How to access additional resources following up on topics that
are not available to the public.

Who should attend:
Directors, VP’s, and SVP’s of HR, Organization Development, Organizational Learning, Leadership Development, Human Resources Development, Change Management and most of all, those who wish to be professional Change Agents!

Note the rise in the stock market from a recent client. We worked starting in October and our last meeting was in March. The stock price is even higher today.

Semen results

The company was awarded one of the ten most important companies in the country by the President. The CEO texted and said the recognition would not have happened without our WST intervention. This country has the chance of leading the world in all aspects by the end of the century.

NO! The magic is not because of who Roland Sullivan is. It is because of the foolproof processes that has been re-engineered from founders of the Organization Development profession. And the beauty is… we can teach it to YOU!

We believe that 80% of current OD practices are missing opportunities. We strongly believe and have research to support my belief that the “WHOLE SYSTEM” best be involved in any transformation effort.

We know of no better way to “Teach the Elephant to Dance” that is, empower the enterprise to change in a positive manner.

We will also share using our process with one of the largest European corporations.


Here is the executive team having a dialogue with all. The greatest joy for me was to be emailed a year after I was finished helping them. The internal change agent said that “ALL” agreed that they had just had their greatest summit ever. I was not even present. I did hear that the presence of my spirit was there. My aim is to break the dependence on external help and leave them with the competence to sustain the journey.


Roland with Sushama Khanna the daughter of the late Dr. Pareek who brought OD, HR, HRD, T & D, OB and the concept of Feedback first to Asia from Columbia University and NTL in the 50’s.

Roland is one of the original 100 change agents. He is a second-generation organization development (OD) consultant. He started his organization change learning with a Charlie Seashore NTL T-Group in 1962. He has led change efforts in over 1000 organizations in 35 countries. He has taught OD at 15 universities,
Editing 20+ change management books, including the popular Third Edition of Practicing Organization Development, has kept him in touch with best practices. He is known for “actually” transforming whole systems in large group interactive events. His focus is on transforming a leadership team and the critical mass that they lead. Special emphasis is on transferring change agent competency to an internal change agent. Sustainable and extraordinary positive change is the norm.
He founded the award wining Minnesota OD Network in 1974 and Asian OD Network in 2004, whose membership has grown quickly. The next conferences will be in the Philippians, Japan and Indonesia.
He led the Organization Development Institute’s competency committee starting in the 70’s. The 21st revision soon through ISOD will be authored and set to video.
He has a masters’ degree in OD from Loyola in Chicago and Pepperdine in Los Angeles.
Roland considers his identity and citizenship, global.

A new book that conveys the values that I see organization systems authentically desiring. My consulting naturally has a focus on such.

February 11, 2013

See what one of the leading authorities in Organization Development, Roland Sullivan, has to say about the book ‘Develop Exponential Power – Stop Chasing It And Let It Chase You’

By Roland Sullivan

Hang on to your hat, as you see and feel all around you, a whirlwind of change.


– Roland Sullivan

“The Times They Are A-Changin’!” Globalization and technology will change our world beyond what our imagination can now believe. More change and transformation will occur in your lifetime than since the beginning of recorded civilization over 4,500 years ago.

More than ever we all need rock solid principles or fundamental truths to root us in the ever-shifting paradigms. The only constants are our core principles and relationships.

If I were to list my top philosophical golden nuggets, all of Martinoff’s would be on the list. They are me… articulated.

The purpose of my writing this foreword is to share with you a resource that will help you be and become one step closer to heroic greatness.

In 1962, I was first introduced in a National Training Lab to the world of the change agent profession. The lab opened my eyes to inner power. Since then I have spent my life doing my best to help individuals (especial executive leaders) and corporations discover their power so they can realize their potential. It is my life’s purpose to help leaders empower their people through influence rather than the outdated ‘Command and Demand Power’ which as Bjorn states is really Force not Power. My large group interactions release uniting power lying dormant in the whole system. I believe that powerful influence with a spirit of free choice is one of the primordial competencies for today. In these changing times, we need leaders to be more powerful than ever before. This is a power that one cannot chase but a power that free flows from ones inner being. Power: From a majestic bed of intuition to a welcoming, trusting, open and self-realizing recipient.

In this new and ever-changing, borderless and flattening world there is nothing more practical than guiding principles to support the kind of results people and organizations desire.

Therefore, I am honored to introduce to you to this fresh take on ancient and golden wisdom. It is brilliance that transcends epochs.

Here we have for the first time in today’s global language, essential mindsets to help refine your “self as an instrument of positive change.” This is a great handbook for you to facilitate change with individuals and organizations. These concepts will help you lead them faster, much-much faster, toward the realization and then actualization of Excellence.

I am thrilled in both my mind and heart to introduce Bjorn’s book that you now are holding in your hands. I first scanned a draft of this book when Bjorn and I first met at the famed Peninsula Hotel in Manila, Philippines. Bjorn and I immediately hit it off because I felt he had eloquently expressed what I felt are the universal theorems needed today and missing in many change efforts. He comprehends who I am. I just have never seen them all so clearly stated together.

Bjorn spells out what my philosophical soul has been wanting to express so clearly and this supports helping leaders today hone the key competencies needed for successful leadership.

I felt joyous at the headline of each chapter. Each chapter is so relevant as we move into the “Age of Aquarius, or as I call it the “Age of Transformation.” It will be interesting to see how you apply these golden gems to your Self, your teams and your organization.

Allow me to share a few examples that verify the importance that I have them being.

The Power of Trust:

I did my Ph.D. study under Dr. Jack Gibb. He wrote the first book on trust as it relates to individual and organization development. Jack is one of the 12 disciples of Lewin who coined the phrase “Social Psychology” He was the first to focus on group process, feedback and the prelude to change agents, organization development and transformation. I always start up my interventions with an organization assessment. Trust, 90% of the time becomes a key issue to be addressed.

The Power of Purpose:

For every small or comprehensive intervention, I start with clarifying purpose.

The Powers of Vision, Courage and Reality:

One of my two living mentors is Dr. Peter Kostenbaum. For me he is the number one business philosopher of the last century. He was the first to write about the heart of business. Vision, Courage and Reality are His key powers. His fourth power is ethics. All of Bjorn’s principles assume ethical behavior.

The Powers of Action and Commitment:

Those who know me well, understand that for every executive team or large group transformation that I facilitate, my two main products are actions and commitments. These two stalwarts frame sustainable change for me.

The Power of Presence:

Full presence is my advice to anyone who is faced with supporting a person who is in a hopeless situation such as a death being eminent. Just be fully attentive and concentrated on who they are and what they are confronting is so loving.

The Power of Humility:

A client, John just received from the CEO, the “change agent of the corporation award.” This is from one of the world’s largest insurance companies. His people have told me that his humble mindset gave him the power to lead change in an extraordinary manner His excellent performance is powered or fueled from humility.

The Power of Growth:

Growth for me is positive change. People who grow are the happiest. My degree in philosophy essentially taught me that human beings greatest aspiration is to be happy.

The Power of Authenticity:

When we created the first definition for Asia by Asians of organization development. A key phrase was “authentic leadership.”

The Power of Belief:

My proven theory of transformation is distilled to the powers of reality, vision, action and belief.

Oh. My favorite principle is free Choice. I believe the most important gift that life has given us is that of free will. Our divine given free will is the steering wheel for our inner power. We make countless choices each day. Each choice either brings us closer to happiness or closer to sadness. We can choose to be vivacious, cheerful, energetic, positive, or even ecstatic. Or the countless choices we make each day can cause sadness, sickness, complacency, being negative, or even depressed.

Helping others brings joy. Hurting our self or others deflates our joy.

It is up to you! It is your choice!

Do you want to become happier or end your life a grumpy old person in poverty and depressed. The sky is the limit for your joy. These principles show the way.

It is up to you. Choose to be so that power and goodness comes to you.

My wish is that you use this book to help you choose greatness. I want you to be or become a powerful super hero helping the world become one in the spirit of love… all while you become prosperous materially and spiritually.

So you can see the principles presented here align with my passion of helping all be and become GREAT! This book leaves you with the practical tools for: your internal change efforts and its sustainability.

There is something in you that made you pick up “Develop Exponential Power: Stop Chasing It and Let It Chase You”. The moment you laid your eyes on this and chose to pick it up, you knew that this book is for you. Notice. There’s a spark of greatness within you that is already unleashed.

Wherever you are on the globe and in the game of your life, you have your own vast territory to master. This master book provides you the space for your wildfire of success.

Allow me to share how I am applying the gems in this book in my life. Each Sunday, I start my day by reading just one chapter. I then still my mind for an hour and watch all the wonderful ideas float into my empty mind that I can utilize in the next week. With my iPhone, I dictate using Dragon Dictate the great and powerful ideas that flew into my quiet, relaxed yet concentrated mind. I print out my thoughts. Mostly there are actions and commitments. I post them next to my desk. I notice them many times a day. I am just amazed how many times during the week I use Bjorn’s truths to frame my behavior. Often they surface as reminders as I work with my clients.

“Develop Exponential Power” has become a modern day bible for me. It has been Nutrition for my soul and a driving force for my work as a driver of change!

You now hold the guide and wisdom to achievement beyond your wildest dreams.

Here’s to wielding your own power!

I highly recommend this book, I can’t give any higher recommendation than this, as I said above, this book is me … articulated.

– Roland Sullivan

To order the book please write to or make a PayPal payment of USD24.88 plus USD25.00 for international shipping to email address

After making the payment please send us a short note to

About Roland Sullivan.

Roland is one of the original 100 change agents and likely one of the top two or three at the moment. He is a second-generation organization development (OD) consultant. He learned directly from the founders of the field beginning in 1962. He has led change efforts in over 1000 organizations in 35 countries. He has taught OD at 12 universities, including Pepperdine which has the most recognized change program in the world.

Editing 20+ change books, including the popular third edition of Practicing Organization Development, has kept him on the cutting edge of global best practices. He is best known for “actually” transforming whole systems in large interactive events.

For over two decades, Roland has served as Chair of the OD Institute’s Committee to Define Knowledge and Skills for Competence in OD. The Institute uses this research in accrediting university programs around the globe in organization change.

Since the mid-1960′s, he has been a full time organization development (OD) pioneer.

In 2004, he co-founded the Asian OD Network whose membership has grown quickly. His intense and extensive laboratory of change and development training since the 60s, has inspired him along with his mentors for being known for bringing the phrase “change agent” to the world.

He has Master’s degrees in Organization Development from Loyola in Chicago and Pepperdine in Los Angeles. Pepperdine is reputed to have the most recognized global degree on managing change in the world.

Both the local chapter of the American Society of Training and Development as well as the Minnesota OD Network granted him their Organization Development Professional of the Year awards.

Richard Beckhard, his late mentor and friend, who coined the phrase ‘Organization Development’ recognized Roland to be among the world’s first 100 professional change agents. Only a few are still living.

Recently he was runner-up to Harvard for the Outstanding Change Journey of the World for his work with South Africa’s largest financial enterprise (ABSA).

Roland considers himself not from any one particular country but rather a global citizen.

But most relevant is his new commitment to execute his life’s mission in partnership and collaboration with Bjorn Martinoff and his organization.

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