Archive for January, 2016

Roland interviewed by an eminent Leader of Leaders: Dr. Sharkey-

January 26, 2016

“This coming Thursday, 1/28 at 2 pm PT tune in for our new series “The 21st Century Workplace.” My guest will be Roland Sullivan and our topic is “Responding to Forces Shaping the 21st Century Workplace.”

This coming Thursday, 1/28 at 2 pm PT tune in for our new series “The 21st Century Workplace.” My guest will be Roland Sullivan and our topic is “Responding to Forces Shaping the 21st Century Workplace.”

The world is changing so fast. ‪#‎Communication‬ now reaches the far ends of the earth to places we were never able to reach before, and in lightning speed. Join me with Roland Sullivan of SULLIVAN TRANSFORMATION AGENTS, one of the top thought leaders and author/editor of over 25 books including his widely acclaimed book “Practicing Organization Development,” now in its 20th year and 4th edition. Roland has actionable ‪#‎leadership‬ insight that he will gladly share with us.


Click here to listen to the program.

She has asked me to tell my story of my best of 1,000 cases ever. Wow! It was hard to decide. But I have selected an incredible one. Tune in and listen any time on the re-broadcast.


Dr. Linda has her Ph.D from BU. I studied the same program in the 60’s at GW before our pal, Peter Sorensen moved it to BU. Just maybe the best Ph.D program over the years is real positive OD.


By the way, most of the other programs that are accessible to you are just wonderful if you are into leading change.

Click for free resources supporting the program


I Have A Dream

January 18, 2016

On the MLK day, Maja and I have a dream.

The dream simply is to have all faiths be appreciated, respected and free to express their divine life as they wish.

Our wonderful friend, Rick IV Fulgencio, in the middle ( pink shirt) of the front row in this video, has been working for years to lead the signing of this covenant of harmony and alliance between the Muslim and other faiths.

A small step to World Peace Video

Is a National movement in the Philippians. If I had time I would do the same in the USA. I would start with Whole System Transformation(TM) efforts in each state and then do a national summit of 700 participants for 3 days and the USA would positively change. We would invite the best of the best and have Dr. David Cooperrider, my only living guru

If I had time I would do the same in the USA. I would start with Whole System Transformation(TM) efforts in each state and then do a national summit of 700 participants for 3 days and the USA would positively change. We would invite the best of the best and have Dr. David Cooperrider, my only living guru lead the national summit.

By the way, I am volunteering “Peter Block Style”

in two communities here in Minnesota. I am shocked to hear of the blatant racism!

Great video clips of whom I consider the best OD teacher in the world, Peter Block!

As my friend, E. Hugh Pettman, from Austrailia oft says.

Dream Your Life! Live Your Dream!

The Transformation of Coaching and Feedback!

January 8, 2016

(I share a post for my Pepperdine Alumni peers)

In the research on the future of OD by Dr. Church and Burke that we just published in my Practicing OD – 4th Edition indicates that coaching along with positive interventions and system focus is on the leading edge of organization change.

I believe the day of individual coaching is going to be a thing of the past without it being integrated into whole system transformation. Now I’ve just had a new insight this moment. I believe that what’s needed is whole system transformation integrated with peer coaching system-wide.

And I believe what separates the Pepperdine MSOD people from most of the other coaching people in the world is that they have mastered feedback more than others.

Oh. Here are a couple of brand new great videos on feedback created by my wife, Maja.

Now that Dr. Pareek and the Seashores have left us, Dr. Irv along with the Seashore’s student, Dr. Bloom, are in my mind, the two living senior publishers of Feedback in the NTL or OD linage.

It really is a must-see video, because he has some insights I’ve never seen anywhere else. Such happens when one’s primary focus in life, since their twenties, has been focused on one key element – OD and Feedback integration.

For those of you who are new to the change management world. Lewin, the prime founder of the organization change movement was the first ever to use the word feedback in a human context. Originally, it was an engineering term dealing the likes of temperature.

Now feedback is a household word.

Let me know if u cannot view these.

2016 Trends and To-Dos in Talent Management and Development

January 6, 2016

Allow me to give you my thoughts and to-do’s on trends and to-dos for Talent Management and Development for 2016.

Source: 2016 Trends and To-Dos in Talent Management and Development

The best HR trend paper I have seen regarding India NOW!

January 6, 2016

This is just what I expect from my long time brilliant pal, Imon. Fantastic.

First, let me share the following:

Now I say as I always say: Every System MUST wholistically transform themselves to take advantages of the new HR and global trends. As I prepared for a session to help organizations transform in in Saudi Arabia, I ran across this excellent article factionalizing the transformation coming in the next 20 years.

As I have been saying in one way or another since 1969: More change will occur in the next 20 years than in the history of recorded civilization.

The above shocking article is of most interest to the usa…still I believe the rest of the must world take notice. I warn you, I needed to decipher out the investment advice. It replaces for me the IBM research on the near future that I have depended upon in the last ten years.

Recently, I was ready to give up the USA as the leader of the world. Since then, I believe the USA has woken up. I.e. we lead the world substantially in spending on Innovation. Such is paying off. And it will pay off sooner than later.

Now words from the brilliant Mr. Ghosh!!

“HR Trends for 2016

Let us begin with broad macro-economic and labour market trends, continue with technological trajectories, and then drill down to how these are likely to affect HR practices.

India’s economy is expected to grow by almost 7% in 2016 according to Moody’s, and by over 8% according to the Government of India’s Economic Survey for 2015-’16.

HR trends in India are therefore likely to be very different from those in Brazil, whose economy shrank by over 4% during the past year.

According to Fortune Magazine, 5 trends will shape the global economy in 2016:
1. The global economy will continue to be powered by America
2. China will stay stuck in second gear
3. Commodities (including oil) will be cheap
4. Europe will edge closer to crisis
5. India will become the new growth king.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released on 8th December 2015 by ManpowerGroup, the survey of 5,065 employers across India indicates that Indian employers expect the hiring pace to remain robust in the January-March time frame. For the second consecutive quarter, employer confidence in India is stronger than in any of the other 41 countries and territories participating in the survey. More than four in 10 employers expect to add to their payrolls in the first three months of the year, and the hiring pace is expected to be vigorous in each of India’s seven industry sectors.

“As the Indian economy keeps up its escalating growth trajectory, the job market also looks very positive. Job seekers are optimistic about job opportunities in the country. The Indian market continues to grow, with strong confidence bolstered by high levels of investment. Giving the much needed reforms impetus to the economy, the government announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reforms in as many as 15 sectors. Employer hiring intentions remain positive, primarily driven by Transportation and Utilities, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Finance, Insurance and Real estate and Public Administration & Education Sectors,” said A G Rao, Group Managing Director at ManpowerGroup India.

“The e-commerce sector is one of the fastest growing industry segments today and is expected to experience continuing growth and perhaps a significant boom in the coming months. Led by increasing Internet penetration and youngsters’ presence online, India’s e-commerce market has seen huge growth in the past few years,” added Mr. Rao.

Year-over-year, hiring prospects improve in three of the seven industry sectors. Public Administration & Education sector employers report the most noteworthy increase of 8 percentage points while Outlooks are 2 percentage points stronger in both the Mining & Construction sector and the Transportation & Utilities sector. However, hiring intentions weaken in three sectors, including the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and the Manufacturing sector, where Outlooks decline by 7 and 3 percentage points, respectively.

Global Trends ManpowerGroup interviewed over 58,000 employers across 42 countries and territories to forecast labour market activity in Quarter 1 2016.

Employers are encountering some headwinds. For instance, China’s slowdown is evidently impacting labor market activity beyond its Asia Pacific neighbors. Depressed demand for raw materials is pushing mining and extraction sector forecasts down across the globe, including in Colombia, Peru and South Africa where sector forecasts are the least optimistic yet reported. What’s more, many ManpowerGroup operations corroborate the recent Talent Shortage Survey and report that employers continue to be frustrated by their inability to source specific talents— including IT, engineering and many skilled trades.

Overall, forecasts are mixed in comparison to the Quarter 4 2015 and Quarter 1 2015 surveys; hiring plans improve in 23 of 42 countries and territories when compared quarter-over-quarter, decline in 13, and are unchanged in six. Outlooks strengthen in 19 countries and territories year-over-year, weakens in 18, and is unchanged in five. First-quarter hiring confidence is strongest in India, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and the United States. The weakest—and only negative—forecasts are reported in Brazil, Finland and France.

About the Survey: The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is the longest-running, most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, commencing in 1962 and now polling nearly 59,000 employers in 42 countries and territories to measure their intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. The survey serves as a bellwether of labor market trends and activities and is regularly used to inform the Bank of England’s Inflation Reports, as well as a regular data source for the European Commission.

Josh Bersin of Deloitte, in a webinar on 1st December 2015, identifies the following 10 disruptive HR tech trends in 2016:

1. Consumerised HR Technology
2. Mobile is the new platform
3. The emergence of ERP vendors
4. Redefining HR functions with built-for-the-cloud providers
5. Feedback and culture management as new software categories
6. The new way of managing performance and goals
7. Integrated content from everywhere
8. The growth of predictive analytics: more vendors, more solutions
9. Cloud computing does not make technology services obsolete
10. Employee engagement is critical

Elaborating on the first point, Bersin notes: Only a decade ago HR systems were designed primarily to help HR professionals do their jobs. HR management systems (HRMSs), applicant tracking systems (ATSs), learning management systems (LMSs), and most payroll and benefits applications were created to streamline the work of HR administration, improve record-keeping, and help redesign HR processes. Although employees were considered the “end-users” of these systems, they typically used them as little as possible, and mainly as replacements for the paper forms developed by HR.

Today the market has radically shifted. Many HR applications are becoming tools for employees first, enabling them to better manage people, learn and develop, and steer their own careers. Several years ago we talked about the shift in HR technology from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement.” Today’s HR applications should be fun, gamelike, and designed to help improve our productivity at work.

Tom Haak, Director of the HR Trend Institute, sees the following HR trends in 2016:
1. From hierarchy to networks
2. Invasion of smart tech
3. Globally connected
4. A generational shift
5. Making fun is serious business
6. Purpose before pecunia
7. Fast eats slow
8. Big plans to clever experiments

Haak’s 10 talent management trends for 2016 are:

1. To a broader definition of talent.
2. More customized programs.
3. Looking for general profiles.
4. From secret to transparent.
5. From general to very specific skill training.
6. The increasing importance of HR analytics.
7. From annual to regular maybe even real time feedback.
8. Gamification everywhere.
9. Pay top for the best
10. From 1:1 succession management to broad talent pools.

“Not all trends will be visible or applicable everywhere. Some organizations are trying to create or nurture counter trends.” Haas states.

Looking beyond 2016, billionaire investor Jeff Greene is of the view that workers could go the way of the horse-and-buggy, because of the “exponential growth of artificial intelligence”. When I attended the 1st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Government and Industry in 1989, participants from across the globe presented papers on different aspects of AI that resulted in a weighty conference proceeding. Dr. Edward Feigenbaum of Stanford, considered to be the ‘Father of Expert Systems’ delivered the keynote. Work augmentation and not job replacement was the focus of this AI conference 25 years ago.

Imon Ghosh is founder and CEO of Imon’s Imprints, which is currently involved in corporate training design and delivery, consulting on Whole Systems Transformation (with OD and change management thought leader Roland Sullivan), business model design and innovation, and brand strategy, besides the publishing of books, ebooks, audio books and online courses. He has served as Head of Training at a Fortune 100 MNC in India, as well as the Director of the Academy of HRD. Imon is a life member of AIMA, NHRDN and ISTD, as well as the Indian Economic Association and the Indian Society of Labour Economics. He can be reached at”


Roland again:

Transform your self or be left behind.


I expect to have the greatest personal transformation shift in 2016. 2016 will be a year of worldly renunciation and detachment ( except following the Minnesota Vikings when they are winning ) only to attach to using my expanding energy to leave my legacy to a few so they can love the world for decades to come. In sum, I am giving up the world to help transform the world. No TV.  No wasting   time.  No Movies. No friend chats. No Hobbies. Just listening to how I must transform from my coach, Maja.  Just meditation and work. Work is my play!.

Just meditation and work. Work is my play!.


My mantra since the 60’s.

“Life, being an ascent of consciousness, could not continue to advance indefinitely along its line without transforming itself in depth.” Teilhard de Chardin

I met Buckminster Fuller. He told me that he created the Geodesic dome in his two years of silence and meditation in Iowa. He said he really appreciated his wife’s support.

Here is a relevant quote of his for me.

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

He is reminding  us that we really don’t know what’s next for us, and we often can’t tell by studying our current situation. Transformation happens in an instant.  It is surprise.  It is usually not knowable until that instant magical moment.  Still, we can be disciplined to prepare ourselves for transformation. The super conscious initiative state is often a sign of  transformative progress  to being and becoming our best.

What transformation are you preparing for in the coming new year and beyond?

L. Steven Sieden's photo.

A Personal Story of Roland’s Provenience In Respect With Transformation

January 4, 2016

All these women (Pearl, Terri, Sue, Maja) know each other. Clearly they are on the leading edge. Dr. Perla and I experience regularly super intuitive connection. Such I believe is one of the new OD competencies.

With Dr. Perla on the left who inspired this video. Maja in the middle took and edited the first video posted below. Thank you to both of them.

Kindly accept me just being me. I spent 7 years leading T-Groups. One of the results was becoming comfortable in my own skin. I learned from Dr. Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy founder) that when I am uncomfortable  in the relationship with others, I am projecting my own unease. Know that my intention is to inspire you to transform and discover your own personal provenience regarding who you are.  Your comments are welcome. Would love to hear how you have become who you are.

What I do know is that my personal transformation has only just begun. I expect a paradigm shift around my identity in the next year. How will you change?


Oh. I must mention two other people who were significant in my transformation journey. One is the distinguished Professor Peter Koestenbaum.  Our videos can be searched on YouTube, “Sullivan Mastering Change.”

Peter is a mystic. Peter is, in my mind, the most significant business philosopher of the last and current  century.  Peter and I have integrated Leadership and Whole System Transformation.

The other is my best friend Mr. Al Orsello. We invented the Whole System Model together in the early 70’s with our clients… Grace High School and the State of Minnesota.

Erratum: In the first video, Roland was in his 20’s not 20 when he led T-Groups/Encounter Groups at Loyola University in Chicago.  Second clarification: Dr. Perla founded the current number one PhD program in OD outside the US.

Four Assumptions for Success in Change Journeys

January 1, 2016

Dr. Steve Barlow ( Linkedin) the paper you requested is at the end.

I wish I had the luxury of time to seriously respond to why I have been able to create 99% success rate. I have two or three failures out of over 1000 cases.

I find that clients care less about why something works. They just want results fast. Thus, I have not really spent the time distilling why my structured process works.

In any case here is an off the top of head response this New Year’s day early morning around 4 assumptions that I believe underlie our successful change making.

As a prelude, I feel the need to convey that I only have one of the multitudes of answers to success out there. After all, 30 to 40% of the change efforts are successful. I believe a reoccurrence of research today would show a slow improvement each year.

We need to learn from the success stories. Thus, I am only sharing one consultant’s story around what I have assimilated and made part of my very being through my 50 years of experience.

What I say is right for me. In most cases, it is not right for others. I challenge each and every change agent to discover his or her own best practice.

One of the underlying concepts that come to mind is self-mastery.

There is plethora of wisdom out there on self as instrument of change. I see that totally missing from the change management literature and standards. It just may be the most important of my ten essentials. Here is a quote from Dr. Seashore.

“Perhaps the most powerful instrument we have in helping our clients navigate change is ourselves. Our ability to use ourselves potently relies in large part on the level of awareness we have about the impact we make, and our ability to make choices to direct and modify that impact.”

A second source of my thinking is embedded in feedback I gave to the change management movement. Do a search on Youtube for “Roland Sullivan Standard For Change Management” and you’ll see my 15 videos crucifying the initial editions of change management standards. I was invited by the change management people to offer my feedback. I did. Please understand I offered critical feedback in the spirit of love and care. I so much want the change management movement to succeed because I believe the world needs such like no other time in the history of civilization.

Thirdly, I predict that intuition will become increasing important as we must face the need for agility. As I come into my senior years of experience, I reflect back on a competency that I first experienced with Gordon Lippitt and Jack Gibb. Both were Ph.D. mentors. Gordon was President of National ASTD, maybe in the late 60’s. Jack, in my mind, was one of the 5 most significant group facilitators also in the 60’s and 70’s.  Both possessed super intuitional consciousness. After having my mind blown by them over and over, I set a goal at that time to be like them. After doing yoga 360 days a year since 1962, the super intuitional consciousness is finally coming into existence and has become most useful in my client interventions.

While we follow my structured process, my spontaneous comments in reaction to what I am experiencing in front of me are paramount. Through extensive and intensive rehearsed preparation for our interventions, the external person that I am training or the internal person we are training together leads the show. Such allows me to help them become the star while I am free to give extemporaneous relevant and connected contributions. My job is to respond to the  subtle nuances that surface in the real-time strategic change effort. Canned programs just do not allow such to happen. One end result is simply that our initial experience ignites a transformative momentum. The client system wishes to keep the journey going. It sets up  annual repetition while dramatically reduced dependence on yours truly. Competence to an internal change agent and learnings from the system have the capability re-cycle and significantly improve upon what was launched.

The fourth tip for me is to utilize the basic fundamental OD theory specially that I have personally learned from the pioneers like Argyris, Schein, Beckhard, Burke, Weisbord, Dyer, and Dannemiller etc. I find much of their original learnings forgotten or lost. Especially, we have lost the whole system and large group work of Beckhard and Dannenmiller. Along with the internal change agent, we create a specific theory from approximately 12 classic theory makers. Such is co-created with the organization to become unique to the situation of each client system. One theory that I always include is from Argyris. He says that valid and reliable data must be surfaced authentically in the safe manner that will then be utilized by the heart and rational mind of the whole system to make free choice about the commitments and actions that will be implemented.

In summation, it is my value to ensure that the change agents are velcroed to my hip. As I continue to get better at what I do, the person I transfer the change competency is encouraged to take the lead more and more. The learning is essentially experiential and real time. I find talking and writing about it only creates cynicism, disbelief and non-productive use of everyone’s time. Experiencing together the innovative journey creates believers!

Feedback from you Dr. Steve and others is welcome.

What are the forces that cause your success?

The link to the paper you requested:

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