A Review of Dr. Noer’s Humanistic Consulting book: The most significant OD publication of this century





Dr. Chris Agyris in my mind is the brightest and key author on Change Intervention Theory and Practice. In my last in person meeting with him, he asked me to be the guardian of th OD boundaries. He said that OD is not everything to every one.

The new hot OD book, authored by Dr. David Noer titled, “Humanistic Consulting: It’s History, Philosophy and Power for Organizations helps us all understand the current boundaries of OD. For me, it is the most important OD book written thus far this century because:

It shares information publicly from original stories that never been published before as it takes the reader new ground

It portrays one man’s lifetime assimilation of the  theory and practice of OD of the past to the  present and future

Demonstrates how OD is quite relevant to today’s environment of rapid change and transformation

Truisms  shared about the special interest of large group interventions that the common change person has yet to discover and master

Highlighting and re-birthing the concept of power that was so prominent in the early days of our occupation

The most comprehensive clear  list of 10 competencies are shared. I should know  because I led along with Dr. Rothwell and Chris Worley organization change competence  over the past 30 years for the field

The assessments in the appendix are worth the price

Pointing out the great differentiation between popular change management and organization development. OD is focused on a humanistic philosophy. Such permeates every chapter.

Dr. Noer has had a fantastic career. He along with Ed Schein are two of the most active silver OD  foxes still active in change thinking and work today.



3 Responses to “A Review of Dr. Noer’s Humanistic Consulting book: The most significant OD publication of this century”

  1. Julie Says:

    Would have been lovely to have this perspective a bit earlier … So I could have planned to attend the session at MN OD Network on 9/14. Unfortunately, have a conflict… JSO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rolandsullivan Says:

    From the SW JOurnel by Susan Schaefer – Sept 14, 2017

    The economic impact of the creative arts in Minneapolis astonishes. Estimated at over $4.5 billion in sales, or eight times that of Minneapolis’ sports sector according to the 2015 Creative Vitality Index (CVI), an economic measure used by the city, it has earned our region a lofty place as a national creative mecca.

    Behind such stunning statistics toil humans whose creativity and innovation fuel this so-called creative class, dubbed by author Richard Florida. Frequently laboring for the sheer love of their craft, many visual and performing artists, directors, inventors and innovators produce from an inner creative core more likely fueled by passion than personal gain. These makers are marked by an almost holy drive to create — and when their artistry and intent collide, it often yields something extraordinary in its wake.

    It will be impossible not to speak of the incomparable, undaunted, irrepressible embodiment of “heART to the bone,” Melisande Charles, in the present tense. This tsunami of creative talent and sheer ZEST for the POWER of ART to CHANGE the WORLD, literally kick-started Minneapolis as a hub of creativity, an art vortex from which our infamous creative index spawned. Yet, as her daughters playfully posted on 9/1/17 in a Facebook that has been ablaze with testimonials for this one-of-a-kind woman, “Melvis has left the building.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Rasmusson Says:

    I’ve been studying Elliott Jaques works of requisite organization and stratified systems theory. (He was also at Travistock.)
    Where does that fit, if at all, with the classical and vibrant OD ‘book of knowledge’ you’ve outlined?
    Thanks for the learned perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

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