Stan Herman’s Wisdom About Today’s Organizations.

Navigating the waves. Much like a sailor and surfer navigating the waves, the demands of the contemporary economy require dynamic strategic thinking and action in organizations in order to maintain the agility and adaptability required to survive and thrive.

Until the present era we have traditionally and in a deep cultural sense, made the assumption that equilibrium and stability in organizations were the rule, and turbulence and discontinuity were the dysfunctional exceptions. But, in this new era, those assumptions do not seem to apply. The phased adaptive model would seem better described in the metaphor of a surfer: “Catch the wave, ride it, then catch another one.” As Gates puts it, “Punctuated chaos” rather than “punctuated equilibrium” is now the rule.

For further information and discussion contact smherman4@

The above is from a person who has had a tremendous influence on my OD practice. I wore out his “Authentic Management: A Gestalt Orientation to Organizations and Their Development.” It was published in 1976 and was one of the most popular management texts used at Harvard.

Stan was my professor in my Master’s program at Pepperdine in the late 70s. Then he edited a popular book that he contributed for our Practicing OD Series.

If you wish, I will send you a link to my chapter in the book below on Whole System Transformation that Stan edited for us in Practicing OD Series.

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