Posts Tagged ‘change agent. Change.’

One differentiator of Organization Development from other approaches

August 11, 2013

Our OD “grandparents”—Taylor, Lewin, Bion, and McGregor— handed this fundamental truth down to us, each in his own way:

Finding out what is actually happening (research)—and why it is happening (diagnosis)—and getting all that data “on the table” where it is seen and discussed freely (rs comment- USE FREE WILL TO DECIDE ACTION) by stakeholders in a safe environment, has the power to change people and systems (action).

( Peter Kosetebam’s very close friend, Warren Bennis, in my class with him give us the following formula for change agents.

1.  What’s up? ( Research)

2. So what?      ( Diagnosis)

3. What is next?  ( Action)

It is this principle that differentiates the field of OD from other efforts to help or fix social systems. Every subsequent OD theoretical model, exercise, and/or practice engages clients in participative reflection on the process(es) governing what is happening. 


B = f(p x e)

Perhaps the single most significant conceptual input to OD is this one: individual behavior (B) is a function (f) of personal factors (p), multiplied by the impact of the current social environment (e). This model explains why some training-oriented change efforts aimed at the individual often fail. Like the alcoholic treated alone and then sent back to an unchanged family system, change efforts that do not take into account making changes in the (social) environment will not sustain themselves. This is because personal factors are multiplied by environmental factors. As Lewin said, “I have found it easier to change the group than to change one individual in the group” (Personal Communication between John Scherer and Ron Lippitt). Training conducted with intact work groups can reduce this problem, since both the individual (p) and their group (e) are being impacted.

The Birth of the T-Group

In the summer of 1946, Lewin was invited by the Connecticut State Inter-Racial Commission to conduct a training program in race relations for local community leaders. In typical Lewinian “elegance,” he suggested that they design a program that would allow them to train the participants and conduct an experiment in “change” at the same time. Working with a team of colleagues, including two young graduate students, Ron Lippitt and Lee Bradford, the researchers led discussions during the day about the roots of inter-ethnic prejudice and its impact on communities. 

Edited by Roland and others from the original 3rd Chapter  by Alban and Schererin his Third Edition of Practicing OD.




Lewin.  who coined the phrases. Feedback, Social Psychology, process etc. 

Lippit Image

Lippit who received his Ph.D from Lewin at the University of Iowa. Ron wrote the first book on Change Management in 1957. 

Yes. Even Roland Can Change!! Introducing Accelerated Talent Management Utilizing WST

June 23, 2013


Here I am with my friend  of 28 years, Professor William J. Rothwell. Arguably, he is one of world’s gurus around talent management and succession planning. Certainly is Number 1 in Asia.

According to U.S. News and World Report, we can say without argument that he heads the number one HRD Masters and Ph.D program at Penn State

He suggested we team up and incorporate his wisdom around talent management and my proven methodology around whole system transformation.

We have named it accelerated talent management(™)  utilizing whole system transformation(™)  or ATM: WST

In the previous blog I introduced you to Dr. John Spence. He says the number one issue today in organizations is talent management.

Bill and I believe that we can embed talent management faster, cheaper and better than it’s ever been done before.

See the accompanying article for a deeper explanation. I am open to talking about this with you at any time. The best way to reach me is at

Accelerated Talent Management™:

Utilizing Whole System Transformation ™  Methodology

 Many organizations are experiencing the need to improve the number and quality of people they attract, develop and retain so as to meet needs resulting from such issues as pending retirements, explosive business growth, or competitive problems. While talent management is usually associated with a systematic process of attracting, developing and retaining talented people, about 70 percent of all such programs fail within the first 3 years. There are many reasons for failure. Common reasons include:

-Executive leadership not completely involved and aligned around strategic workplace learning,

-Lack of clear and measurable goals,

-Lack of clear roles for different stakeholder groups (such as senior leaders, HR practitioners, operating managers, and workers),

-lack of accountability systems to ensure that each stakeholder group acts according to their expected roles to help the organization achieve its targeted talent goals

-The critical mass not engaged in the understanding and assimilation of strategic direction

-All employees engaged rather than having a program cascaded and imposed upon them

Setting up and sustaining a talent program can be challenging. Many elements must be integrated if a talent management program is to be successful. Organizations need present and future profiles of ideal performers (competency models), performance management systems that are objective and well integrated with measurable organizational productivity goals, objective promotion systems, and systematic approaches to build individual and group capacity to meet future organizational needs. Creating these elements can be time-consuming and expensive.  Working in large transformative summits  reduce the cost and risk of failure. Software solutions alone will not work simply because they provide the means to use the existing content that must be created by the organization and its leaders in ways that are effectively tied to national and organizational culture.

One solution is to first help Executive leadership transform their attitude, behavior and direction for managing and leading the talent of the organization. Secondly we design summits with design teams representing the enterprise as a whole. Thirdly we set up a perpetual talent management journey that sustains itself long-term. Fourthly we focus on helping an internal change agent(s) to continue to facilitate the effort with reduced dependence on external resources.

In sum, the purpose of Accelerated Talent Management™ (ATM) is to execute a systematic approach that builds commitment among decision-makers and workers while also creating the essential elements of an effective talent and succession management system that produces a thriving business.

ImageHere is Dr. Glenda.

Not since Glenda and I consulted General Motors and integrated her great Human System Philosophy with my WST have I done such a collaboration. You see. I am pure process. Process supports all content.

Dr. Spence has the the truth of the gospel of performance management. I have the process to embed the truth.

June 19, 2013

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Keys to performance management milestone 4.13 from John Spence

” title=” Dr. Spence has the the truth of the gospel of performance management. I have the process to embed the truth. “> Dr. Spence has the the truth of the gospel of performance management. I have the process to embed the truth.


As My Hero, Kurt Lewin, often said. There Is Nothing so Practical As a Sound Theory.

Dr. Spence Has the Sound Theory. 

My Latest Thought Is That Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch And Process Eats Theory For Lunch… If Process is  Grounded In True And Simple Theory…  The elephant’s full and begins to dance.

 For those who care about high performing organizations,  I invite you to start with John’s set of slides.  He reads 100 books a year  so you and I don’t need to.  We just need to get off our knees and stand up and listen to his Gospel  or the word of truth.

A most profound statement on “Complex Systems” underpinning my 50 years of work around system change and learning

June 18, 2013

A most profound statement on “Complex Systems” underpinning my 50 years of work around system change and learning

Jay has influenced my thinking as far back as the 60’s. There is an old OD adage, If you want to understand something, try to change it.  Every since I read Bertalanffy in the 60’s, I have been engaged in system’s thinking each and every day. 

Now I am ready to teach internal change agents what I know about sustaining whole system change. Yes, Dr. Jay, our leaders MUST begin to understand general systems theory.  I help them understand and apply the “practice of system development”.


Oh. Jay mentions feedback. Lewin, the direct teacher of my mentors was the first to ever use the word “feedback” in the context of human systems. Each day of my life is thinking about feedback. I am even working with Lou Carter to come up with an incredible on-line feedback system for individual and team change. Google “Skillrater”

There is a great book out there by one of the original 100 Change Agents, Irvin Rubin from MIT.  Get it. Read it. 


System Thinking Video from Senge: One of the foremost contemporary whole system experts

June 8, 2013

System Thinking Video from Senge: One of the foremost contemporary whole system experts

This video is foundational thinking for all that I do. Currently I am preparing a change blueprint to help an Asian company,  create a leadership development effort for 200,000  people outside their country.


Ron Lippitt, the first to ever write a full book dedicated to change management or then called, “planned change”, taught me  to turn work place training to whole system work.


This is how I envision doing so.


Start with the Chairman’s committee.   Have them identify the key business challenge that will benefit from a new worldwide harmonized the leadership philosophy and practice.  Plus have them establish the leadership theory, challenges and suggestions for transferring to the rest of the organization. The result of their work is then handed off to a design team that will create a transformation experience for the next 300 executives in the home country. The directive to them is to transform themselves and then set the tone and direction for management of the meaning people.  This clearly is not traditional cascading. Instead, we have each group assume of themselves how they are going to assimulate the direction from the top.  The system wide journey is lead by a team of  internal change facilitators and trainers to engage all. They essentially will follow my 10 practices for whole system transformation. 

I would very much be interested in your feedback.