Posts Tagged ‘change agent’

An Expert view of how to renew Organization Development

August 6, 2013

David Bradford is one of Senior OD professors at Stanford. I edited a great book of his with Dr. Burke of Columbia. Here is a distilled view of what is wrong with OD and some suggestions to get it right.

I invited him to make this for our Asia Change Management Summit in India held at my client, Infosys. Dr. Bradford is the son of L. Bradford. In my opinion Lee Bradford is one of founders of OD. He was the administrator of NTL as it started up and before Dr. Burke was head and after Dr. Bunker and others saved NTL recently.


Our Second Edition of Change Champions has been out only one week and is already in the top 50 Organization Change books.

July 27, 2013

Our Second Edition of Change Champions has been out only one week and is already in the top 50 Organization Change books.

Many of the great OD gurus write in it like Schein, Oshry, Katz, Burke, Cooperidder, Koestenbaum ( #1 business philosopher of all time), Weisbord, Owen, Axelrod, Ulrich, Goldsmith, B. Johnson, Rothwell, Balasi, Janoff, Warrick,  Dannemiller team ( Eggers), Kimball and so forth. 

 A highlight for me is Burke’s chapter on his four phases of leading organization Change:

  1. Pre-launch
  2. Launch
  3. Post Launch
  4. Sustainment

 This is his clearest summary ever.  Burke said at a recent presentation that 70% of change efforts fail. Why? In my mind because canned tools are depended on entirely too much. Greater success would occur if Change Agents understood Schein’s process consultation and practiced Burke’s phases. Since he first unveiled the phases at an Academy of Management presentation, I have used his 4 phases as the foundation of my Whole System Transformation Methodology.

It just might be so that Warner Burke has authored more popular Organization Change books and chapters than anyone. I also suggest one read his latest edition of “Organization Change.” Another book that I highly recommend is Weisbord’s latest edition of “Productive Workplaces.” And of course, the new book just out by Schein titled “Humble Inquiry.”



Dubai Podcast with Emma on Whole System Transformation

July 25, 2013

Dubai Podcast with Emma on Whole System Transformation

An overview on how I help an enterprise become dramatically different and more effective.

An Executive Team from Dubai just transformed

One of my great Executive Teams in Dubai just Transformed. They actually look happy.

Roland's arm around Charlie who with Edie and others wrote the first book focused on Feedback

My arm around the guy who started me from National Training Laboratories (once in Bethel Main, USA.)

See a past blog for 4 videos that sum up his life as a Change Agent. His Wife, Edie, joins him. Everyone loved Charlie. He touched so many lives.

Thank you Emma for spreading the truth about Organization Change

Thank you Emma for making the Podcast and spreading the truth about Organization Change

We are living in the most exciting times in the history of the world.

A precis of Talent Management application with OD principles and practices

July 17, 2013
Accelerated Talent Management™ using Whole System Transformation™ Methodology!
CAPix innovative partner
in collaboration with Dr. William J. Rothwell
Presentation for PSTD Foundation Inc, Manila & Cebu, Philipiines at Asian Institute of Management

Align your team with direction!

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 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.


To follow our dialogue and learnings join the group at Linkedin that Rothwell and I started. It is titled: “Accelerated Talent Management Utilizing Change Management Methodology”



Rothwell with Dr. Perla, a 25 year friend who I gave the Asia OD Network Lifetime achievement award to. She is one of the leading women who has brought OD to Asia. Bill is signing our third edition text book that she uses in the Masters and Ph.D programs at Assumption University. Our next AODN Summit will be at Assumption in Thailand. 

Accelerated Talent Management ™ Utilizing Change Management (OD) Methodology

July 15, 2013

Accelerated Talent Management ™ Utilizing Change Management (OD) Methodology

ATM Manila keynote link: Come to Linkedin and join the new Penn State Group titled: Accelerated Talent Management Utilizing Change Management ( OD ) Methodologies  The link is my keynote this afternoon for the Philippines in a ying yang with my pal Professor Rothwell. 

Ask your questions. Challenge our assumptions. Offer your wisdom at the Linkedin Group. 

My profession has just transformed for the 4th time

July 12, 2013

First Transformation: Mastering small group interventions ( 1978).  Second:  Mastering large group interventions (1990).  Third:  Mastering sustainable whole system change-latest case will be in the Cummings and Worley 10th edition (2013). Fourth:  And now in the last 2 months what I believe will be the final transformation of my career.

“Helping an individual change agent transform themselves in the context of sustainable transformation of the whole system – with no cost – learn and earn.”

Of course, I utilize all I learned from the first 3 transformations.  This can be done with or without the new OD certificate from Penn State’s HRD program- rated number 1 in the USA.

Act. And have a conversation how you can benefit. I know of no one else with such obsessive focus. If you do, introduce me to them. We will learn from each other.

Addendum:  For special learning I integrate two top Professors in their respected areas: Professor Rothwell around Accelerated Talent Management and Professor Koestenbaum around the Leadership Diamond.

So in sum, I help external or interchange agents to change themselves to powerfully change an organization long term. Two specialities are Leadership and Talent Management.

The graphic below is what I do. I shift the grey to the large colored potential. Image

Free 3 days of learning, transform your life now. David transformed my life.

June 28, 2013

Free 3 days of learning, transform your life now. David transformed my life.

This is an incredible free 3 days of learning. I read David’s very first book years ago. He has been a client of mine. These videos are free. Those of you who known me, will begin to understand why I bring special fresh organic juice and food. I do not drink alcohol, eat meat, or now even eat cooked food.

I helped design the first event you will see here years ago. I have talked to my friend Len Foley about making the experience more engaging. Get the people at tables. Reduce the lectures and help the individuals in the room transform. Have break out rooms of special interest. 

David and Len also have a web site that I have suggested to most of my clients when they get to know me. It is It is cheap. It allows for interaction with others. I facilitated the start up in the first year. I would stay involved but my focus in life is more on organization change. The site only costs ten usd to try for 30 days. You can download enough free material in 30 days to keep you learning for a years. 

I am on a ten day fast and  spiritual vacation in my woods here in Deephaven. My office is outside in the large screened in porch next to my hot tub and sauna. People around the world when I am on Skype can hear the birds sing.  i even have a bed here. I sleep in the fresh air.  So now I have over shared.

My wish is that all those I know will change their life for the better and then help change the world. These are times of change. There will be pockets of disaster. They will be pockets of illumination and joy beyond one’s believe. 

My new focus in my life is helping internal change agents become very effective in helping the organization transform. I invite all my clients that I coach individually to do as I do. We must start with “Self Change.”

Assimilating what this conference teaches is a first step.


New York’s Columbia University convenes the greatest ever OD Certificate in Asia for the first time.

June 6, 2013

New York’s Columbia University convenes the greatest ever OD Certificate in Asia for the first time.

Countless people over the years have asked me for my recommendation of OD certificates. 

I have always said, for as long as I can remember, that the best initial OD education is the world is the Columbia OD Certificate.  Columbia has always been connected to authentic OD right from the 6O’s. Billie Alban, who IMHO, is the senior woman OD founder living today, started this program with Dr. Hornstein. Through the guidance of Dr. Warner Burke ( the most popular published author in the history of organization change)  have handed it over to Dr. Bunker and Dick Axlerod.  Both are emanate OD professionals. They have spent their entire life being OD thought leaders. And of course, I have a special love for them because they both are masters of large group work.

My friend, Naharuddin Ahmad Zabid, asked me to bring the best OD learning from an Ivy League University in the USA to Singapore and Malaysia   I choose to work with Dr. Burke from Columbia. He has agreed to allow his OD certificate to leave New York for the first time and travel to Malaysia. Herein is the brochure. Who do you know who might benefit? Yes. It is expensive. Yes. It is the absolute best in the world, IMHO. It is practical. It is tested. It is true OD. I expect the investment to return many times from the applied learning. We will see what we can do to measure the strategic value. 

What the world needs now is help with change management. This certificate offers the best learning for Change Agents. 

Sorry, but I see the blind leading the blind in terms of change management these days. Those of us like, Burke, Bunker, Axlerod, Alban, Hornstein, Pasmore and others who have been thinking about change each day of our lives for 50 years. We have some things figured out. We are ready to share our wisdom with others. 

Feel free to contact myself or MaJa, (, if you have any questions. 


The essential profile of an effective OD person

May 12, 2013

The essential profile of an effective OD person

This is from the 7th most influential business woman in Europe. She just went off the board of   ODN. She received her training at NTL where I was introduced to OD when I was a teenager. 

I love her subtle dissing of HR, change managment and coaching. Her focus is on OD or large scale system change not playing games as a superficial team builder. 


Feedback! An essential in my life for the past 50 years!

May 10, 2013

This is my response to question that Bill posted at the National OD Network Group on Linkedin around feedback.



Bill my response does not speak of the trend data you are asking for but I recommend the classic book by Charlie and Edie Seashore, “What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and  Receiving Feedback.”


I use their definition all the time. It is,


“Feedback can be defined as:

-information about past behavior

-delivered in the present

-which may influence the future.”


Marv Weisbord says of the book, ” I had several ‘ahas’ reading this clear and entertaining excursion into everyday interactions.. Feedback should be given sparingly and taken thoughtfully–with a grain of salt. That’s one (of many) useful messages demonstrated here.



Speaking of trend. Edie told us recently at the Minnesota OD Network that the notion of “Feedback” had arrived for her when she over heard the construction workers at the airport having an intense conversation about giving each other feedback. 



My long time client, the late Steve Harmon oft said, “Feedback is the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions.”



Oh. The memories. I was introduced to feedback in 1962 in a Charlie Seashore NTL T-group. Non-stop feedback. The experience was so dramatic and positive for me that I started investigating the world of change agents.   That led me to a Jack Gibb TORI lab. Dr. Gibb was Charlie’s thesis advisor.


In my hometown gym, 300 of us were experiencing feedback in Jack’s Human Interaction Lab.  At the first break, I went up to Jack and took a giant risk as a guy in his early 20’s and asked him to give me feedback. From his observation of me for only 2 hours in a group of 300 he gave me ten strengths and ten  behaviors that needed to be changed. I was so awe struck by his accuracy that at that lab I decided that I wanted to be like Dr. Gibb and dedicate my life to being a change agent and as they say the rest is history.



Oh. One other idea. Lou Carter has just created an on-line feedback tool that I am piloting with my above “Steve Harmon” client. See it at Take a free trial run.



Now. System wide feedback is an essential in all I do. My practice after 50 years now has one purpose and that is to train change agents velcrowed to my hip. I only work in the context of Whole System Change. I must have a minimum 2.5 day intensive. My signature for 40 years has always been to end the event  appreciative feedback.


And two way feedback between my self and the change agent who is transforming themselves is key. Feedback is the fuel or nutrition for transformation.