Posts Tagged ‘organization development’

Weisbord’s OD History: A Snippet supporting “Whole System”

June 25, 2014

 Getting Everyone Improving the Whole

In the 1980s, inspired by conversations with Eric Trist and Ron Lippitt, (One of  Roland’s main mentors),  I found myself seeking to marry participation to Socio-Technical principles.  A series of projects I reported in Productive Workplaces led me inexorably  toward a scary conclusion.  If we truly wanted to realize values for workplaces in which productivity rested on the bedrock of dignity, meaning and community, we needed to figure out how to get  EVERYBODY IMPROVING WHOLE SYSTEMS.  I noticed that in successful cases there was an attractive goal, a leader with an itch to scratch, and some energized people who had both expertise and commitment.

I also derived  a few “minimum critical specifications”  for effective OD:  get the whole system in the room; focus on the future rather than the problem list; and set things up so that people could do the work themselves, using the skills and experience they already had. If every human deficiency had to be remedied with training before people could implement a new workplace, nobody would ever get a new workplace.

Over time, I came to understand “whole system in the room”  as people with authority, information, resources, expertise in need. When we convene such diverse groups, we effectively redefined a system’s boundaries. That was a giant step beyond diagramming “environmental demands”  on the flipchart ( a technique Roland learned from Beckhard).  People who are each other’s environment shared what they knew. Everyone came to understand the whole in a way that no one person had done a few days earlier. Through this was a structural intervention, paradoxically, many people voluntarily change their behavior.

This  phenomenon,  I believe, is the key to the success of today’s “large group interventions.”  (ABSOLUTELY SAYS; ROLAND) These structures provide opportunities for people to act in new ways.  They tilt the power balance. Then enable fluid coalitions in real-time. Most require no training. They turn “systems thinking”  into an experiential rather than a conceptual activity. They enable everybody to discover for a few hours, or a few days or a few months, how to use what they already have on behalf of a goal larger than themselves.

I put these ideas into practice experimentally for more than 30 years. Every time I ran a workshop, I saw something I had never seen before. Sandra Janoff, my Future Search Network partner for more than two decades,  and many other colleagues ( including yours truly, Roland)  are deeply engaged in this work as I write.  Their collective efforts, and yours, constitute the present for me.

 

FROM THE CHAPTER TITLED:

 Techniques to Match to Our Values:

An Idiosyncratic History

Of Organization Development

To be published  2015 by Sullivan, Stavros and Rothwell in Practicing Organization Development: Leading Change and Transformation, Fourth Edition

This essay iterates, paraphrases, and elaborates on themes from Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning and Community in the 21st Century , 3rd Edition (2012).

Postscripts by Roland.

1.  Now that Dr. Argyris is dancing in the heavens, Marvin, in my mind, is the senior living most influential organization development professional today.

2. This is a first in a long series of excerpts from our upcoming Fourth Edition  of  Practicing   Organization Development: Leading Change and Transformation. I do so because Ron Lippitt , who is mentioned by Marvin, above told me personally that one of his predominant values was to “disseminate change knowledge freely”.  For those new to the profession, Dr. Lippitt  wrote the first book ever on organization change in 1957.

 

 

 

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A popular YouTube Video by Roland on Organization Change

April 24, 2014

Would love to have your feedback. How might we improve this video. How might we do better in the creation of future videos. We have been asked to include this video in the OD portal coming with our Fourth Edition of Practicing OD. Thus, we looking to be better at video production

Making Sense of OD today

March 5, 2014

Making Sense of OD today

As we begin to create the 4th edition of Practicing OD, I am thinking that Dr.  Marshak best be included. Here is a classic video  he made for our Asian OD Network Conference recently in Singapore. 

He talks of small groups. Well. Those of you who know me. I believe his principles of small group dynamics also apply large group dynamics. 

Breaking News- My Airbus Client is named CIO of the Year!!

November 27, 2013

 

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I share with you that I was awarded the title of “CIO of the year” last Thursday in Germany.

 This title is awarded each year by the best known ICT magazines in Germany, the “Computerwoche” and “CIO Magazine”, which annually task a professional jury (recruited from very well-known German Universities) to select a “CIO of the year”, based on criteria like outstanding recent project deliverables, technical competencies, relationship management between business and ICT, visionary orientation, and influence in the organisation and leadership skills.

 As I said in my “thank you” speech when receiving the award, I consider it primarily as recognition for the work of my entire team in the last few years both at Airbus and at EADS. Without your engagement and our common successes, this would never have happened!

 I therefore would like to thank and congratulate all of you on our shared achievement. I see this as an excellent appreciation of our great teamwork and our contributions to the business!

 For additional information, see Computerwoche including a short interview with me and the brochure (in German only unfortunately).

 With warmest regards,

 Guus Dekkers

CIO Airbus & EADS Corporate CIO

 

Below: My daugher with smiling and red tied Guus in the background at one of our famed engagement summits. She was the Cazreena of the 300 person transformation. 

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Part of her logistics team with internal change agent, Susan, in red. 

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Below the design team. This case is just being published in the 10th edition of Organization Development by Worley and his Guru Professor Cummings at USC. 

The results have been out of this world. Guss received the top engagement rating of all of EADS verified by Gallop Poll.

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And the stage below: 

 

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People hard at work

 

 

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Guus and Susan just held their 5th summit without us and all agreed that it was the best ever. The point is that I expect my interventions to be repeated without me. I expect them to continue to get better and better as time goes on.  I have more publications and private videos for your edification. Just email me at R@Rolandsullivan.com

Link to Maja Balasi’s You Tube videos including interviews with OD founders In Weisbord, Pareek and Scherer.

August 18, 2013

Link to Maja Balasi’s You Tube videos including interviews with OD founders In Weisbord, Pareek and Scherer.

This is Maja’s new YouTube vestibule  for her gathering of important videos that support her work as a social psychologist and transformation agent.

Not only are classics that give a firsthand account of the history of organization development but also her new videos that she recently edited.  For example, the award-winning presentation of  Sullivan Transformation Agent’s  Woodbury Public Safety testimony to the 39th Asia learning and development conference. Lives are being saved because of our intervention. We know of no other Public Safety Community that shut down to go offsite for three days to transform themselves. The neighboring communities provided their emergency coverage. Now Woodbury’s leadership team is consulting the other 12 or so surrounding communities to help engage their people and their community.

More will be coming including one of our most successful large group events with the organization that holds the most advanced commercial computer in the world.

Link to Maja Balasi’s You Tube videos including interviews with OD founders In Weisboard, Pareek and Scherer.

August 18, 2013

Link to Maja Balasi’s You Tube videos including interviews with OD founders In Weisbord, Pareek and Scherer.

This is Maja’s new YouTube vestibule  for her gathering of important videos that support her work as a social psychologist and transformation agent.

Not only are classics that give a firsthand account of the history of organization development but also her new videos that she recently edited.  For example, the award-winning presentation of  Sullivan Transformation Agent’s  Woodbury Public Safety testimony to the 39th Asia learning and development conference. Lives are being saved because of our intervention. We know of no other Public Safety Community that shut down to go off site for three days to transform them selves. The neighboring communities provided their emergency coverage. Now Woodbury’s leadership team is consulting the other 12 or so surrounding communities to help engage their people and their community.

More will be coming including one of our most successful large group events with the organization that holds the most advanced commercial computer in the world.

Greatness, Courage and Vision

August 12, 2013

I share a quote from an email I received this AM from the 87 year old famed Professor P. Koestenbaum.  

“Everything we in the Troika now do needs to be done in the Leadership Diamond(R)   spirit, that is, in the framework of GREATNESS, a recognition of the eternal presence of free will, and COURAGE, which means relentless and unceasing initiative, and VISION, always expecting genius work.

Our work together is not for wimps, for losing sight of the things that matter most.”

The  Troika  is:

 Koestenbaum the number 1 business philosopher, creator of the Leadership Diamond from 50 years of philosophical primordial wondering of humankind’s generated wisdom since the inception of  recorded civilization.

Dr. Mahamouda, a client in a unique position with an extraordinary commitment to change the world because of his african roots groomed by his courageous European and USA immersion. 

Yours truly, who is uplifted in each encounter with the above dyadic luminaries.

 I share this because my wish for you is to be and become persistent in freely choosing to model for your world doing and being your absolute best and greatest work. 

Be good. Do good. Be great. Do great work. 

Roland Image

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. 

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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.

 

 

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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. 

An Expert view of how to renew Organization Development

August 6, 2013

http://is.gd/MyF4o7

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.”