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Showing posts from December, 2006

I Doubt It

Scientist and skeptic Sharon Hill, a geologist and blogger who goes by the handle "idoubtit," has recently launched Doubtful, featuring a great entry on blobjects, a new cultural meme referring to objects that are too indistinct to be undisputably what they purport to be, e.g. grainy photos of Nessie. (For another meaning of blobject, go here.)

By coincidence, I was recently in conversation with some friends about a type of blobject called "orbs," those white circles that sometimes show up in photos you have taken. Are they just artefacts of light? Or as some argue, are they ghosts?

Sharon has also published a piece on hauntings in Cape May, one of my favorite spots in New Jersey or anywhere.

So how does this fit with my usual musings here at Here We Are. Now What? Normally I keep my interest in the strange and unexplained separate from this blog, but in this case, I'm making an exception.

Sharon Hill does a nice job of straddling the everyday world of consensus re…

Peace on Earth

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

As I head out into the evening for church this Christmas Eve, I offer this wish for all:

...as you gather together with loved ones, to share the glad tidings of the Season, may you and yours feel comfort, joy and peace.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/24/06

Enter the Connectors!

Gautam Ghosh has coined a new term, talentosphere, and says that one of his predictions for 2007 is the rise of the connectors: bloggers (and presumbly others outside the blogosphere) who are good at some things (identified by Gladwell in The Tipping Point), including:

- knowing lots of people, having a wide social circle

- having a knack of making friends

- being the hub of a social network

Recently, several people told me that I am a connector. I find it a bit surprising because I don't think of myself that way. My wife, on the other hand, is a big time connector, and always has been so.

Still, I am amazed that some people (including recruiters) have called me one. Perhaps it is because of all the networking and blogging I have been doing so relentlessly in the past year.

Added Note 12/23: Came across this blog entry from a Venture Capitalist on the value of being a connector.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/22/06

Conversion of the Heart

In the NY Times magazine this past Sunday, there was a piece that asked, Could Ebenezer Scrooge have been sick? Maybe he had a medical condition, but for me the Charles Dickens' story of A Christmas Carol is about a man who is spiritually sick.

No matter how many times I read this classic, or watch the film versions, I am moved. There are so many scenes worth mentioning, but one in particular stands out: the conversation between terrified Scrooge and the troubled ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley.

Sorrowful Marley said:

"Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said, "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Me…

Slay Ride: Musing on Dragons

Faced with a dragon, what would you do? Slay it? Ride it?

At Dick Richard's blog, Come Gather Round, he muses about riding dragons, "leaping from the known to the unknown, from daily life to the sacred, from the mind that is aware of itself to the unconscious." Like Dick, I am a fan of poet Robert Bly, a word-shaman who dared to enter the dragon's lair of the imagination.

At Dave Seah's blog, he addresses the difficult task of slaying life's dragons and points to Laura Young's blog , The Dragon Slayer's Guide to Life.

Dave's blog also has a nice pic of a bottle of Macallan Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky. Last night, my good friend Greg Deatz, of The Information Dirt Road blog, served me a dram of Bowmore Islay single malt. Delicious.

Just the sort of drink for those who deal with dragons.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/18/06

The Future of Global Talent Management

I had the good fortune this week to attend two presentations on Talent Management, the first given by Vas Nair at Schering-Plough (sponsored by the NJ ODN), the second by consultant Anna Tavis at Fairleigh Dickinson University (sponsored by The Center for Human Resources Management Studies), here in New Jersey.

Some learnings:

- Remember that "talent" means people; embed your talent management process within your overall "people strategy" for the business

- Be aware of the dangers in the "star system" approach to talent management

- In addition to assessing people on performance and potential, look at what it would mean if you lost the employee

- Incorporate social network analysis to identify the people who are key to your organization's knowledge flows

- Look at the entire "talent ecosystem" in and around your organization; talent pools are global now

- Consider higher intelligence such as Danah Zohar's concept of "spiritual intelligence…

OD Blogs Abound

For a long time, I wondered if there were other OD blogs out there in the blogosphere. It was always a delight to find one, such as Gautam Ghosh, Astha Parmar, Steve Pashley, and the Mass Bay OD blog that Jim Murphy moderates.

Now thanks to Karl Albrecht's discussion thread at ODNet, other organization development blogs have come into view, including:

Bill Harris' Making Sense With Facilitated Systems

Mario Gastaldi's Sviluppo delle Organizzazioni (in Italian)

Rich Foss' 7 Paths

Jan Yuill's The Heartbeat

Steve Dahlberg's Applied Imagination

Kartik's OD and more

If you have an OD blog you'd like to promote, you are invited to promote it here.

Added Note 12/16: Brian Childs has an OD blog at Bowling Green State University.

Added Note 12/20: Bill Harris reminds me of several more blogs (see his comment) including Professor Sandy Kristin Piderit at Case.

Added Note 1/20: Tina has an OD blog for the CCODN.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/14/06

Tag! I'm It.

Blogger TJ Starbucker, at Ramblings from a Glass Half Full, has tagged me in a blog game where you must divulge "5 Things You Don't Know About Me."

OK...here goes.

1. My Myers Briggs type is INTP and my Holland Code is ASE.

2. As a child, my career dream was to become a Catholic priest and I remember telling my parents that they could live with me in my rectory.

3. My middle name is Henry (named after my great-grandfather Henry who came from Ahrem near Koln in Germany). With the initials TH to start with, I took the name Edward for my Confirmation name so that I would be THE Seamon.

4. My second son Dave is named after my father's first-cousin John Hickey. Confused? John was famous in our family for calling people "Dave," in the same way you might call someone buddy or pal. When my son was born, it just felt right (to me) to finally name someone after John's favorite nickname.

5. My favorite time of year is Christmas time. With 15 days to go, I am feeling ex…

Whither OD?

Recently, after asking "Is OD Going Away?" a few interesting responses appeared.

Lisa Haneberg at Management Craft wrote: "My 2 cents on this - not until we improve our management training, which we should do but most won't. Most of OD is surrogate management."

Interesting. Question for Lisa: When you say "Most of OD is surrogate management," are you saying that if management did a better job, there would be no need for organization development?

HR blogger and CEO Regina Miller said: "Oh this is a great topic...and I want to chime in definitely on this...I have a post that I have been planning for a while called the new OD curriculum. I will say some more in an upcoming post..."

While waiting for Regina's thoughts to appear at her blog, this topic has stayed on my mind too, especially since hearing OD legend Marv Weisbord say that he is concerned about the rapid pace of change in today's world and he wonders if OD people can be effective…

Pssst: Your Corporate Culture Is Showing

Attention Talent Acquisition (aka Staffing) Professionals: Watch what you put into your job ads because your corporate culture may be showing to external eyes.

In the "I Kid You Not" Department, the other day I read an ad that described the hiring company's Management Model, including the following about how they intend to serve their customers:

"Make it not only painless for customers to deal with us, but painful for them not to."

Yikes!

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/05/06

Becomingness

The field of organization development is like a person who wonders as he wanders, returning now and again to essential questions like Who Am I? Why Am I Here? What Should I Be Doing With My Life?

So I like it when the question "What is OD?" re-surfaces (as it has the other day at the main e-mail discussion list at ODNET).

It says that the field of OD is aware of itself and its becomingness*.

Yes, that is a real word.

Becomingness - any process of change involving realization of potentialities, as a movement from the lower level of potentiality to the higher level of actuality.

Nice word, don't you think? And one that seems to fit well with what we as OD folk are all about.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/04/06