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Showing posts from August, 2007

The Tao Manager

A couple mornings ago, I looked at a job ad that appeared to say Tao Manager. Actually, it said Tax Manager, but I was half asleep and didn't have my eye-glasses on yet.

But what an interesting notion, eh? That companies might have a Tao Manager. What would a Tao Manager actually do?

I read that the Chinese written character for Tao means "the path of the warrior."

Maybe a Tao Manager would help the organization...

- to follow a path in harmony with the flow of the universe
- to find a spiritual awareness of its place in the world, and
- to know when to act and when not to act.

Are there any Tao Managers out there?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 29, 2007

OD and the Arts

Jim Murphy, at the Mass Bay OD Blog, has just published an entry about a session they recently had where they looked at the application of the arts to Organization Development practice. How cool is that? I wish I could have been there. (Hey, NJ and NY ODNs: Why don't we do a similar session?)

Reminds me of my excellent Masters degree coursework in Creative Arts Education at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education many moons ago. We examined how poetry, music, drawing, and movement can be ways to enhance learning.

I have often found interesting applications of the arts to OD work, including drawing pictures to visualize the future or to visualize the path through change.

In Barry Johnson's model of Polarity Management he describes having groups use the floor to draw their dilemmas and using physical movement to experience the shifts from one side of the polarity to the other.

In 2000 to 2001, a NJ-based energy company won the ODI Silver Bowl Award for an OD Project for using mu…

The Social Construction of Organizations

A posting by Lisa Haneberg on the social construction of organizational culture got me thinking of one of my favorite college texts, Berger and Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality.

An organization's culture is certainly socially constructed. And the work is never ending. It's going on right now in fact.

The work began when the organization was founded. The footings and frameworks for the culture were put in place by the first leaders. As the years went by, all of the succeeding employees left their mark.

How about you? What mark will you leave on your organization? What difference are you making right now in "the way things are done" around your organization?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 23, 2007

Ora, Labora, & Lege

I just got back from ten days of travel in Europe. We had a terrific time, visiting Prague, Vienna, and several other wonderful places, including Budejovice (the original home of Budweiser beer), Regensburg (where Pope Benedict hails from)...

...and the Benedictine monastery of Melk on the Danube River in Austria. There the monks endeavor to live the Rule of Benedict: Pray, Work, and Read. And seek God each and every day.

There is a lovely garden at Melk, designed for contemplative walks, with an interesting stone sculpture that says that the kingdom of Heaven is within you.

Not a bad approach to life, I'd say. Maybe Benedict's rule should be more widespread.

Added Note: Astha asked to see some pics. Click here.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 17, 2007

OD on the Inside

Yesterday I had the good fortune of being a presenter at the Academy of Management in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the 2007 Annual Meeting called "Doing Well By Doing Good."

I was part of a three person team with Julie Smendzuik-O'Brien and Bev Scott (who has actually "written the book"!)addressing "Good Consulting on the Inside: Managing the Function, the Work and the Self."

A small but very interested crowd of doctoral students, academics, and external OD consultants gathered for our session. A few of our key points:

- Internal consultants require a somewhat different set of competencies than external consultants do.

- Internal consultants must continuously work on building good relationships within their organization; understand the business that they are in; and take good care of themselves so that they don't burn out.

- Internal consultants face many challenges (including organizational politics and demanding clients), but also have the op…

Blessings from My Barber

This morning, I stopped at my barbershop for a haircut. My barber, Otis, was there as usual. As before, he cut my hair the way I like it, short. But today he gave me something extra, a blessing.

I had mentioned to him that I'll be leaving on vacation soon. So, as he was brushing the little hairs off my neck and shirt collar, he said, "And blessings to you and your wife for a safe vacation."

Being a spiritual person, I was touched by that.

It reminded me of my grandfather, George T. Seamon, who used to softly mutter blessings as he encountered people throughout the day. He was blessing people all the time, children playing, workers doing a task, neighbors sweeping their porches.

I think this is a much-needed practice in the world today. More people blessing other people would have some beneficial effects, I think...healing some of the hurt, softening some of the hard hearts, and soothing the stressed and weary.

Blessings to you who are reading this.

Posted by Terrence S…

Boost Your EBITDA

Want to boost your earnings? Invest in people:

"By excelling in talent management, the average Fortune 500 company can generate a nearly 15 percent improvement in earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), netting almost $400 million annually, according to new research from strategic advisory firm The Hackett Group."

So how would a company do that? Talent management covers a lot of ground, but some key pieces that Hackett identified are:

- hiring
- training
- performance management, and
- organizational effectiveness

I would add two more:

- corporate culture and
- employee engagement

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 2, 2007